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 European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), organisers of the Alufoil Trophy, announced the closing date for the next competition has been extended to 15 December 2017. This is to enable as many companies as possible to prepare entries, which will be judged in January 2018.
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.
Novelis Inc. has announced a USD4.5 million manufacturing investment at its facility in Warren, Ohio. The investment in state-of-the-art technology provides greater versatility for pre-treatments, improves operational efficiency and reduces costs over time. The Warren facility has 75 employees dedicated to applying coating to rolled aluminium sheet. The sheet is then used for production of lids for the tops of aluminium beverage cans, producing enough for more than a billion beverage can lids each month.
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.
UC Rusal has announced that aluminium alloys 8030 and 8176 have been successfully approved by Russian authorities for the use in electrical wiring applications. This approval opens up new market opportunities for aluminium.
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.
German manufacturers of tubes and aluminium aerosol cans are currently enjoying good market conditions. However, the industry is concerned about increases in the price of raw materials and consumables, which are substantial in some cases. The price of oil has risen by about 20% since June 2017, as the German aluminium association, GDA, points out, and the price of aluminium has increased by a good 10% during the same period. Furthermore, the coatings and printing inks industry is bemoaning bottlenecks in the supply of some raw materials.
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.
Aluminium beverage cans are the most recycled drinks package in the world, according to a new analysis by Resource Recycling Systems (RRS). Commissioned by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME) and Abralatas in Brazil, the study used global recycling data to calculate and validate the global recyclability rates for aluminium, PET and glass beverage containers. The study established a global weighted average recycling rate for aluminium at 69%, compared to PET at 43% and glass at 46%.
China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in SilverYachts, an Australia-based all-aluminium superyacht builder. The transaction marks a strategic move for both parties to make further inroads in expanding the application of aluminium in the marine sector. “We are delighted to join hands with SilverYachts to navigate the high-end marine sector at full speed,” said Lu Changqing, president and executive director of China Zhongwang.
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.
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.
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.
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.