GF Casting Solutions

Enabling sustainable mobility with collaborative innovation

To meet the demands of the e-mobility sector, GF Casting Solutions is trusting Bühler not only as solution provider but also to face challenges head on with collaborative innovation. 

By 2027, the electric vehicle market in China is projected to reach a total revenue of USD 160 billion according to Statista. Compared to USD 59.47 million in 2020, it is clear that this sector is growing rapidly. This volume also establishes China as the biggest market for electric vehicles globally today. 

Suppliers to this industry are confronted with many challenges, ranging from changing market dynamics to tense supply chains. One of these is GF Casting Solutions, a business division of Swiss-based Georg Fischer AG. With more than 4,000 employees in 12 production sites worldwide, the division makes around 80% of its sales in the automotive segment. Having a regional presence in China contributes to the success of GF Casting solutions, this includes a site in Suzhou, close to Shanghai, that specializes in manufacturing and researching lightweight parts for the mobility sector. 


Watch this video and learn more about the collaboration between GF Casting Solutions and Bühler

Looking for a global partner

It was clear from the start that a supplier for GF Casting Solutions would have to be able to cover its global footprint to ensure optimal support and service at the same level for all locations. In Bühler the company found such a partner. The relationship already spans more than 40 years and runs deep, today especially so since both companies are focusing on improving the sustainability of the processes and value chains, they are active in. “We empower sustainable mobility,” says Oliver Teich, Chief Procurement Officer at GF Casting Solutions, quoting the division’s motto. “We strongly believe that we can make a positive impact towards a more sustainable process by looking at the whole lifecycle of a product, starting at research and development and ending when a part arrives with the customer,” he says. This matches with Bühler’s approach to making the value chains of our customers more sustainable by looking at them holistically and means that the partnership goes beyond a traditional customer-supplier relationship. 

Oliver Teich, Chief Procurement Officer at GF Casting Solutions Oliver Teich, Chief Procurement Officer at GF Casting Solutions Oliver Teich, Chief Procurement Officer at GF Casting Solutions
Bühler ServoDrive Bühler ServoDrive Bühler ServoDrive

In 2014 Bühler started developing the first simulations for the ServoDrive, a new, more efficient design for die casting drive units. By 2015, the development team was looking for industry partners to test this new solution with the aim of decreasing energy consumption and improving the sustainability of the die casting process. 


A constant exchange of ideas

“We were very glad to have GF Casting Solutions on board,” says Dominik Widler, Team Manager R&D Mechanical at Bühler, who was part of the development team for ServoDrive. “With their sophisticated setup, GF was the perfect sparring partner to test our ideas with and find out if they are feasible.” A fruitful and ongoing exchange started at this point, with regular meetings, on-site tests, and a bilateral knowledge exchange. Since 2018 the ServoDrive modules have been rolled out and tested for different machine sizes and are delivering on their promise. The new drive unit design enables customers to save up to 40% of energy compared to the reference cycle, decreases the wear on the pumps therefore increasing their lifetime, increases pressure stability, and opens the possibility of predictive maintenance which in turn can increase the uptime of the cell. 

The ServoDrive is being deployed at GF’s Suzhou site and contributes significantly to making the process there more sustainable. And this is not a one-off, but rather part of an ongoing relationship between GF and Bühler. After finishing the development and implementation of the ServoDrive both companies are staying connected: “We are still doing regular review meetings where we look at opportunities to collaborate further, on innovations, technologies, and technical performance,” says Teich. “We look at the whole portfolio, at the complete cell. And having an honest and trustful exchange is what makes this partnership so unique and fruitful, which will enable us to solve these challenges together.” 


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