With more than 250 participants and speakers from EU institutions, industry and academia, European Aluminium’s event Driving Mobility to a Low Carbon Future yesterday discussed lightweighting’s potential to reduce CO2 emissions in transport. The industry unveiled new evidence and positioned itself as a leading voice to abandon the mass-based system.
US President Donald J. Trump signed a presidential memorandum yesterday calling on Secretary Wilbur Ross to prioritize a Department of Commerce investigation to the effects of aluminium imports on US national security. The inquiry will consider overcapacity, dumping, illegal subsidies and other factors to determine whether aluminium imports threaten American economic security and military preparedness.
Interpack 2017, the world’s most important packaging show, provides the perfect platform to demonstrate the continued importance of aluminium foil as one of the major forces in packaging development and technology; keeping it at the heart of the industry. The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), Stand C53 in Hall 10 at the exhibition, will once again feature live Foil & Taste events, showing all the benefits of alufoil packaging in a diverse range of markets and with experts on hand to answer questions. The Stand, shared with Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE), will enable visitors from across the world to see how aluminium foil works with other materials too, such as plastics and paper, to provide the best solutions for an ever-increasing range of products.
Zhengzhou Mingtai Transportation New Materials (ZMT) in Xingyang, Zhengzhou, China, has placed follow-up orders with SMS group for a 125-MN extrusion press and a 60-MN tube press to be installed in its new works built in Xingyang. In the summer of 2016, ZMT had already ordered an 82-MN extrusion press for the same site. The now ordered 60-MN tube press will produce 8,000 tonnes a year of seamless tubes in diameters of up to 400 mm. While the 82-MN extrusion will be designed for a maximum profile width of 700 mm, the 125-MN press will be able to make profiles up to 900 mm wide.
Ball Corporation and Unilever have partnered to bring a more sustainable aluminium aerosol can to the market. The new Rexona and Sure antiperspirant cans employ Ball’s innovative ReAl technology. The new metal alloy that utilizes recycled content exhibits increased strength and allows Ball to lightweight its impact extruded aerosol cans by 20%. This equates to an product carbon footprint reduction of 18% for the 150-millilitre aerosol can used for Unilever’s Rexona and Sure antiperspirant when compared to a standard can.
Sapa will deliver to Alstom structural aluminium frames, solebars and end-wall profiles for rail carriages in high-speed trains that will be used by Amtrak in the United States. The aluminium solutions to be delivered from Sapa’s upgraded operation in Lichtervelde, Belgium, cover extrusion, machining, welding and kitting – in total about 1,000 tonnes.
Outotec has agreed with Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) on the design and delivery of anode rodding shop facility for Alba’s smelter expansion. This is the largest order for Outotec in close to two years. Outotec is to deliver fully equipped anode rodding shop as well as bath and butts material recycling facility. The scope of supply includes process engineering, proprietary and other process equipment as well as procurement and construction. Once operational this will be the world’s most modern rodding shop, says Outotec.
Arconic announced that Klaus Kleinfeld, by mutual agreement with the Arconic Board of Directors, has stepped down as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Arconic and has resigned as a Board member. David P. Hess, a current Board member, has been appointed as Interim CEO of Arconic and will remain on the Board. Patricia F. Russo, Arconic’s current Lead Director, has been appointed as Interim Chair of the Board. Ms. Russo has served on the Board since 2008 and has been serving as Lead Director since 2015.
From 25 to 26 October 2017 ALUMINIUM USA will take place for the second time. After the promising launch in Detroit in 2015 it moved from Motor City to Music City in Nashville, Tennessee, to enlarge its commuting area. With ALUMINIUM USA Reed Exhibitions have enforced their event activities in one of the aluminium sector’s most important regions worldwide.
Alum SA Tulcea in Romania will take delivery of a new central chain bucket elevator type BWZ from Aumund Fördertechnik GmbH in April 2017. The new 100 t/h bucket elevator will be used in the production process to feed calcined aluminium oxide into the silo. The installation of the new bucket elevator will enable the plant operator to dispense with a machine previously purchased from another manufacturer which is no longer performing.
Arconic has announced that the installation of a new plate stretcher is complete. The stretcher produces highly-differentiated aerospace and industrial plate. The USD150 million investment in the machine is backed by customer contracts, including one with Airbus, valued at around USD1 billion. The plate stretcher stands for multiple world records: it is the longest (over 26 yards, 24 m), widest (over 14 feet, 4 m), thickest (over 12 inches, 30 cm) and heaviest (over 40,000 lbs, 18 t) stretcher ever built, and equipped with a world-record pull force of 35 million pounds (15.9m t).
