New sheet facility

New sheet facility

Aleris has announced the opening of its aluminium automotive body sheet production facility in Lewisport, Kentucky.

The project, which represents a $400 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.

"The opening of our new automotive facility in Kentucky marks the completion of a significant piece of our strategic realignment, which includes expanding our capacity and capabilities to serve the automotive industry and other high value end uses,"  Aleris Chairman and CEO Sean Stack said.  "As an experienced supplier to automotive manufacturers in Europe, we look forward to partnering with customers more closely now in North America to bring them the most advanced auto body sheet products in the industry."

Lewisport is the company's first site in North America that is equipped with aluminium auto body sheet finishing capabilities.  Announced in 2014, the expansion includes the addition of heat treatment and finishing capabilities, including a new wide cold mill, two continuous annealing lines and an automotive innovation centre, which includes a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Detroit. 

"Strong customer collaboration in research and development has been a key component  of our success in serving the global automotive industry, and we look forward to building on that success with this expansion in North America," said Andreas Gondorf, vice president, Aleris Global Automotive. 

For more information visit: www.aleris.com

Advanced alloy

Advanced alloy

Novelis has announced its Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 aluminium alloy is now available in North America following its successful application in Europe. 

This heat-treatable alloy provides automakers greater design flexibility due to its superior formability, strength performance and weight savings for outer and inner applications.

The high-formable 6xxx-series alloy enables new opportunities to use aluminium for body sides, door inners, decklid outers and inners, and other closure panels. The alloy can also be used in designs and applications that require bending without the risk of cracking. In addition, Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 creates a weight savings of nearly one-third over steel in inner door applications, benefiting vehicles that need to achieve weight reduction due to consumer's desire for more in-vehicle content, while also improving fuel economy and reducing vehicle emissions.

"As a global leader in automotive alloy innovation, we are excited to offer solutions to meet the growing design and manufacturing needs of North American auto manufacturers," said Ganesh Panneer, Vice President and General Manager of Automotive, Novelis. "As automakers pursue more complex designs and increase the amount of in-vehicle content, the strength and advanced formability of Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 unlocks new engineering potential while offering critical weight reduction compared to steel. The expansion of this alloy into the North American market demonstrates our ability to draw on our automotive expertise and provide proven solutions across the globe."

Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 is the latest addition to Novelis' existing 6xxx-series. This innovation is part of the company's continued efforts to provide automakers with sustainable, high-performance solutions that can help drive the future of the automotive industry.

For more information visit: http://novelis.com/markets-we-serve/automotive/products/novelis-advanz-6hf-es-200/

Innovation challenge

Innovation challenge

Europe’s leading car manufacturers launch an open Innovation Challenge to reduce emissions 

Europe’s key car manufacturers, including Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA; suppliers (Thyssenkrupp, Novelis, Batz, Benteler) and knowledge partners (Swerea, Inspire, Fraunhofer LBF, RWTH-IKA, KIT-IPEK, University of Florence, Bax & Company, Ricardo) announced the ALLIANCE Open Innovation Lightweight Challenge. The challenge aims to reduce carbon emissions, by finding innovative and affordable solutions to lightweight cars. 

The ALLIANCE partners are inviting innovators to participate in this competition and present their lightweighting solutions in two categories: Materials, and Manufacturing. 

The challenge is now open for registration and teams will have until 15 January 2018 to submit their innovative lightweight solutions.
 
Participants will get technical support throughout the competition period and will have the opportunity to pre-assess the feasibility of their technology in a virtual vehicle model used in the ALLIANCE project. 

A jury of industry professionals will judge the solutions on three criteria: technology quality, vehicle applicability, and complementarity with ALLIANCE. 

The winners will get the chance to present their results in a dedicated presentation at the Aachen Body Engineering Days 2018 (18-20th September 2018), and have the opportunity to bring their technologies to a board formed by the six ALLIANCE OEM’s (Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA). 

“ALLIANCE is addressing weight reduction in an holistic way. That means we need to work together to achieve the environmental targets. In this context, the ALLIANCE Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge truly meets these needs.” 
Ahmet Dogan, Toyota Motor Europe Bax & Company, who are overseeing the challenge said, " It's a great opportunity for Europe's innovators to work with some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world." 

All of the submitted technologies will be included in all dissemination activities of the ALLIANCE project and presented to an extensive technical group of potential customers. 

For more information visit: www.lightweight-alliance.eu

Hydro fatality

Hydro fatality

An employee was involved in a fatal incident last week while performing routine work at Hydro’s Phoenix, Arizona, aluminium manufacturing facility. 

“At Hydro, safety is our first priority. Our thoughts go out to the family and colleagues of the employee involved in this tragic event,” says Charlie Straface, Hydro’s Business Unit President for Extrusion North America.

The company is temporarily standing down all local operations and will be providing on-site counselling services to employees.

“It is too early to say more about the cause of this incident, but we are together with relevant authorities conducting a thorough investigation to understand how this could have happened,” says Straface.

Hydro’s Phoenix, Arizona, facility has more than 360 people working in the casting, extrusion and fabrication of aluminium extrusions.

Hydro is a fully integrated aluminium company with 35,000 employees in 40 countries on all continents.

For more information visit: https://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2017/fatal-incident-at-phoenix-aluminum-facility/

Can recycling at 73%

Can recycling at 73%

The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in Europe (EU 28 + EFTA) increased by 1.6% to a new record level of 72.9% in 20141.

European Aluminium considers this result an important milestone on its path towards the future split aluminium recycling target of 75% for 2025, proposed by the European Union in its Circular Economy package.
 
On the whole European continent (including other East-European countries, Russia and Turkey) nearly 30 billion cans have been recycled. This means that every second an aluminium beverage can is being recycled somewhere in Europe! Their metal stays in the European circular economy and remains available for the production of new aluminium products. Recycling aluminium takes 95% less energy than producing it from its raw materials. The recycling process also generates only 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Aluminium beverage cans contribute to a large extent to the overall recycling result of all aluminium packaging. Although only a few European countries already report specific recycling numbers to Eurostat for the whole aluminium packaging fraction we can safely assume that all European citizens together recycle more than 60% of their used aluminium packaging. However, this also means that the aluminium industry together with its partners in the value chain has to bridge the gap with the newly proposed targets within a relatively short period of time. European Aluminium will continue to play its part in these activities.
 
Maarten Labberton, Director of the European Aluminium Packaging Group, calls upon the EU Member States to make an extra effort to collect, sort and recycle more drink cans and other aluminium packaging items within the coming years. ‘’While we support the ambitious 75% target for aluminium packaging we strongly recommend that local authorities together with the waste management chain invest more in innovative sorting technologies. Fortunately, these investments will pay off quickly, due to the relatively high scrap value of aluminium’.’
 
Through its successful awareness programme with the can manufacturers, Every Can Counts, European Aluminium is continuously addressing the collection and recycling of so called “out-of-home” cans; cans consumed at the workplace, at festivals or other outdoor events. In 2017 Poland and the Benelux countries joined Every Can Counts and more countries are expected to adopt this programme in the near future.

ALLOW launched

ALLOW launched

UC RUSAL reaffirms its environmental credentials with launch of new low carbon aluminium brand ALLOW.

The company is delighted to announce the launch of its bespoke new low carbon aluminium brand, ALLOW, which features a significantly lower carbon footprint – specific volume of greenhouse gas emissions – as compared to the industry average.

As demand amongst consumers grows for more sustainable and environmentally friendly aluminium, RUSAL has seized on the opportunity to utilise its unique access to clean, renewable hydro power to provide a product with a much reduced carbon footprint. ALLOW’s carbon footprint is lower than 4t CO2/t Al, while the world average is currently approximately 12t CO2/t Al (scope 1 and 2 at the smelter). All ALLOW branded metal produced by RUSAL will be independently verified so as to provide credible quality assurance for our customers.

To mark the official launch of the ALLOW brand, customers and representatives from across the aluminium sector were invited to a much anticipated event in London, held during LME Week.

Since its foundation, RUSAL has invested significantly into reducing its environmental footprint by modernising its facilities and developing new technologies. In 2016, its total expenditure on implementing environmental actions totalled USD119.9 million.

ALLOW marks a continuation of the Company’s industry leading strategy of improving the sustainability of its products and becoming a leading low carbon aluminium producer. Since 1990, RUSAL has decreased its GHG emission per tonne of aluminium produced by more than 57% and aims to be even more ambitious in the future.

Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL, commented: “The launch of our new low carbon aluminium brand, ALLOW, represents a watershed moment for RUSAL in terms of sales strategy development and work with our customers. We know that consumers are increasingly demanding ever greater detail about the provenance of the products they purchase and their associated carbon footprint. ALLOW will provide consumers and manufacturers alike with confidence that the aluminium used in their products has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry.”

