Alro S.A. in Romania implements a long-term programme of over USD100 million to increase energy efficiency and to reduce the company’s specific consumption, as part of its Green Factory programme. “Over the past 15 years, we have continually invested in modern equipment that has increased not only production, but also operational efficiency,” said general manager Gheorghe Dobra. “In addition, our research programmes have helped us achieve much lower energy consumption and emissions compared to industry average. Now is the time to take the next step, to further reduce the industrial carbon footprint, but at the same time to continue to increase the production of high and very high added-value aluminium and to strengthen our position in sophisticated markets such as aerospace or automotive.”
ASAS Alüminyum is one of the leading aluminium companies in Turkey. The company operates the largest aluminium extrusion press in Turkey and its product range includes high-tech axial corrugated aluminium heat pipes for communication satellites. ASAS has recently won two tenders under a project carried out by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research, especially when it comes to particle physics.
Constellium N.V. has signed a multi-year agreement with Bombardier to supply flat rolled products in a rich mix of alloys, shapes and applications for a number of their aircraft programmes. In this new contract, Constellium will become one of the leading suppliers of flat rolled products to Bombardier globally, strengthening its position as a strategic supplier.
In the first half of 2017, the total number of tubes delivered by all manufacturers which are members of the european tube manufacturers association (etma) amounted to nearly 5.4 billion. This mid-year figure is 2% higher compared with the same period in 2016. Aluminium tubes put in an above-average performance, having increased by a good 3%. The aluminium tube sector benefited from stable demand from its main markets, namely cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well as considerable increases in the household and food segment.
In the first half of 2017, the members of the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (Aerobal) delivered an impressive 2.9 billion aluminium aerosol cans worldwide. That means the output is more or less at the same level as 2016, a year that ended with record results for the industry.
Hammerer Aluminium Industries Santana Srl, based in Santana, Romania has ordered a second homogenizing plant consisting of two batch furnaces, a cooling station and handling equipment from Hertwich Engineering, a subsidiary of the SMS group. Commissioning is scheduled for February 2018.
Oliver Janz has taken over the worldwide technical management of the KSM Castings Group’s production plants, effective since 1 October 2017. He has been with the KSM Castings Group since 2008. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, has extensive professional experience and since 2012 has looked after production plants for the group in China, the USA and Germany. Janz has in particularly successfully managed and significantly further developed the Wuppertal site. From now onwards he will be responsible for the technical development and future orientation of the worldwide sites.
In cooperation with Audi, Henkel has developed an auto body pre-treatment process. The patented two-step process enables surface treatment of multi-metal auto bodies with an aluminium content of up to 100%.
The number of enterprises and research institutes which are engaged with the manifold application and development opportunities of 3D printing processes is growing. These processes, also called additive respectively generative manufacturing processes, can be applied to produce parts which cannot be manufactured in a conventional way. Up to now, 3D printing processes do not compete with pressure die-casting. They are, however, suitable to enhance the performance capabilities of enterprises in this industry.
The first cast was achieved at Garmco’s new remelt facility in Bahrain early in August. The aluminium slabs were produced in the presence of both Garmco’s operation team and executives, and Fives’ representatives. At the end of August, the first batch of scalped slabs came out from the new production line.
Scalping consists of mechanical removal of contamination from surface of a slab cast prior to hot rolling. Following scalping, the slabs have now been successfully rolled at the
existing hot rolling mill and cold rolled to finished gauge thickness. During the project execution, safety was at the heart of Fives’ priority. Thanks to a very strict HSE policy and the daily work of Fives’ teams on site, 1.5m working hours without any LTI (Lost Time Injuries) were reached.