Aluminium group Hydro will officially inaugurate its new Automotive Line 3 in Grevenbroich, Germany, on 4 May. The €130 million project is one of Hydro’s strategic investments in European industry. It also demonstrates that the auto industry is increasingly using body sheet made from the light metal aluminium. “Our new automotive line will help lightweight millions of cars each year and strengthen aluminiums’ position as a building block of modern society – which from our new automotive line comes with quality stamp ‘Made in Europe’ – Mit Leichtigkeit!” says Hydro president and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
Arconic Inc. has announced the divestiture of its Fusina rolling mill in Italy to Slim Aluminium. The transaction is part of the company’s continued drive to convert the business from a commodity producer to a high-margin aerospace and automotive supplier. Slim Aluminium is an Italy-based rolling mill business. At present the company has a production capacity of around 92,000 tonnes a year, which includes the production of foil, a wide range of coils and sheets, circles and shaped blanks. Slim Aluminium SpA is fully owned by funds managed by Quantum Capital Partners.
Aluminium drink bottles are predicted rapid growth: leading bottlers are increasingly using ‘DWI Bottle Cans’ as premium packaging, which allows for improved freedom of design. As drawing and wall ironing (DWI) is used in the production of bottle cans, they require significantly less raw materials than traditional extruded bottles. Experts are going so far as to say that, in the future, more of these aluminium bottles will be produced every year than aerosol cans. The trend has spread from Japan to the USA and also to China. It is in this context that the world’s largest press manufacturer, Schuler, has partnered up with Japanese specialists in DWI Bottle Cans, TMC.
Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (Garmco) in Bahrain appointed Mohammed Essa interim chief executive, effective 30 March 2017. He succeeds Jean-Baptiste Lucas who leaves the company after two years in office as CEO. Mohammed Essa has been with Garmco for more than 30 years. He joined the company in 1985 as a material tester in laboratory and served in key departments such as Sales and Marketing, Operations and Quality Control. His most recent position was general manager of Operations.
Constellium has installed a new recycling furnace at its Muscle Shoals, Alabama facility. The now fully operational furnace is expected to increase the total recycling output by 77,110 tonnes, or 5.2 billion additional used beverage cans per year. The Muscle Shoals plant will then be expected to recycle the equivalent of nearly 20 billion cans per year – almost one-fifth of the cans sold in the United States.
Showa Aluminium Can Corp. (SAC) and Carabao Group (CBG) have agreed to establish a joint corporation to manufacture and sell aluminium cans. The plant will operate a production line with a capacity of 1 billion cans a year. The cans will be supplied to the adjacent CBG factory to fill beverages into containers.
The Global Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) has become a member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) to further strengthen its position as a global voice for responsible and sustainable aluminium foil market growth, worldwide. GLAFRI will join 42 other members of ASI, including several national aluminium associations, foil converters as well as industrial users and international civil society organisations.
Oliver Hommel, president of GLAFRI, confirmed that the decision to join had been reached following strategic discussions at the 2016 Global Foil Roller Conference in Shanghai and its annual webinar early this year, “We are very glad to join ASI as one of the key objectives of GLAFRI is to promote sustainable growth for our sector. We are convinced that a close cooperation with ASI will encourage our members to enhance even further their responsible management programs and will contribute to positioning aluminium foil best in the sustainability debate.”
The German aluminium semi-finished products industry showed itself to be strong and in good condition last year. Production of German rolling and extrusion press plants rose by 7.8% to roughly 2.63 million tonnes, which corresponds to annual sales of roughly six billion euros. For economic development in 2017 semi-finished product companies remain optimistic. “Opportunities for aluminium remain very good in a wide variety of areas of application and industries. Not only has it become an innovative material of the future in automobile manufacturing, but also in other mobility applications such as aircraft and ship building, or in rail and utility vehicles the demand for aluminium will continue to increase,” says Bernd Schäfer, chairman of the aluminium semis division of the German aluminium association GDA, on the general meeting in mid-March 2017.
The output of the European tube industry continued its upward trend in 2016 despite the complicated economic and political environment in Europe and the rest of the world. According to the European Tube Manufacturers Association (etma), total tube production rose one per cent.
Rio Tinto has awarded more than USD900 million in contracts to Queensland suppliers as the development of the Amrun bauxite project on Cape York Peninsula continues. The Queensland spend makes up almost two thirds of the USD1.38 billion in contracts awarded to Australian suppliers for the project to date. 509 Queensland businesses have been engaged directly and indirectly to supply goods and services to the site.