For more information visit: https://allow.rusal.com

European Aluminium news

European Aluminium news

European Aluminium, the voice of the entire aluminium value chain, introduced five new member companies during its General Assembly last week, bringing its total membership to over 85 companies and associations representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries.

“I am delighted to welcome the new members and I am certain they will make a tremendous contribution through their participation in our horizontal Committees and Market Groups,” commented Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium. “The addition of new members also means a stronger value chain and industry voice. With EU legislation and global market trends creating both opportunities and challenges, it is now more important than ever to have a collective industry response to address issues in key areas such as energy, the circular economy, trade, innovation and sustainability.”

New member companies include:

Aludium
Aludium has over 60 years of experience in the transformation and processing of aluminium. The company has around 800 employees and uses a highly specialised production process to provide sheet metal and aluminium coil products to a wide range of industries. Aludium has the capacity to process more than 220,000 tons of product from its three plants in Amorebieta and Alicante (Spain) and Castelsarrasin (France).

BOAL
BOAL is a designer and manufacturer of aluminium greenhouse roof systems for horticulture. BOAL also produce and supply specialist extrusions to the building, engineering and transport industries. Its custom-made aluminium profiles and high-performance glass and poly greenhouses are used by growers in across the world to help meet the challenge of an increasing global food supply. BOAL has production sites in the UK and the Netherlands.

Liberty House Group
Liberty House Group is an international metals and industrial group. Liberty’s Aluminium division owns and operates the only remaining aluminium smelter in the UK – Liberty British Aluminium. Based in Scotland, the smelting facilities are powered by two neighbouring hydro-electric stations and a complex of on-site bio-diesel units, owned and managed by Liberty’s sister company SIMEC.

E-MAX
E-MAX aims to be the market leader in the processing of recycled aluminium for extrusion applications in Western Europe by offering its customers solutions with a very low carbon footprint. E-MAX is part of the industrial holding company Vaessen Industries and has production facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Kuusakoski Recycling
Kuusakoski Recycling is a provider of industrial recycling services and a processor and supplier of recycled metals in Northern Europe. It provides cost-effective, environmentally responsible recycling services to e-waste collectors, recyclers, enterprises, small businesses, non-profits, original equipment manufacturers, governments and municipalities. Kuusakoski and its subsidiaries have recycling operations in Finland, China, Estonia, the UK, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan and the USA.

An overview of all European Aluminium Members can be found here: https://www.european-aluminium.eu/about-us/our-members/

Danieli supplies Logan

Danieli supplies Logan

Danieli is to supply Logan Aluminum with the world’s most advanced and productive cold mill.

The new investment by Tri-Arrows Aluminum Inc. will feature Danieli DiamondFlex technology for can-stock and automotive flat products.

The new Danieli DiamondFlex 6-High Cold Rolling Mill (CM4 designation) will be installed in a new, dedicated building at Logan Aluminum, in Logan County, in Western Kentucky, USA. The operation of the new mill will further enhance Logan’s capabilities by rolling 29,500 kg [65,000 Ibs] coils with maximum strip width of 2133mm [84”] at speeds of up to 2200 m/min [7217 ft/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 9500kW [12,916 hP].

ALTEK launches AluSalt

ALTEK launches AluSalt

Altek has announced ALUSALT™, a “Mini Salt Slag Recycling” technology that has been developed over the past six years aimed at solving a major aluminium recycling industry challenge.

ALTEK have now successfully installed a large capacity salt slag recycling plant, as a demonstration unit, in Northern Europe at an aluminium recycling operation, where it is currently in the final stages of commissioning and optimisation. The plant has successfully taken salt slag, removed the salt, re-crystalised the salt for re-use, and generated oxides (NMP) that can be used in various markets.

Full commercialisation of this new technology will start in 2018.

For more information visit: https://www.altek-al.com

Can digital printing

Can digital printing

Responding to growing demands for greater flexibility for shorter-run, multi-version beverage packaging, Tonejet, the only manufacturer of advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, will put the spotlight on digital printing direct to the can at InPrint in Munich (14-16th November).

Tonejet’s direct-to-can digital printer – Cyclone – with inbuilt Rockwell iTRAK transport system has been designed to remove the barriers associated with small batch canning and includes features and capabilities adapted to the requirements of today’s print environment – a unique approach to beverage can production.

“We’ve chosen to launch Cyclone at InPrint as the show provides us with a great opportunity to discuss developments, changes and requirements within the industry” comments Marvin Foreman, Sales Manager at Tonejet. “We will demonstrate how Cyclone can revitalise production capabilities and create flexible run-length opportunities.”

“This system brings a new level of competitiveness to beverage can production for short to medium runs as well as ultra-short runs” continues Foreman. “Built to accommodate any design at any run length, Tonejet’s direct-to-can printing capabilities provides brands with an opportunity to manage special or one-off print runs and easily accommodate for events or festivals, social media campaigns and competitions or even limited-edition beverages. We recently worked with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, to produce customised cans for a large music festival they had sponsored.”

Using Tonejet direct-to-can printing capabilities, AB InBev created 10,000 customised cans for Tomorrowland (20-23rd and 28-30th July), the world’s biggest electronic dance music festival, bringing together some 400,000 visitors from around 200 countries.

Tonejet, working together with AB InBev, printed 15 different can designs featuring national flags across just 10,000 units. The cans were produced in the exact quantities required, without the minimum-order restrictions associated with traditional printing. The largest print run was 1400 cans, and the shortest was just 15 cans!

Unlike analogue processes, the low cost of digital can production means that specially brewed and branded products can be produced cost effectively and quickly and every single can could be produced with a different image if required.

Long lead times and minimum order requirements are eliminated, and as the system can print multiple jobs without stopping, product time-to-market is significantly decreased too. The cost per print is comparable to traditional can decorating processes and the digital offering means ‘one is the new minimum’.

The Tonejet Cyclone, with integrated Rockwell Automation iTRAK transport system, will be on show throughout InPrint 2017 in hall A6 on stand 536, demonstrating the many advantages of direct to shape digital beverage can printing.

For more information visit: http://www.bespoke.co.uk/tonejet-brings-direct-can-digital-printing-inprint-munich-2017/

EGA $300m project

EGA $300m project

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial project in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has completed a three-year, $300 million project to replace older production lines at its Jebel Ali aluminium smelter with the company’s own UAE-developed technology, boosting production capacity and reducing costs and environmental emissions.

All EGA’s 2,777 reduction cells, the swimming-pool sized tanks in which aluminium is smelted, now run on home-grown technology.

EGA produces one tonne in every 25 tonnes of aluminium made worldwide and makes the UAE the world’s fifth biggest aluminium producing nation. Aluminium is the largest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas.

EGA has focused on innovation for over 25 years and has used its own technology for smelter expansions since the 1990s, including the construction of EGA’s Al Taweelah smelter in Abu Dhabi which was the largest in the world when built.

The 520 reduction cells at Potline 1 and Potline 3 at EGA Jebel Ali were the company’s oldest and were originally built from 1979.

The new reduction cells each have the capacity to produce 20 per cent more aluminium than those they replaced, with 10 per cent less specific energy consumption to make each tonne of metal.

The new reduction cell’s technology also reduces emissions of perfluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas generated in the aluminium smelting process from anode effects, by 96 per cent.

The project boosts EGA’s production capacity by over 58,000 tonnes of aluminium per year.

The execution of the modernisation project took six million man-hours of work, and was finished without a single Lost Time Injury.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA, said: “This project to replace older reduction cells with UAE-developed technology boosts our competitiveness as one of the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producers in the world as the new reduction cells can produce more aluminium with less energy and with lower emissions. The most important achievement for me though was that a continuous focus on safety meant this challenging project was completed without hurting anyone.”

The replacement work at Potline 1 and Potline 3 was conducted progressively in 16 separate sections, to minimise the time reduction cells were out of production. The first stage took 55 days, but this was accelerated to just 38 days by the final section.

EGA’s latest technology, the 10th generation since the company’s technology development programme began, is amongst the most competitive in the global aluminium industry.

Last year EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its technology internationally, in a major milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy. Aluminium Bahrain selected EGA's technology for its new Potline 6 following a competitive tender.

In 2016 EGA produced 2.5 million tonnes of aluminium, a record for the company.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

Ecosoderberg Pilot

Ecosoderberg Pilot

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.
 
Implementing EcoSoderberg technology is one of the priority retrofitting projects for RUSAL. New generation potcells have a significantly reduced environmental impact, and bring increased energy efficiency to aluminium smelters and automation for the majority of production processes.
 
The pilot production at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter includes four retrofitted potcells. Before the end of 2017, the number of modernised potcells will increase to six.
 
Victor Mann, Technical Director of UC RUSAL, commented: “Based on the results of the pilot project, we will decide on the time-frame of the modernisation that will target all operating self-baking anode cells. In total, there are more than 500 of them at the smelter, which in the coming years will be upgraded.”
 
