Strengthening presence in the aerospace business
In January 2018, GF Casting Solutions purchased 100% of Precicast Industrial Holding SA, the Swiss-based precision casting specialist. This is in line with the division’s strategy to increase its industrial sectors presence, in particular in the promising aerospace field. Upon closing in April, the division was renamed from GF Automotive to GF Casting Solutions, which reflects the portfolio evolution.
Klostergut: A property for 100 years
GF has owned the listed convent Klostergut Paradies in Schlatt (Switzerland) since 1918. Today, it serves as a training center for the Corporation. In 2018, GF organized a range of activities and the exhibition “100 years of GF at Klostergut Paradies” to celebrate the 100th anniversary.
GF invests more than CHF 20 million in Schaffhausen
In May 2018, the complete refurbishment of the headquarters of GF Piping Systems in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) has started. Over an area of 3’000 square meters, the project will give rise to innovative offices with team, co-working and project rooms, a spacious laboratory and a new training center with attractive training and exhibition rooms. Energy efficiency measures and a new photovoltaic system will bring the building up to the Minergie standard in the future. With the modernization project costing more than CHF 20 million, which is due to be completed by the end of 2019, GF is equipping itself for the future, with digitalization and agile working concepts remaining key focal points.
For a sustainable company development
It is of great importance for GF to reduce the accident rate. Most recently, this rate has been reduced company-wide from 25 to 15.9 per one million working hours. The company is thus well on track in achieving the stated sustainability target for 2020. The target focuses on achieving a 20% reduction in the accident rate compared with the average rate between 2013 and 2015. Further sustainability goals, indicators and efforts are extensively described in the GF Sustainability Report that was published in July 2018.
New Head of GF Casting Solutions
Carlos Vasto took over as the Head of GF Casting Solutions on 1 September 2018. The Brazilian-Italian dual citizen stepped into the shoes of Josef Edbauer, who retired at the end of 2018 after working at GF for more than 40 years. Carlos Vasto has been with GF since 1987 and has extensive international experience in the automotive and the mechanical engineering sectors. Most recently, he led the division’s Business Unit “Iron and Investment Casting Europe”.
Modern plant of GF Machining Solutions in China
GF Machining Solutions will open a new plant in the high-tech district in the ultra-modern industrial park in Changzhou (China) by the end of November 2019. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in November 2018. The building spans over 32’000 square meters and is primarily intended for the manufacturing and development of machine tools. With the new building, technical innovations will be promoted and the division will acquire leading companies as its customers. Moreover, this project contributes significantly towards the overarching goal of establishing GF Machining Solutions as the world’s leading provider for high-quality machine tools.
GF won large orders in the aerospace sector
In North America, GF Machining Solutions has won a large number of new orders in the strategically important aerospace sector. The new orders include the whole range of Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM), milling and laser machines as well as automation solutions and services for a total value of approx. USD 100 million. The customers, well-known aircraft engine manufacturers and their suppliers, will use the new machines for the highly demanding production of blades, blisks and other complex components to be used in the latest generation of aero engines. The orders are to be delivered in the next four years, starting 2019.
Record-high orders for the e-mobility market
In 2018, GF Casting Solutions received several large contracts to supply lightweight components for a new generation of electric vehicles. The new contracts have been placed by Chinese and European manufacturers and amount to approx. CHF 370 million. The high number of new orders underscores GF Casting Solutions’ lightweight competence in the fast growing e-mobility market segment in China. Lightweight design is an important factor in improving the range of electric cars.
Divesting two European iron casting plants
GF Casting Solutions is reducing its presence in iron casting in Europe, in order to achieve a stronger focus on light metal casting. As a consequence, the iron casting plants located in Singen and Mettmann (Germany) have been divested as of December 2018. The reshaping of its portfolio will allow GF Casting Solutions to better leverage opportunities in light vehicle structures and aircraft engine components.
CEO change at GF
The Board of Directors of GF has appointed Andreas Müller as CEO of the Corporation. At the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of 17 April 2019 he will take over from Yves Serra, who has reached the retirement age of 65. Andreas Müller is today CFO and Member of the Executive Committee of GF. Previously, he was CFO of GF Casting Solutions for eight years. Andreas Müller has extensive experience in finance & operations, portfolio management, acquisitions, risk management, IT and strategy. The Board of Directors of GF will propose the election of Yves Serra to the Board at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.