As far back as 5000 BC copper and gold were being used to cast artifacts; and iron casting was started in 500 BC. Today, non-ferrous foundries worldwide annually produce around 20 m tonnes; and grey cast iron, malleable cast iron, spheroidal graphite iron and cast steel foundries approx. 70 m tonnes of raw and finished components for the automobile, engineering, shipbuilding, hydraulics and construction industries.

Here we will be referring to iron and steel foundries. The main raw material for products is recycled scrap metal and pig iron.