EcoSoderberg is a unique proprietary solution developed by the RUSAL's Krasnoyarsk-based Engineering and Technology Centre. The environmental effectiveness of the technology is due to its improved structural design and effective gas removal system.
 
As of today, over 60% of KrAZ capacities have been converted to the EcoSoderberg technology. Over the past three years, project investments have amounted to over 3 billion roubles. Retrofitting at KrAZ has resulted in a significant improvement in production efficiency and has reduced specific emissions of harmful substances: hydrogen fluoride emissions were reduced by 1.5 times, tarry substance was reduced by 2.7 times, and benzapyrene was reduced by 2.5 times. Re-fitting potcells to EcoSoderberg technology is now taking place at the Bratsk Aluminium Smelter (40 new generation cells have been installed). RUSAL is also planning to convert two potrooms at the Novokuznetsk Aluminium Smelter (NkAZ) to EcoSoderberg.
 
Introduction of the EcoSoderberg technology at IrkAZ is part of the integrated environmental initiatives ran by the smelter. Between 2016 and 2021, RUSAL will invest 5 billion roubles in a comprehensive retrofitting that will involve the modernisation of the treatment facilities and redesign of the gas removal systems.

For more information visit: https://rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/20066/

Rio Tinto talks

Rio Tinto talks

According to reports, Rio Tinto is in advanced talks to sell its aluminium assets in Australia and New Zealand to GFG Alliance, the investment company run by Sanjeev Gupta.

While the talks could end without agreement, Mr Gupta is said to be keen to buy Rio’s Pacific Aluminium business as he looks to build a global industrial conglomerate spanning metals, power, renewable energy and finance.

For more information visit: https://www.ft.com/content/c8f3b678-b269-11e7-aa26-bb002965bce8

Alcoa power contract

Alcoa power contract

Alcoa Corporation has announced that the company and power provider Luminant Generation Company LLC have terminated the electricity contract tied to Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations in Texas.

The smelter at Rockdale has been fully curtailed since the end of 2008.

The termination of the contract, which had been set to expire no later than 2038, was effective as of October 1, 2017.

While the Company sold surplus electricity since the smelter’s curtailment, Alcoa’s cost of power under the contract exceeded the related revenue.

The Company expects an annual improvement to net income and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of $60 million to $70 million as a result of the contract termination, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Reaching a resolution on the Rockdale power contract aligns with two of our strategic priorities – to reduce complexity and to drive returns,” said William Oplinger, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “It eliminates a complex, long-term contract tied to the Rockdale location, and positions Alcoa for improved profitability and higher returns.”

In accordance with the early termination agreement, Alcoa made a lump sum payment of $237.5 million on October 10, 2017 and transferred approximately 2,200 acres of related land and other assets to Luminant. The Company will record a charge of approximately $250 million (pre- and after-tax) in the fourth quarter of 2017 associated with the transaction.

In addition to the power contract, Alcoa and Luminant terminated other related fuel and lease agreements effective as of the same October 1 date.

As a result of the early termination, Alcoa has initiated a strategic review of the remaining buildings and equipment associated with the smelter, casthouse and the aluminium powder plant. A decision on those assets is expected by the end of 2017. Separately, the company continues to own more than 30,000 acres of land at the Rockdale site.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybh32xht

Constellium contract

Constellium contract

Constellium N.V. has announced that it 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 programs such as C Series, CRJ Series, Q Series, Global and Challenger. 

In this new contract, Constellium will become one of the leading suppliers of flat rolled products to Bombardier globally.

Constellium and Bombardier are long-time partners, with a strong history of collaborative research. Bombardier’s C Series aircraft aluminium-lithium fuselage sheets and extrusions are all currently supplied through Constellium’s Airware®platform.

“I am proud to see Bombardier and Constellium continuing to build on their partnership. This new contract allows us to further anchor our position as a key supplier of innovative aluminium solutions for Bombardier’s aircraft programs and as an industry leader more generally,” said Ingrid Joerg, President of Constellium’s Aerospace and Transportation business unit. “It demonstrates our expertise and skills in providing tailored products and spurs our ambition to pursue growth in the aerospace industry.”

Bombardier will be served by both of Constellium’s industrial facilities in Ravenswood, USA and Issoire, France.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7q75z97

Falsified data

Falsified data

According to reports, Kobe Steel has admitted to falsifying inspection data on about 20,000 tonnes of metals used in aircraft and automobiles in the latest quality scandal to hit corporate Japan.

Products affected included 19,300 tonnes of aluminium plate and extrusions; 2,200 tonnes of copper strip and pipe; and 19,400 cast and forged aluminium parts.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said that aluminium used in its regional passenger jet was among the shipments with falsified data. However, it said there was no safety issue and delivery of the jet — which is currently undergoing certification in the US after a troubled development — remained on schedule.

EGA bauxite research

EGA bauxite research

Emirates Global Aluminium has signed an agreement with The University of Queensland, Australia, to conduct a three-year research programme into turning a by-product of the alumina industry into soil.

The ground-breaking research project with The University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences will investigate combining bauxite residue with agricultural and domestic wastes to create a soil for greening and other uses. 

The research project is led by Professor Richard Haynes, a renowned soil scientist and expert in the remediation and rehabilitation of bauxite residue deposits. Universities in the United Arab Emirates are expected to join the research project in the coming years, to help tailor the soil for the UAE’s desert conditions. 

Bauxite residue is a by-product of alumina refining - the process of turning bauxite ore into alumina which is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
EGA is constructing the first alumina refinery in the United Arab Emirates, next to its Al Taweelah smelter in Abu Dhabi.

Industry experts estimate that at least 150 million tonnes of bauxite residue are produced worldwide each year. It is thought that less than two percent of this is currently put to productive use.

While new productive uses for bauxite residue are being developed, EGA will operate a dedicated  storage site in line with current world-class best practice, about 30 kilometres inland from the coast in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.

When Al Taweelah alumina refinery starts production, bauxite residue will be washed, pressed into a dry cake, and transported to the area for permanent managed storage. The site will eventually be covered and used for other industrial purposes. 
 
EGA intends to reduce and aims to even eliminate the need to store new bauxite residue in the longer term.

Abdalla Alzarooni, EGA’s Vice President of Technology Development & Transfer said: “The project at The University of Queensland is cutting edge research that could turn waste into a useful product that fills a need in the UAE. The UAE has set tough targets for the use of bauxite residue, which requires us to take a global lead in finding innovative solutions.”

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

ARABAL update

ARABAL update

SOHAR Aluminium to host ARABAL 2017 under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Harib Bin Thuwaini Al Said

Under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Council of Ministers for Conferences, Sohar Aluminium is gearing up to host the 2017 Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL). Scheduled to take place in Muscat from November 7th – 9th 2017, the event will be attended by all of the region’s primary aluminium manufactures, in addition to top executives from a cross section of industries, VIPs and over 500 delegates from 30 countries. 

“The aim of ARABAL is to establish greater collaboration between the leaders and decision-makers in the aluminium industry in the region. The event has become one of the leading and specialised conferences in the aluminium sector, and as the organisers of ARABAL 2017, we are very delighted to have the support of His Highness. This edition of ARABAL will feature senior representatives from all of the region’s aluminium manufactures, as well as senior executives and thought leaders from other major aluminium markets, further bolstering its ability to showcase the capabilities of our thriving aluminium industry in Oman and the wider region,”  Said Al Masoudi, CEO of Sohar Aluminium explained. 

 Regarded as the leading aluminium industry event in the Middle East, ARABAL 2017 will consist of a two-day conference and exhibition, featuring over 60 international experts under this year’s theme of ‘Driving Strategic Growth across the Global Aluminium Industry’. ARABAL has also attracted 20 major sponsors from around the world, showcasing their latest technological innovations at an exhibition held during the conference, which is also open to the public. 

Hosted by Sohar Aluminium for the second time, ARABAL 2017 represents a unique platform to showcase the Middle East’s growing role as an industrial powerhouse. For more information about ARABAL 2017 and to see the full list of speakers, sponsors and exhibitors, visit www.arabal.com.

For more information visit: www.arabal.com

Alu pioneer honoured

Alu pioneer honoured

A pioneering metallurgist has been presented with an award for his contribution to the global aluminium industry.
 
The Aluminium Industry Award was presented to Prof. Scamans at the Aluminium Federation’s 2017 Dinner by Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead (pictured).
The event, at Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire, was attended by more than 200 guests from across the aluminium sector.
 
Chief scientific officer at Innoval Technology, Professor Scamans is also Professor of Metallurgy at Brunel University’s BCAST metals research facility. He started his research career in 1974 at Alcan International, initially as research scientist and later as principal scientist, a role he took with him when moving to Innoval Technology in 2003.
 