Aluminium extrusion company Hammerer Aluminium Industries (HAI), based in the Upper Austrian town of Ranshofen, has secured full capacity utilisation for several years to come with major new orders from the automotive and rail vehicle industries. “New orders received – amounting to more than 200 million euros – in addition to our ongoing business mean that our production halls will be working to capacity until 2020,” reports CEO Rob van Gils. “Despite the adverse conditions faced after the financial crisis along with difficulties in the solar industry, we’ve done our homework well in recent years. The acquisition of plants in Germany, our focus on the highest product quality and the expansion of production capacity are now paying dividends.”
Toyota just upped the stakes to remain the top manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide with a USD373.8m investment in five US manufacturing plants that will support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain and to implement Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant. Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.
Norsk Hydro’s acquisition of Orkla’s 50% ownership in Sapa was completed on 2 October, giving Hydro full ownership in the global leader in extruded aluminium solutions and making the company a leading force in the global aluminium industry. Sapa will become a new business area in Hydro, Extruded Solutions, and will be headed by Egil Hogna. The agreed enterprise value for 100% of Sapa is NOK27 billion. A preliminary purchase price for the shares, adjusted for net debt and normalized working capital, of NOK11.86 billion was paid in cash to Orkla.
Kobe Steel, Ltd and Novelis Korea, Ltd have completed their arrangements announced on 10 May to establish a 50:50 joint venture called Ulsan Aluminium, Ltd to produce aluminium rolled products in South Korea. Ulsan Aluminium will provide Kobe Steel with a stable supply of cold-rolled aluminium. This will enable Kobe Steel to continue enhancing its current core businesses of can stock, disks and other aluminium products. Kobe Steel will also be able to further grow its aluminium sheet business to meet the growing demand for automotive closure panels in the expanding Asian market.
Jerry Quick will be president and chief executive of Ulsan Aluminium. The company employs around 600 people, has a production capacity of 300,000 tpy and is equipped with melting and casting facilities, hot and cold rolling line and auxiliary equipment.
BASF Venture Capital GmbH is leading an investment round in the Swedish high-tech company Applied Nano Surfaces Sweden AB (ANS), headquartered in Uppsala. ANS offers unique surface treatment technologies to reduce friction and wear in industrial and automotive applications. The investment is co-led by the existing investor Fouriertransform AB.
Airbus and Arconic have achieved a 3D printing first – the installation of a 3D printed titanium bracket on an Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic is 3D printing these parts for Airbus’s newest wide-body aircraft at Arconic’s additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. “Arconic is proud to partner with Airbus to advance aerospace additive manufacturing,” said Jeremy Halford, president of Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products. “Our comprehensive capabilities, from materials science leadership to qualification expertise, helped make this achievement possible. We look forward to continuing to advance the art of the possible in additive for aerospace.”
Constellium N.V. has extended its long-term contract with aircraft manufacturer Pilatus to support its new executive jets aircraft programme. With this agreement Constellium will supply an increased volume of aerospace plate to Pilatus. Under this contract, Constellium will supply Pilatus with aerospace plates from its manufacturing plant in Issoire, France, to support the delivery of more than 80 PC-24 Super Versatile Jets as part of Pilatus’ efforts to develop a new executive jet segment.
Aluminium extrusion company Sapa is to re-open its factory in Bedwas to supply the growing automotive industry demand for lightweight body structure solutions. The first customer to be supplied from the refurbished facility will be London Electrical Vehicle Company (LEVC), who has developed an all new zero-emissions capable black cab. Sapa is investing £9.6 million (€10.9m) in the plant refurbishment and new equipment to supply advanced aluminium components.
Gränges will invest USD110 million to expand its aluminium rolling operation in Huntingdon, Tennessee, meeting growing demand for light gauge foil, automotive heat exchanger materials, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications. The expansion will create 85 permanent full-time jobs, solidifying Gränges commitment to its North American customers and the markets they serve. The expansion was supported by the state of Tennessee and local Huntingdon Officials.
Zhongwang USA and Aleris Corp. have agreed to extend the termination date of their Merger Agreement until 29 September 2017. An Aleris spokesman is cited that the two companies remain in discussions on the pending acquisition of Aleris. The transaction still faces regulatory hurdles in the US. There is concern that the takeover of Aleris by Zhongwang would touch national security interests.
