Site: CTIF 44, Avenue de la division Leclerc F92318 Sevres Cedex, France
Date Visited: April 5, 1996 WTEC Attendees: D. Apelian (report author), M.C. Flemings, P.H. Mikkola Hosts: Jean-Louis Fouret, Director of Technology Alain Reynaud Patrick Hairy Jean-Marcel Masson Michel Stucky
The Centre Technique des Industries de la Fonderie (CTIF) is a research institution designated to serve the French foundry industry, which is an over Fr 30 billion industry employing 50,000 people. There are 160 professional and non-professional employees at CTIF, most of them located at the main central facility in Sevres. There is a small staff at the CTIF satellite branches at Charleville, Tours, Saint-Dizier, and Lyon-Villeurbanne. The funding for CTIF comes totally from the industrial sector: it receives no government funds. CTIF's annual budget is about Fr 75 million (about $15 million). Two-thirds of this comes from membership fees while the other third comes from services rendered -- i.e., consultation and specific custom tailored projects. The membership fees are dictated by the Syndicat General des Fondeurs de France (SGFF); the fee structure was 0.31% of company sales at the time of the WTEC visit. SGFF sets the fee structure and mandates that the industry support CTIF for a five-year period. SGFF evaluates this mandate every five years based on its evaluation of CTIF's performance. Foundries with fewer than 10 employees do not pay a fee.
CTIF's research agenda is decided through a committee structure. There are six technical committees representing various sectors of the industry, each made up of 10 foundrymen. These committees meet several times per year and, through dialogue and discussion, the research agenda of CTIF is set.
Technology transfer and dissemination of information is a very important agenda for CTIF. Reports are written and become one of the main vehicles for information dissemination. Also, special focus meetings as well as special seminars are held throughout the year. Training is another important agenda item for CTIF. In addition to generic courses such as on ISO 9000, CTIF also offers custom-tailored courses for the industrial sector. Some recent examples of such courses are high pressure die casting technology and quality enhancement in die castings. CTIF also is embarking on distance learning to reach out to the foundry industry not only in France but also elsewhere in Europe. CTIF has an excellent library collection of 200,000 foundry items, a great resource for the industry.
Regarding the foundry industry in France, CTIF personnel indicated that they were also having difficulties in recruiting good people. As in other parts of Europe (and in Japan), some of the best students are pursuing interests in management and finance rather than in technical fields such as foundry technology.
CTIF's research agenda covers a wide spectrum of foundry related issues:
Specific to metal-mold processes, there are numerous projects related to die casting:
Other key developments at CTIF are green technologies (environmental issues) and standardization for molded alloys and cast products.