Over the last 30 years he has initiated and managed a number of R&D programmes on both materials development and technological innovation, making
substantial scientific and technological contributions to the light metals sector, his work being described in over 130 publications.
 
A world authority on automotive lightweighting, Prof. Scamans has been closely involved with aluminium car body development for Ford, and subsequently with Jaguar Land Rover, which has resulted in JLR’s current industry-leading range of aluminium-intensive vehicles.
 
“Geoff has been a great supporter of the Aluminium Federation over many years, always willing to give his time and share his expertise, “ said Mr Ashmead.

“He has succeeded not only in becoming an aluminium ‘go-to’ expert, but also in developing and nurturing younger and talented scientists throughout his career.
 
“It's rare that we make such an award, indeed Geoff is only the fourth recipient. This recognition is well deserved, and Geoff continues to make a significant contribution to the development of aluminium globally.”
 
In November, Professor Scamans will be a keynote speaker at the Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry conference in Birmingham.

Sapa acquisition complete

Sapa acquisition complete

Norsk Hydro's acquisition of Orkla's 50% ownership in Sapa was completed today, October 2, giving Hydro full ownership in the global leader in extruded aluminium solutions and making Hydro a leading force in the global aluminium industry. 

The combination makes Hydro the only global company in the aluminium industry that is fully integrated across the value chain and markets, and gives Hydro unparalleled strength in technology, R&D, innovation and product development, as well as an unmatched product and service offering to the benefit of more than 30,000 customers throughout the world. It also provides Hydro with the capability and freedom to grow in the most attractive areas of aluminium, as well as further strengthening the sustainable solutions for the future low-carbon economy.
 
"Today symbolises the start of our exciting journey as the leading force within the global aluminium industry, fully integrated from bauxite to end-user products and with the best-possible platform for further growth and optionality, innovation and product development, and sustainability and responsibility," says President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
 
Sapa will become a new business area in Hydro, Extruded Solutions, and will be headed by Egil Hogna. Hydro will consolidate the Sapa financials in its financial statements starting October 2, 2017. At the same time, Hydro will discontinue reporting Sapa as an equity accounted investment.
 
Formed as a 50/50 joint venture between Orkla and Hydro in 2013, Sapa has been a highly successful aluminium solutions provider and the world's largest extrusion company. As Hydro's new Extruded Solutions business area, it will continue to operate with the business units Extrusion Europe, Extrusion North America, Precision Tubing and Building Systems, and has 22,400 employees and presence in around 40 countries.
 
The agreed enterprise value for 100% of Sapa is NOK 27 billion. A preliminary purchase price for the shares, adjusted for net debt and normalised working capital, of NOK 11.86 billion was paid in cash to Orkla today. There will be a customary post-closing adjustment of the purchase price, based on a closing balance sheet. 
 
The transaction is initially financed by utilisation of cash positions and drawings under Hydro's revolving credit facility. Parts of the financing will thereafter be replaced by issuance of bonds.

For more information visit: http://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2017/norsk-hydro--acquisition-of-sapa-completed/

Innoval appointment

Innoval appointment

Effective as of August 1st, 2017, Dr Gary Mahon has become Managing Director of Innoval Technology (Innoval).

Gary moves into his new position having been a Director of Innoval for the last 10 years. He is a metallurgist with 30 years aluminium product expertise, and so is ideally placed to take the company forward.

He replaces Dr Tom Farley who, after much consideration, has decided to retire from the aluminium industry after 28 successful years. Tom joined Innoval at its inception in 2003 and was appointed Managing Director in 2007. Over the last 10 years he has successfully led the company and played a key role in the purchase of Innoval Technology by Danieli in 2012. The company would like to acknowledge his significant contributions and thank him for his commitment and dedication throughout the years.

For more information visit: https://www.innovaltec.com

Alu D&T challenge

Alu D&T challenge

The UK’s aluminium industry is on the search for the designers and engineers of the future as it launches this year’s Alu D&T Challenge. 

Secondary schools throughout the UK are invited to take part in the Challenge which aims to teach 11-14 year olds about sustainable design. The Challenge includes an opportunity for students to enter their ideas in a national competition for a chance to win prizes for themselves and their school.  
The Alu D&T Challenge supports the D&T curriculum for 11-14 year olds. It provides free lesson plans and a range of interactive materials to explain the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium. Students can attempt one of three design briefs to create a sustainable building, vehicle or package using aluminium.

Developed and funded by the UK aluminium industry, the Alu D&T Challenge’s design briefs are based on real-life challenges faced by designers who need to meet consumer demands with products that don’t have a negative impact on the environment. Designs will be judged on how well they address the ‘6Rs’ of sustainability, as well as their creativity and the use of aluminium. The competition is open for entries throughout the autumn term and winners will be announced in March 2018.

Students can enter in teams of up to four people, or as an individual. In each category there will be a winner and runner up, chosen by a panel of experts representing the fields of engineering, design, manufacturing and architecture. They will be invited to a prize giving ceremony in March 2018. 
This year’s prizes have been sponsored by specialist D&T equipment provider Technology Supplies. The winners will receive innovative equipment for their school’s D&T department, including programming kits and drones, plus vouchers for the students. All finalists will receive a named certificate and a 3D pen. Events and PR Manager of Technology Supplies Rebecca Byrne says: “We are delighted to be the official prize sponsor for the Alu D&T Challenge 2017. Fast changing technologies, industry challenges and demands mean that it’s imperative to ensure we are embracing tomorrow’s designers and engineers. Supporting initiatives like the Alu D&T Challenge enables us to celebrate creativity, innovation and the importance of product development.”

The 2017/18 resource booklet and information about the competition is available to download for free at www.learningaluminium.co.uk/aludtchallenge

For more information visit: www.learningaluminium.co.uk/aludtchallenge

Sapa Welsh plant

Sapa Welsh plant

Sapa has re-opened its factory in Bedwas, Wales 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 in the plant refurbishment and new equipment to supply advanced aluminium components.

The investment is backed by £550,000 from the Welsh Government which helped secure the project for Wales as Sapa looked into production at another European Sapa facility with spare capacity. In excess of 130 jobs will be created over the next five years.

“This is great day for both Sapa and manufacturing in Wales. Sapa had to end extrusion operations in Bedwas in 2014 due to overcapacity in the market, but we are now pleased to be able to return to Wales with our new automotive components business. This is a good example of how industrial companies such as Sapa are growing in advanced markets fueled by demands for lighter vehicles and more sustainable materials” says John Thuestad, Business Area President, Sapa.

Lightweight cars fueling growth 
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates is delighted the facility in Bedwas will now be brought back into operation. He says “The Welsh Government is proud to have supported Sapa’s extensive investment in the refurbishment of its site in Bedwas and I am proud that Wales will be playing a key role in the production of a new generation of environmentally friendly black cabs.
“Wales has a growing reputation as a location for supporting innovative new technologies and the Low Carbon Vehicle sector is a particular growth area for our advanced materials and manufacturing industry.” 

Calvin Carpenter, MD Sapa Component UK, adds “This is a proud day as it is a culmination of nearly 3 years working with London Taxi throughout its development phases to enable us to supply major body components to the ‘new state of the art’ facility in Ansty, Coventry”.

High-performance alloy

High-performance alloy

Following a successful debut at the Paris Air Show, last month, the two companies are working together to optimise the processing techniques for the high-performance alloy on Renishaw metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems.  They are also investigating a range of heat treatment regimes to deliver optimum properties in additively manufactured components.  The results of these developments will be made available to Renishaw and Aeromet customers.
 
A20X® is a family of next generation high-strength aluminium alloy technologies, developed and patented by Aeromet. The A20X® family includes the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardisation (MMPDS) approved A205 casting alloy and AM205 powder for additive manufacturing.  A20X® is an aluminium-copper alloy with a highly-refined microstructure and a unique solidification mechanism, giving it greater strength, fatigue and thermal characteristics compared to other alloys.  Originally developed as a casting alloy, A20X® cast parts are available today from Aeromet and a global network of licensees. A20X® powder is available for use in additive manufacturing.  More details can be found at www.a20x.co.uk
 
Mike Bond, Director of AMT a Division of Aeromet said, “A20X is being rapidly adopted for additive manufacture of aero engine, airframe, space, defence and automotive parts.  It’s unique combination of high strength, high ductility and performance at high operating temperatures make it ideal for light-weight, stressed components.  We look forward to making processing techniques for this innovative alloy more widely available to accelerate its adoption.”
 
Marc Saunders, Director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw added, “Renishaw’s metal AM systems feature high power lasers, an inert processing environment and open parameters, making them ideal for supporting innovative new materials like A20X.  We are working closely with Aeromet to qualify this exciting new alloy on our machines. Through our network of AM Solutions Centres, we can help manufacturers to develop industrial AM processes using A20X.”
 