Arconic has entered into a multi-year agreement with Toyota North America. Arconic will supply aluminium to the carmakers all-new Lexus RX. The vehicle debuted last year and became Toyota’s first vehicle in North America to prominently feature aluminium exterior panels.“Automakers worldwide are turning to aluminium for the stronger, tougher, higher performing vehicles that consumers demand,” said Mark Vrablec, president of Arconic’s Aerospace & Automotive Products business. “Many bestselling vehicles in America have already converted to aluminium for improved performance, including better fuel efficiency, more towing and payload capacity, and improved vehicle safety scores. This trend will continue. We are proud to expand our relationship with Toyota.”
This year’s Aluminium China in Shanghai from 19-21 July is set to mark a new period of growth in the aluminium industry and reflect strengthening market conditions in China and across the world. Aluminium China 2017 will focus on the transformation driven by new technologies in areas such as lightweight vehicle manufacturing and consumer electronics.
Novelis has expanded its automotive supply capabilities by signing an agreement with next-generation car company, NIO, to provide innovative aluminium solutions for its fleet of smart, high-performance, premium electric vehicles. NIO will use Novelis Advanz aluminium alloys to create a wide range of structural components and parts for its aluminium-intensive NIO electric SUV models to be launched over the next five years. The NIO partnership marks Novelis’ first major commitment in the premium electric vehicle segment. Supply for NIO will come from Novelis’ Changzhou plant, China’s first facility dedicated to manufacturing heat-treated automotive sheet.
A strong performance from European aluminium foil rollers in the last half of the year has lifted deliveries above pre-economic crisis levels for the first time in a decade. Domestic deliveries showed a marked improvement (+1.5%) compared with a year earlier, and exports performed better than expected, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries, based in Ludington, Michigan, has placed an order with SMS group to supply a HybrEx25 extrusion press. The 25 MN (2,750 US-tons) press will be the third SMS press for Whitehall and the first machine of this series for the North American aluminum market. It will considerably reduce energy consumption and boost productivity by up to 20 percent. “The new HybrEx press is very resource-efficient. That makes it sustainable, cost-saving and eco-friendly – and that is what convinced us,” says Mike Wegener, director of Manufacturing Engineering at Whitehall.
Constellium N.V. has reported results for the full year 2016. Adjusted Ebitda grew by 10% to €377 million reflecting continued operational improvement in the P&ARP (Packaging & Automotive Rolled Products) segment, strong momentum and higher profitability in the AS&I (Automotive Structures & Industry) segment and stable performance in the A&T (Aerospace & Transportation) segment despite evidence of softening aerospace demand at year-end. CEO Jean-Marc Germain commented: “We remain confident in the long-term demand across our targeted end markets and in our ability to continue to grow adjusted Ebitda in the high single digits annually over the next three years.”
SNC-Lavalin is currently conducting a feasibility study for Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) for its tenth generation Technology Pilot Section project, located at EGA’s Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The objectives of the study are to define the project and validate the budget in order to launch the execution phase of the Pilot Section. The work is being carried out from EGA’s Al Taweelah site. Design and detailed engineering work has already been completed by the EGA technology team.
“We have established a long-lasting relationship with EGA, and we are proud to once again work with them on setting the foundations for another ambitious project,” said José J. Suárez, president, Mining & Metallurgy. “We are looking forward to the next phase of this project that expands and adds to EGA’s already impressive asset portfolio, being one of the largest aluminium producers in the world.”
Alcoa Corporation is consolidating its business units to reduce complexity. Effective immediately, the aluminium smelting, cast products and rolled products businesses, along with the majority of the energy segment assets, will be combined into a new Aluminium business unit. As a result, the company’s three business units are Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium. Streamlining the number of business units “will increase our operational agility, lower costs and promote more efficient internal coordination. We will continue to review our company structure and processes to ensure that Alcoa remains resilient through all market cycles,” said Alcoa’s CEO, Roy Harvey. Tim Reyes, president of Alcoa Cast Products since 2015, has been appointed president of the new Aluminium unit.
BAGR Berliner Aluminiumwerk GmbH in Germany, which is a group company of Metalcorp Group in Amsterdam, has acquired 50% of the shares of Stockach Aluminium GmbH from SSVP III, a Private Equity Fund that is advised by Orlando Management AG. BAGR and Stockach Aluminium produce rolling slabs made from secondary aluminium. With locations in Berlin and Stockach, the companies do not only complement each other from a geographical point of view but also with regards to their product portfolio.
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.