The US Department of Justice last week filed a complaint accusing a Zhongwang affiliate, Perfectus Aluminum, of illegally importing aluminium from China into the US between 2011 and 2014 and avoiding tariffs of USD1.5 billion.
Talum d.d. based in the Slovenian town of Kidri?evo has ordered a continuous homogenizing furnace and a helical ultrasonic testing station from Hertwich. The new plant will start operation in July 2018 and will almost double the homogenizing capacity of the group.
Gränges Sweden together with Erbslöh Aluminium in Germany invest in a joint venture to produce aluminium billets utilizing advanced spray-forming technology. For Gränges the investment provides opportunities to expand within Active Brazing with products such as Trillium, an innovative technology that enhances the production and performance of brazed aluminium heat exchangers. Furthermore, Erbslöh Aluminium continues the production of Dispal billets for power-train-management and industrial purposes.
Neckarsulm-based KS Huayu AluTech, a joint venture between Rheinmetall Automotive and China’s Huayu Automotive Systems, has been awarded a major order for aluminium engine blocks worth 170 million euros (lifetime volume) by a German premium carmaker.
At a ceremony held during the Aluminium CHINA 2017 in Shanghai, the first ever winners of the prestigious Alufoil Trophy competition to be held in China were announced. Sixteen aluminium foil products and solutions from 13 companies were awarded an Alufoil Trophy China.
Ball Corporation will cease production at its Birmingham / Alabama, Chatsworth / California and Longview / Texas, beverage packaging plants in 2018. Existing customers will be supplied by other Ball facilities. The company will also begin construction on a new beverage packaging facility in Goodyear / Arizona, which is expected to start production in the second quarter of 2018 and will serve growing customer demand for specialty cans in the southwestern US.
Aluminium foil deliveries in the period April to June 2017 showed little difference to the same period in 2016 according to figures just released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). Total domestic deliveries of all gauges increased by only 0.2% compared with last year, while exports dropped by just 1%, an encouraging sign this area of trade could be improving again.
Business activity in the German aluminium industry has shown a largely positive trend in the first half of 2017. Aluminium producers (+5.7%) and converters (+3%) both in-creased production, although there was a slight decline (-1%) in the production of semis. The expectations for the whole of 2017 remain positive: “Despite political uncertainty, the German economy is reporting good growth,” said Christian Wellner, executive member of the managing board of the German Aluminium Association (GDA). “Besides these underlying conditions, there are also the positive economic forecasts for aluminium, which are pointing upwards for almost all product sectors in Germany and Europe.”
In the context of its second quarter results, Russia’s aluminium producer UC Rusal commented on the market conditions as follows: “During the first half of the year, the market environment was favourable for the aluminium industry. On the back of global economy growth, demand for aluminium since the beginning of the year was robust reaching 5.7% in the first half 2017 on the year-ago period. On the supply side, the market outside of China remained in deficit, supporting the LME price. Such trends positively impacted Rusal’s financial results.”
Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminium factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions of euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019. The objective is to safeguard the productivity in the rolling mills with powerful, reliable drive systems.
Fluke Process Instruments has announced the launch of a new website, www.flukeprocessinstruments.com, combining its extensive global capabilities in industrial temperature measurement. The website was designed to reflect the company’s core competencies and mission to provide the most comprehensive infrared temperature measurement and profiling solutions for industrial, maintenance and quality control applications.
The international journal for industry, research and application of aluminium is published monthly. It provides information on all topical issues concerning the material, its production, processing, recycling and application. Furthermore, economic topics and ecological consequences of aluminium application are discussed. Thirty percent of all articles in the journal are written in English.
The trade journal is the leading title in the whole German-speaking area. It provides information on material-specific characteristics of aluminium, latest processing technologies and innovative applications in various branches and sectors of industry.