The two companies plan to release processing techniques and material properties information in the coming months.

For more information visit: www.renishaw.com/additive

UC Rusal investment

UC Rusal investment

UC Rusal has announced the completion of the modernisation of Befesa-2 line for standard alloyed ingots production at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter (IrkAZ).

In 2018, RUSAL plans to commission another line, Befesa-1, and the total investment in both lines will amount to USD7.6 million.

The purpose of the project is to maintain share in the casting alloys market as well as to improve quality characteristics of the products to meet the demand of the IrkAZ’s customers in Europe and Asia.

Within the framework of the Befesa-2 line, the specialists of the Engineering and Technology Center of RUSAL jointly with the experts of the Spanish firm Befesa Aluminio S.L. modernised various aspects including: installing a new casting wheel, a metal distribution system, changing the ingot mold design for ingots production and improving the water cooling system with automatic water flow adjustment and an ingot extraction/transportation unit. Similar activities are planned for the Befesa-1 line. 

‘RUSAL completed a test operation at the first line for standard alloyed ingots production at IrkAZ which has allowed us to improve the quality of our products. Due to the commissioning of the two lines, the smelter will retain its positions in the casting alloys market in the amount of 55 thousand tonnes per annum, whilst gaining an even larger share in the foreign markets,’ said RUSAL Director of Aluminium Division Evgeny Nikitin.

For more information visit: http://www.rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/19677/

Alba: Line 6 update

Alba: Line 6 update

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) has been making steady progress with the execution of its flagship development, the Line 6 Expansion Project, according to a statement issued by the Chairman of the Alba Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa.
 
The site preparation, earthworks and concrete (including precast) works continue to ramp-up with the overall project progress at 25% through the end of July (including 50% progress in engineering and 70% progress in procurement and contracts). In addition, the first structural steel is scheduled for erection in the new pot room in September 2017.
 
Shaikh Daij added:
“We are delighted to see that the Line 6 Expansion Project continues to progress on schedule as that will accelerate our position to be the largest single-site smelter in the world. I thank our EPCM contractor, International Bechtel Co. Ltd. (Bechtel), Alba CEO, Tim Murray and the Alba Line 6 Owner’s Team for their commitment to deliver our Project on a timely and safe manner.”
 
Bechtel’s President for Mining and Metals, Paige Wilson said: “We are thrilled to be breaking ground on Alba’s historic project. We also look forward to continuing to work with the Alba Line 6 Owner’s Team as the project targets First Hot Metal (FHM) by 1 January 2019 and to furthering our long-term partnership.”
 
This Game Changer, which involves the construction of sixth pot line, a 1,792 MW power station and other industrial services, is expected to begin production by January 1, 2019 and will boost the smelter’s per-annum production by 540,000 metric tonnes, bringing its total production capacity to 1.5 million metric tonnes per year.

For more information visit: http://www.albasmelter.com/About%20Alba/Pages/Line6.aspx

New can plant

New can plant

Crown Holdings, Inc. has announced that it will build a new plant in the Valencia region of Spain to produce aluminium beverage cans.

The location of the facility, Parc Sagunt, is approximately 10 miles north of the city of Valencia, and was selected based on its close proximity to key customers as well as the excellent local infrastructure and transportation links.

The Company currently operates two steel beverage can plants in Spain, in Agoncillo and Seville, and will be constructing the new facility to meet the growing demand and preference for aluminium beverage cans in the Iberian region. The plant, which is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2018, will have an initial annual capacity of approximately 900 million units in multiple sizes and will be designed to accommodate further expansion. Initially, the capacity will be utilised to facilitate customers' transitions from steel to aluminium beverage cans and subsequently to support the growing demand for both beer and non-alcoholic beverage cans in the region.

Ziya Ozay, Senior Vice President CROWN Bevcan Europe and Middle East, commented, "We are excited about the aluminium beverage can market growth in the Iberian region, and our new plant will be ideally located to supply the increasing requirements of a number of key customers and support our other facilities during the conversion from steel to aluminium."

For more information visit: https://www.crowncork.com/news/press-room/crown-holdings-inc-build-new-beverage-can-plant-valencia-region-spain

Three new can sizes

Three new can sizes

To celebrate its presence at this year’s Drinktec in September, Ball Corporation, the world’s leading can manufacturer, will showcase three new can sizes to visitors for the first time.
 
In response to international market trends, the three new can sizes include 25-centiliter Sleek® and 45-centiliter super Sleek® cans, as well as a 90-centiliter King can. The new varieties add to Ball’s already vast portfolio of cans, which will also be displayed at the show this year.
 
Both the 90-centiliter King and 45-centiliter super Sleek cans have been launched in Russia, bringing to the market an effective packaging solution addressing the recent market pressures on excise duties to alcohol. Designed primarily for Russian brewery customers, the cans will be displayed on Ball’s one-of-a-kind ‘Can-shi’ bar throughout the show with company experts available to discuss the unique design in greater detail.
 
Irina Dolyanovskaya, Sales Manager at Ball, comments: “The new 90-centiliter and 45-centiliter cans allow our customers to maintain their products at an affordable, standard price on shelf. These can sizes are seen as more premium and are becoming the new industry standard for the Russian beer market, gradually replacing standard 50-centiliter cans. Although created primarily for the Russian market, we have seen demands for similar can sizes in other countries. We are hoping to gain even further interest from new customers during Drinktec.”
 
Launching in Western Europe after Drinktec, the new aluminum 25-centiliter Sleek can with its 202 end has been designed to make it easier for filling locations to adopt the Sleek can, with customers including NESTLE Waters. The new can was chosen by San Pellegrino for its new fizzy tea range, which is available in peach and lemon flavours.
 
Marianne Freund, Marketing Manager at Ball, comments: “These three new can sizes are a prime example of how our customer needs are at the heart of what we do. With customers continuing to present Ball with unique requirements, our wide range of cans continues to evolve to meet their needs within their specific markets. Ball promises to listen and respond to these needs in the most effective way possible by identifying the right packaging solution for the right occasion. We are dedicated to innovating cans that truly fit to the consumer.”
 
Ball’s dynamic Drinktec stand will feature the latest additions to the product range, interactive displays, samples, and opportunities for visitors to discuss innovative packaging solutions with experts. Ball’s ‘Happy Hour’ events will also be taking place and will focus on beverage categories including craft beer, water, juice, tea and coffee.

Held in Munich from the 11th-15th of September, Drinktec is the leading world fair for the beverage and liquid food industry. To visit Ball at Drinktec, please find them at stand 348, Hall A1.

For more information visit: http://www.ball.com

JLR alu recyling

JLR alu recyling

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is expanding the use of recycled aluminium in its car bodies to cut waste and reduce carbon emissions.

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is expanding the use of recycled aluminium in its car bodies to cut waste and reduce carbon emissions.

The £2 million project, called REALITY, has found a way to enable the closed-loop recycling of aluminium from end-of-life vehicles back into high-performance product forms for new vehicle body manufacture in the UK by Jaguar Land Rover.

REALITY builds on the REALCAR project allowing tens of thousands of tonnes of aluminium generated in the manufacturing process to be recycled and reused as a closed-loop. Aluminium from other sources, including  end-of-life vehicles, can now be graded and ‘born again’ in the manufacture of new cars.

This unique ‘closed-loop’ automotive recycling system helps to further develop the circular economy model to deliver both financial and environmental benefits.

REALCAR began as a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover, Innovate UK, Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Stadco, Brunel University London, Zyomax and Innoval Technology. The original project and subsequent work with suppliers enabled Jaguar Land Rover to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap and re-use it in the aluminium production process in 2016/17.

Implementing closed-loop aluminium recycling has involved cutting-edge chemistry, new infrastructure and investment of more than £13 million. It is driving a new culture that treats waste material as a high-value commodity. Quality will remain paramount, and the project has evaluated aluminium grades at chemistry and microstructure level to increase tolerance to recycling.

The project, part-funded by Innovate UK, has involved more than 10 press shops (Jaguar Land Rover and external suppliers) with aluminium being remelted by Novelis.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybadbplk

Rusal alloy investment

Rusal alloy investment

UC RUSAL has announced the completion of the modernisation of Befesa-2 line for standard alloyed ingots production at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter (IrkAZ).

In 2018, RUSAL plans to commission another line, Befesa-1, and the total investment in both lines will amount to USD7.6 million.
 
The purpose of the project is to maintain share in the casting alloys market as well as to improve quality characteristics of the products to meet the demand of the IrkAZ’s customers in Europe and Asia.
 
Within the framework of the Befesa-2 line, the specialists of the Engineering and Technology Center of RUSAL jointly with the experts of the Spanish firm Befesa Aluminio S.L. modernised various aspects including: installing a new casting wheel, a metal distribution system, changing the ingot mold design for ingots production and improving the water cooling system with automatic water flow adjustment and an ingot extraction/transportation unit. Similar activities are planned for the Befesa-1 line. 
 
