Hydro has decided to upgrade and start up the second production line at Hydro Husnes in Norway. With both lines in operation, production of primary aluminium at Husnes will double. The line is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2020 and will create 90 new positions.
Constellium N.V. has strengthened its long-term partnership with Audi to supply aluminium automotive body sheet (ABS) as well as structural components for the new Audi A7 Sportback. Produced at the Audi plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, the new A7 model embodies Audi’s new design language with particularly dynamic lines and a sporty character.
The automobile market is and continues to be a driver of growth and innovation for the aluminium industry and is one of the greatest drivers for aluminium material and process development. This is something the participants of the EAC European Aluminium Congress 2017 could agree on. With approximately 300 participants, the Congress held in Düsseldorf in late November of 2017 served as the industry meeting point of the year for the international aluminium industry's experts. The EAC 2017 was organized as part of the German-Austrian-Swiss aluminium alliance 'D-A-CH, Allianz für Aluminium' by the GDA Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie, Düsseldorf, in cooperation with the Swiss aluminium association 'alu.ch' and the Austrian Economic Chamber WKO, 'Fachverband NE-Metallindustrie'. These three countries represent by far the largest European economic area with a common language.
Rolling mill manufacturer Mino SpA in Italy has been awarded a contract by Gränges Americas for the supply of a new 90-inch cold rolling mill. Through this expansion at its facility in Huntingdon, Tennessee, Gränges will meet the growing demand for foil, automotive heat exchanger materials, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications of its North American customers. The new mill will be equipped with latest rolling technologies and process control solutions and “set a benchmark for quality in the foil and automotive heat exchanger markets,” stresses Mino.
Aluminum USA 2017, which took place on 25-26 October in Nashville, reports a 13% increase in attendance and a 23% increase in exhibiting companies over 2015 with significant increase in representation in the sectors of aircraft and aerospace, automotive, building and construction, and engineering.
Spectro Alloys Corp. is to invest USD5.5m in its aluminium recycling facility in Rosemount, Minnesota. The investment will add jobs, expand recycling capabilities and improve melting safety and efficiency – reducing gas and electricity needed in the recycling process. The project, which will be implemented by mid-2018, includes a new building addition which will house a 21-tonne rotary furnace capable of melting a wide range of aluminium scrap types. It will incorporate state-of-the-art technology, including a filtration plant that will reduce emissions from the recycling process.
Arconic Inc. plans to install a new horizontal heat treatment furnace at its Davenport Works in Iowa. Heat treatment is a required step in the production of certain high-strength products, and is essential for products intended for large aerospace and industrial applications. This new furnace will enable Arconic to heat-treat longer and thicker plate than before, including material for Arconic’s recently installed Thick Plate Stretcher, which began commercial production this year and is the largest thick plate stretcher in the world. Need for thick aluminium plate is growing, particularly as demand for composite wings, made with monolithic thick plate wing ribs, increases.
Aleris has opened its aluminium automotive body sheet production facility in Lewisport, Kentucky. The project, which represents a USD400 million investment, positions Aleris to meet significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminium use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company began shipping automotive products from Lewisport to customers this month.
Novelis has announced that its Advanz 6HF-e/s200 aluminium alloy is now available in North America. This heat-treatable alloy, first introduced on the European market, provides automakers greater design flexibility due to its superior formability, strength performance and weight savings for outer and inner applications.
Boeing has announced its investment in Valencia, Calif.-based Gamma Alloys, a leader in aluminium alloys focused on developing advanced metal-matrix composites for use in aerospace, automotive and other industries. This investment by Boeing HorizonX Ventures, which was established earlier this year, is its first in advanced materials and machining development and applications.
Aleris has signed a multi-year agreement with Bombardier to supply aluminium flat rolled products for a variety of Bombardier aircraft programmes. The new agreement extends the scope of products supplied by Aleris to include technically demanding high strength and superior corrosion resistant plate products.
The new Danieli DiamondFlex 6-high cold rolling mill (CM4 designation) will be installed in a new building at Logan Aluminum in Logan County, Western Kentucky, USA. The operation of the new mill will further enhance Logan’s capabilities by rolling 29.5-tonne coils with maximum strip width of 2,133 mm at speeds of up to 2,200 m/min. Logan’s new mill will be the fastest cold mill in the world, and also the most powerful with a nominal stand power of 9,500 kW.
The mill will produce can-stock and supply the substantial increases in demand forecast for automotive flat products. The close collaboration and partnership between Logan and Danieli ensures that the CM4 mill will encompass Logan’s experience and expertise in operating and optimizing high performance mills.
Charles “Chip” Blankenship (51) has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Arconic and a member of the board of directors, effective 15 January 2018. He is a 24-year veteran of General Electric (GE) who spent much of his career in its aviation and jet engine businesses.
Blankenship brings 20 years of aerospace experience to Arconic, having worked across GE’s aviation businesses, including aero engines, industrial gas turbines and aerospace alloy development. He previously led GE Aviation’s Commercial Engines Operation, the world’s leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial aircraft.
Toyota recently raised 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.
UC Rusal has announced the launch of an experimental reduction area at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter, which will operate under the EcoSoderberg technology. The total amount of investment in the project amounted to 540 million roubles (USD9.4m). Implementing EcoSoderberg technology is one of the priority retrofitting projects for the Russian aluminium producer. New generation pot cells have a significantly reduced environmental impact, and bring increased energy efficiency to aluminium smelters and automation for the majority of production processes.
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.
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.
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.
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.