‘RUSAL completed a test operation at the first line for standard alloyed ingots production at IrkAZ which has allowed us to improve the quality of our products. Due to the commissioning of the two lines, the smelter will retain its positions in the casting alloys market in the amount of 55 thousand tonnes per annum, whilst gaining an even larger share in the foreign markets,’ said RUSAL Director of Aluminium Division Evgeny Nikitin.

For more information visit: http://www.rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/19677/

Arconic awarded

Arconic awarded

Arconic has announced that it has received two 2017 Values Partner awards from Spirit AeroSystems for superior performance.

Spirit recognised Arconic’s Global Rolled Products (GRP) and Arconic Fastening Systems and Rings (AFSR) businesses at the Spirit AeroSystems Suppliers Awards Dinner in Wichita, Kansas, on August 31.

“Spirit cannot be successful without world-class partners,” said Tom Gentile, Spirit president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to recognise these suppliers for sharing our passion in delivering high-quality products on time. We look forward to collaborating with them in the future as we continue to meet our customers’ delivery needs and rate requirements.”

Spirit AeroSystems Supply Chain Management awards these honorees to recognise suppliers that have achieved superior performance, with nominations typically coming from the company’s procurement groups. Suppliers like Arconic can be nominated for offering outstanding support, expediting deliveries or providing weekend assistance.

“Arconic is committed to delivering innovation, quality and superior performance to our customers through collaboration and diligence,” said Eric Roegner, Arconic Executive Vice President and GRP Group President. “This award recognises that commitment across our businesses and throughout our facilities, and we are very honoured to receive it.”

Craig Brown, Arconic Fastening Systems and Rings President, added, “The Spirit Values Partner Award is a testament to the skill and dedication our workforce brings to producing high-quality products that help our customers succeed. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and trusted partnership with Spirit in the years to come.”

For decades, Arconic has supplied Spirit AeroSystems with highly engineered aluminium fuselage sheet and high-tech, multi-material fastening systems and installation tools, which Spirit uses to build aircraft components. Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defence customers including fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components.

For more information visit: https://www.arconic.com/global/en/news/Spirit-AeroSystems-Recognizes-Arconic-for-Superior-Performance.asp

Metal 3D printing

Metal 3D printing

A “widespread” factory for the development of metal 3D printing technology... 

this is the objective of the project Metal AdditivE for LOmbardy (MADE4LO), which will start in the upcoming autumn under the leadership of Tenova, international company specialiSed in the development of innovative solutions for the mining and metal industry.
 
The ultimate goal of this pilot project is to cover the entire value chain – from equipment supply to the finished product – creating a new model of factory based on 3D manufacturing, network infrastructure and digital processes accessible to several partners, and intensive training activities of the technical staff involved.   
 
The project, partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will last 30 months for a total investment of 6.6 million euros, involving eleven partners from Lombardy, north-western Italian region, specifically two Universities (Politecnico di Milano and Università di Pavia), three Big Industries (Tenova, BLM, and GF Machining Solutions), and six SMEs (TTM Laser, 3D-NT, GFM, Fubri, Co. Stamp, and Officine Meccaniche G. Lafranconi).
 
Additive Manufacturing
Metal additive manufacturing (AM), also known as metal 3D printing, makes possible to produce complex three-dimensional objects starting directly from a 3D CAD model by adding material layer by layer, without the design constraints of traditional manufacturing routes. No longer solely a prototyping technology and in spite of today limitation in size and available metal powders, AM is now emerging as a competitive process for the production of series components for the most demanding applications while reducing material inventory.
 
“For Tenova digital innovation is a crucial factor in the creation of added value to the client. MADE4LO represents an important opportunity to achieve concrete outcomes in the development of additive manufacturing for metal components, a technology that affects us both as users and as plant engineers. Our goal is to become a key player in this sector in order to provide our clients with effective solutions which will make them more dynamic and competitive on the market” affirmed Andrea Lovato, CEO.
 
All Business Units of Tenova Metals are involved in the implementation of MADE4LO to define the most cost/effective equipment’s for metal powder production process, to select, design and test the metal components to produce by AM, and to design and manufacturing of a heating treatment furnace to be installed at Pomini factory within Tenova HQs.
 
“MADE4LO is the first pilot project developed in Lombardy in the field of additive manufacturing which involves a network of physical and digital systems interconnected with each other, which exchange products and information through a widespread infrastructure (digital information on the product to be printed, powder and process data, data gathered from the process related to the qualification of the realiSed products)”, commented Professor Marco Bocciolone, Director of the Mechanics Department of Politecnico di Milano.
 
Along with the great potential of digitaliSation and interconnection offered by this new Italian platform dedicated to AM, Professor Barbara Previtali, Scientific Supervisor of the project, pointed out how the focus of applications and the sectors of development targeted through MADE4LO go beyond the area where additive processes are currently applied. “MADE4LO will explore new applications in relevant sectors like the printing of new metals’ components (such as copper and tool steel alloys) or the additive and subtractive repairing/revamping of big components of high added value”.

EGA research partner

EGA research partner

Emirates Global Aluminium will work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on six new practical research projects at EGA later this year.

MIT is the leading research university in the United States.

The new projects extend EGA’s partnership with MIT’s David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice, a programme through which post-graduate students apply their academic knowledge and expertise by suggesting 'out of the box' solutions for industrial problems.

Dr. Alan Hatton, the director of the school, and Dr Brian Stutts, who runs the school’s projects with industrial companies, visited EGA to finalise the new projects.

EGA has worked with the MIT programme since 2015. The programme has a history stretching back over 100 years and EGA was the first Middle East company to participate.

Previous MIT research projects at EGA have led to technical and operational improvements at EGA that have saved over US$2 million as well as giving EGA technical experts and MIT students opportunities to learn from each other. 

The 2017 projects range from improving maintenance programmes to reducing emissions.

Abdulla Al Zarouni, Vice President Technology Development and Transfer at EGA, said: “We work closely with local and international universities to combine the latest academic thinking with EGA’s decades of experience in aluminium smelting in order to find solutions to the industry’s technological challenges. We look forward to making new breakthroughs with MIT’s engineers later this year.”

Dr Hatton said: “Our six projects at EGA this year are challenging, but they each have the potential to advance chemical engineering as well as deliver tangible improvements at EGA. We work with innovative industrial companies in the United States and all over the world, and we are glad that the Middle East’s leading aluminium producer is among them.”

EGA’s academic collaborations in the UAE include Masdar Institute, the American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology and Higher Colleges of Technology. Other international academic partners include the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the University of New South Wales in Australia.

EGA has also run its own technology development programme in the UAE for 25 years.

EGA’s latest home-grown technology is among the most efficient and competitive in the global aluminium industry.

EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s, including the construction of Al Taweelah smelter in Abu Dhabi, which was the world’s largest single-site smelter when it was completed.

EGA’s research and technology development focuses on continually improving the aluminium smelting process, reducing the amount of electricity required saving costs and reducing environmental impacts.

In 2016, EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its own large-scale industrial technology internationally.

For more information visit: https://www.ega.ae/en/media/newsdetail/?id=6117

Aleris extends deal

Aleris extends deal

According to reports, Aleris International has extended a merger agreement with a Chinese company to September 15th. 

The Cleveland, Ohio-based aluminium and rolled products producer now has until September 15 to work out a mutually acceptable deal with Zhongwang USA LLC, controlled by Chinese businessman Liu Zhongtian. 

The deal was initially scheduled to expire August 31.

Hydro pilot

Hydro pilot

Thousands of Karmøy residents gathered in Kopervik to see Prime Minister Erna Solberg inaugurate the technology pilot at Karmøy in western Norway on 24th August. 

“The technology pilot here at Karmøy is green, smart and innovative,” said the Prime Minister.

"I think it's fantastic that we are getting the world's greenest aluminium production here at Karmøy," says Astrid Margrete Lie. She is one of the many who were present when the technology pilot in Karmøy was inaugurated earlier today.

The technology pilot at Karmøy is an industrial-scale test plant, and Hydro's ambition with the pilot is to verify the world's most climate- and energy-efficient technology for aluminium electrolysis. The ambition is to reduce energy consumption by around 15 percent per kilogram of aluminium produced in relation to the international average, and with the lowest CO2 emissions in the world. Production is expected to start during the fourth quarter of 2017.

A total of NOK 4.3 billion has been invested in the project, including NOK 1.6 billion in support from the government energy conservation agency ENOVA.

For more information visit: http://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2017/karmoy-technology-pilot-inaugurated-by-prime-minister-erna-solberg/

Transportation Group

Transportation Group

The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) has announced the addition of two new member companies—Alcoa Corporation and Tri-Arrows. 

These additions bring total membership in the ATG to 11 companies. Both companies are leaders in producing aluminum alloys for automotive applications.

“The addition of Alcoa and Tri-Arrows reflects the impact of the growing automotive market and demonstrates the industry’s continued commitment to its customers in the automotive space,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “These new members come at an exciting time for automotive aluminium as we enter a time of unprecedented growth. By 2028, forecasts project total aluminium content will reach 565 pounds per vehicle. As automotive aluminium’s market share rises, so too does its impact on the nation’s manufacturing base and the U.S. economy.”

Alcoa’s roots date back to the discovery of aluminium about 130 years ago. Today, it is a global leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminium products, including patented foundry alloys that are utilised for specific automotive applications. With more than 14,000 employees at manufacturing locations across the globe, Alcoa supplies the transportation industry with a variety of other cast primary products, including rolling ingot and billet.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Tri-Arrows produces rolled aluminium sheet products at its jointly-owned rolling mill, Logan Aluminum. With capabilities and experience in ingot casting, hot rolling, cold rolling and finishing operations, the company recently announced an investment of $290 million to expand manufacturing capabilities for the emerging North American automotive aluminium sheet market and to increase overall plant capacity, including a new aluminium recycling/ingot casting facility.

Working with its member companies, the ATG will continue to promote research and programs that highlight the benefits of aluminium use in automotive transportation, which include efficiency, safety, durability, performance and sustainability. According to a recent survey of automakers, Ducker Worldwide reaffirms the continued growth trajectory of automotive aluminium as automakers continue transitioning to a multi-material vehicle (MMV) design approach, choosing lightweight aluminium for closures, body-in-white components and crash managements parts over conventional materials.

For more information visit: www.DriveAluminum.org

ASI news

ASI news

Path to Launch: elementAl pilot phase forges ahead

Testing and trials are proceeding with active member participation; improvements based on feedback have already been implemented.
The pilot phase began on July 18 to provide each ASI member and invited participants with an opportunity to carry out one or more self assessments against ASI's draft Standards via ASI's new online assurance platform, elementAl.

Over 65 users have been actively working with elementAl to create test self assessments and learn about the many features this new platform has to offer. Constructive feedback has been plentiful and has already led to improvements to the self assessment maturity ratings, as well as numerous other pages and functionalities.

The Secretariat has also been busy preparing support materials to ease the learning curve for new users. To this end, the platform's Help Desk and FAQ have been active, and the first two of a regular series of elementAl webinars have been produced: one to address how to define the certification scope and a second to explain the maturity rating self assessment procedure.

The pilot phase will run through to late September/early October. 

For more information visit: https://aluminium-stewardship.org/asi-standards/path-asi-standards-launch/

Combilift expansion

Combilift expansion

Combilift, the manufacturer of 4-way forklifts and other handling solutions, is set to double its output in the next few years as its new factory nears completion.

€40 million has been invested in the new 46,000m² factory on a 40 hectare site, which will be the largest single manufacturing plant under one roof in Ireland. 

Combilift invented the world’s first i.c. engine powered, all-wheel drive multidirectional forklift in 1998 and has experienced exceptional growth ever since. It now exports its wide range of products to over 75 countries around the world.

The new global HQ and production facility will include a dedicated Research and Development building and adjoining administrational offices and is based in the company’s home of Monaghan, Ireland, close to where Combilift was first established. Production of some model ranges such as the Straddle Carrier has already moved to the new site, which will be fully operational in the spring of 2018. The expansion will also create around 200 new jobs, mainly for skilled technicians and design engineers. 
 
Combilift’s products are a popular choice in the metals sector due to their ability to handle loads safely in confined spaces and for their space saving storage and versatile indoor/outdoor operation. “Whether you handle long awkward loads, pallets, containers, oversized products or a combination of these, there is a Combilift to suit your requirements. We are continually adding to our range, so keep an eye on our website or visit us at trade fairs to keep up to date on developments,” said Martin McVicar, MD, Combilift.

For more information visit: www.combilift.com

Drive technology

Drive technology

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.

Siemens received the order from SMS China, part of the SMS group, a worldwide plant constructor and machine manufacturer in the ferrous and non-ferrous metal industry. In the light of increasing demand for aluminium, the company has received the order to construct a number of aluminium rolling mills. Siemens will supply the drive technology for cold rolling mills near Liaoyang in Liaoning Province in Northeastern China, and for a cold and hot rolling mill near the port of Yingkou, which also lies in Liaoning Province. The scope of delivery of the aluminium rolling mills includes the medium voltage drive system, comprising Sinamics SM150 frequency converters, the entire drive control system, the cooling plant, engineering station, the associated project management, the hardware and software engineering, including the commissioning of the individual plant sections and the low voltage drive components.

In addition, a heavy plate and Steckel mill will be equipped with low voltage equipment. It is located near Rizhao, a city of over one million inhabitants in Shandong Province in Eastern China. This plant will mainly use Sinamics S120 low voltage frequency converters. In order to guarantee the agreed key performance indicators (KPIs), the order includes multiple tests (uncoupled and coupled test runs, availability test, load optimisation, final test), which will be performed in the plant.

For more information visit: https://www.siemens.com/global/en/home.html

Sohar resumes operation

Sohar resumes operation

Oman's Sohar Aluminium has announced that the company was assessing to resume the production as soon as possible after the interruption at its smelters, according to the news published by Reuters.

On August 4, Sohar Aluminium informed about an accident at its plant in Sohar which interrupted normal operations and resulted in no injuries. The accident halted production for six-and-a-half hours. According to the company statement, the accident will have no long-term implications on the operations of Sohar Aluminium.

Chief Executive Said Al Masoudi said in a statement, "The company has put together a team of industry experts to assess how quickly metal production can be restarted and a return to full production levels be restored as early as possible."

For more information visit: http://www.alcircle.com/primary_aluminium/newscircle/general/detail/28490/omans-sohar-aluminium-to-resume-normal-operations-post

Alumina Ltd appointment

Alumina Ltd appointment

Alumina Limited has announced that Mr Peter Day has been appointed to the new position of Deputy Chairman of Alumina Limited effective immediately.

Mr Day has been an independent non-executive Director of the Company since January 2014 and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and a member of the Company’s Compensation Committee and the Nominations Committee.

Partnership announcement

Partnership announcement

American Douglas Metals (ADM), the premier metal service centre for aluminium metal distribution, processing and fabrication for commercial and industrial applications, has announced their new partnership with the Italian company Master Italy Srl, a leader in window and door hardware and accessories manufacturing.

ADM has been commissioned as Master Italy’s North American Partner to represent and distribute their vast window and door product line in the United States and Canada. With ADM’s 16-year history servicing windows and doors, the collaboration was a natural fit.

For more information visit: http://www.AmericanDouglasMetals.com

EGA: Waste management

EGA: Waste management

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), has shipped around 5,000 tonnes of spent pot lining, a by-product from its industrial process, to Befesa, a company in the United Kingdom that specialises in waste management and recycling.

Befesa will treat and recycle the spent pot lining to create useful raw materials for the cement, fibreglass and ceramics industries. 

Spent pot lining is the worn out inner lining of aluminium smelting pots. The lining is typically replaced every four to five years.

The global aluminium industry produces over one million tonnes of spent pot lining every year according to industry experts, much of which is then kept in indefinite storage.

EGA aims to recycle all its spent pot lining over the longer term and the shipment to Befesa, which is EGA’s first internationally, accelerates this process.

EGA has supplied spent pot lining to UAE cement plants for use as a feedstock since 2010. Last year local cement plants used over 37,000 tonnes of EGA’s spent pot lining, more than EGA’s average annual production.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Ultimately our objective is to use all our spent pot lining here in the UAE in ways that are both responsible and create additional value for the UAE’s industries. We are making great progress with the cement industry, creating benefits for both sectors. Meantime, to achieve the highest standards of responsibility, we must also find economic uses for our spent pot lining internationally.”

EGA aspires to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental responsibilities.

Earlier this year, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry.

Aluminium trades above $2,000

Aluminium trades above $2,000

According to reports, the price of aluminium has traded above $2,000 a tonne for the first time in almost three years.

This is as a result of Chinese authorities cutting production as part of an environmental crackdown.

Officials in Shandong province have ordered 3.2 million tonnes of smelting capacity to be shut down, which is more than was anticipated by the market.

Some of the measures are aimed at combating pollution and emissions, but other are an attempt to rein in excess capacity.

GARMCO expansion project

GARMCO expansion project

Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (GARMCO), the Bahrain-based international aluminium rolling mill and one of the largest downstream aluminium facilities in the Middle East, announces that first aluminium was cast successfully at GARMCO’s expansion project on Thursday 3 August 2017.

The new US$ 55 million new state of the art recycling and cast house facility is designed to develop GARMCO’s metal recycling capability, which will increase GARMCO’s production capacity by 150% to 200,000 tonnes of aluminium slabs per annum.

Till date, the expansion team has recorded 1,417,305 man-hours without any lost time injury. This achievement demonstrates GARMCO’s high commitment to safety. 

This expansion comes as part of a three year programme aimed at growing the company on a regional and international level. It is designed to enable GARMCO to consolidate and expand in its key strategic sales markets with higher recycle content aluminium alloys.

GARMCO’s Acting CEO, Mr. Mohamed Essa commented: “We take this opportunity to thank all team members and partners who have contributed to achieving first metal at the expansion project. This project will further develop the Kingdom’s downstream aluminium industry; the facility will increase GARMCO’s production capacity by 150%. We now look forward to a safe and successful ramp-up to full production capacity by November 17’."

Alufoil Trophy 2018

Alufoil Trophy 2018

The hunt for the very best products using aluminium foil, or aluminium closures, is underway once again, with the announcement that entries for the Alufoil Trophy 2018 are now open for submission, until 24 November 2017.

Organised by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), the competition is seen as the most influential competition in the industry. It is widely recognized as identifying the most original ideas and developments currently on the market. Past Trophy winners are seen as trendsetters who have helped to shape the future direction of aluminium foil.
 
Entries are accepted from packaging designers, brand owners, foil rollers, foil converters, foil container manufacturers, closure manufacturers, household foil manufacturers, retailers, industrial solution providers, as well as interested consumers and consumer groups or associations It offers them the chance to demonstrate their very latest ideas and products. It is also possible to combine entries from any of these disciplines.
 
EAFA’s Executive Director Guido Aufdemkamp announced the start of the 2018 contest; “The hunt for the best applications and products is always an exciting one for us. Members of the alufoil and closures industry always surprise us with their ingenuity and creativity. We are sure this year will be no exception and we look forward to a strong set of entries.”
 
Competition categories cover every aspect of aluminium foil and closures use. Applications are accepted from packaging, construction and automotive, as well as industrial and decorative products:
 
Marketing + Design: Entrants should deliver real improvements to graphic and structural packaging design, ergonomics and ideas that lead to greater shelf appeal at point-of-sale, as well as industrial design applications.
Consumer Convenience: Answering calls for improved technical performance that provide real benefits to the consumer.
Resource Efficiency: Sustainable environmental performance is among the foremost challenges faced by industry. Developments should provide real benefits and demonstrate environmental and commercial advantages whether in consumer or industrial applications.
Product Protection: Consumers are increasingly demanding fewer preservatives in food and this is where packaging can really come into its own by delivering products safely and hygienically.
Technical Innovation: The development of innovative ideas should provide benefits for the brand owner, retailer, consumer and industrial user through the performance of a material, manufacturing method or conversion process.
 
Entries will be accepted from now until the deadline of 24 November 2017. More details and applications forms are available on www.alufoil.org.

For more information visit: www.alufoil.org

Aluminium China 2017

Aluminium China 2017

Aluminium China - the biggest event in the Asian aluminium industry – attracted more than 21,590 visitors from 80 countries to Shanghai this month with the spotlight firmly on the future of the lightweight auto industry. 

The event showcased some 500 aluminium makers, processing equipment providers and materials processors from around the world.
 
The event continued its strong international presence, featuring new exhibitors such as Constellium, Gillespie & Powers, Magma, Ruf, Haehne, Stas and Rex Materials from Germany, France, US, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Australia, Slovenia and Malaysia. Leading domestic and international players included Aluminium Coporation of China, Zhongwang, Hongqiao, Deli, Yiteli, Yunhai, Zhongfu, Yuhang, Yankuang, Chuangxin, UACJ, Deli, Fenglv, Pyrotek, Mingde, Huafeng, SMS, Huangchang and Haomei.
 
Aluminium China 2017 attracted senior industry figures including Mr. Chen Quanxun, consultant of the State Council and president of China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association; Mr. Ron Knapp, Secretary General of International Aluminum Institute, and Mr. Onuki, General Manager of Japan Aluminum Association.
 
This year’s event focused on lightweight auto with the Development Forum on Connection Technologies for Lightweight Vehicle Structures and the Forged Part Exhibition Zone featuring the latest developments in aluminium welding, connectivity, processing, car body and lightweight chassis technologies. The event also saw the launch of the first Lightweight Vehicle Research Paper in China, addressing lightweight material makers, processors and equipment providers. Keynotes and presentations were provided by experts from the Lightweight Research Department of SAE-China, Böllhoff China and GM China Science Institute.
 
As a high-quality lightweight material, aluminium also plays a key role in the aerospace and high-speed train sectors. With the rise of subway and light rail transportation infrastructure projects across Chinese cities, advanced materials deep processing was a key industry focus, with discussions and presentations on processing, welding and connectivity.
 
International visitors to Aluminium China 2017 were given special attention, including a free one-day trip to two factories, Yinbang and Qianxun, while a new online ‘matchmaking’ service offered personalised visitor experiences. The show organiser also launched Reed Connect, an e-platform for trade visitors to follow updates, market information and deal-making opportunities in real-time via their mobile devices. By scanning codes at the venue, exhibitors and visitors were able to access product, technology and device information and arrange face-to-face meetings. 
 
Aluminium China 2018 will return to Shanghai next year from July 18th to July 20th at Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC), while Asia’s only Lightweight Transportation Trade Fair - Lightweight Asia 2018 will take place at the same time and venue.

Retirement announcement

Retirement announcement

After a career spanning 47 years, the last six of which were spent as a successful Managing Director of SCHADE Lagertechnik GmbH, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Karl-Heinz Fiegenbaum was given a fitting send-off into retirement in the presence of approximately 70 staff and with the best wishes of the President of the Group, Franz-W. Aumund. 

Karl-Heinz Fiegenbaum became Managing Director in July 2011 with responsibility for the sales and commercial side of the business. “Your time as MD has seen a marked growth in turnover, a significant increase in headcount and a transition to the company’s new strategic vision.” This was how Franz-W. Aumund described the major developments at SCHADE under the leadership of Mr Fiegenbaum.

A new sales organisation under the campaign name “SCHADE goes mega” was built up with the aim of marketing not only single machines but complete solution packages. This led to large projects with various customers and orders, in particular from Asia, in the range of tens of millions of Euros.

The exit strategy was well prepared and the transition was implemented by Mr Fiegenbaum before his departure. His successor, Dr Christoph Seifert, had joined the business as Technical Managing Director in February 2015, and he has now moved across to take responsibility for sales and commercial management. On 1st March this year, 57-year-old Klaus Paul joined SCHADE Lagertechnik to take over from Dr. Seifert as Technical Managing Director.

SCHADE Lagertechnik GmbH is one of the leading global manufacturers of stacking and reclaiming equipment for bulk materials stockyards and blending beds. The company benefits from the international network of the AUMUND Group in the cement industry, but has also made a name for itself as a partner to the power sector and in other important industries all over the world. 

Photo: From left: Dr. Christoph Seifert (SCHADE, MD Sales), Franz-W. Aumund (AUMUND Group, President), Karl-Heinz Fiegenbaum (SCHADE, MD Sales), Andreas Klottka (AUMUND Holding, MD) and Klaus Paul (SCHADE, Technical MD) 

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y859oug3

Bauxite sale

Bauxite sale

The company confirmed a sale of 30,000 tonnes of cement grade bauxite from its Bald Hill Bauxite mine, Campbell Town, Northern Tasmania.

The bauxite will be dispatched from Bell Bay Port of Launceston before 30 September 2017. The company has issued the road transport contract to Dave Wagner & Son Pty Ltd. It has contracted with QUBE Logistics at Bell Bay for the stevedoring services and the stockpiling arrangements.

ABx’s Logistics Manager, Paul Glover said, “It is very clean bauxite due to efficient processing by Stornoway contractors at the Bald Hill mine and careful transport pit-toport by Wagners, in close coordination with QUBE stevedores and TasPorts.”

Porous aluminium

Porous aluminium

A new technology of producing an unsinkable aluminium alloy was developed at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU). Porosity is produced by the addition of foaming gas into liquid aluminum during re-melting. The porous materials can increase stiffness and sound and heat insulating proprieties, according to the SPbPU's Media-center.

"A high porosity level can be used to decrease the density of structural elements, e.g. sheets. The density can be decreased even lower than the density of water. Resulting structural elements would be unsinkable. And its usage in shipbuilding will ensure unsinkability even with a leak in the hull," says Oleg Panchenko, deputy head of the Laboratory of Light Materials and Structures SPbPU, one of the inventors.

In many cases, the carrying capacity of thin materials (1 mm or less) is sufficient for a lot of structures. But material with such thickness sometimes has geometric limitations (the thickness is too small for manipulation) or it can't be joined without deformation. Due to the material's porosity, it is possible to increase the thickness, maintaining the weight while stiffening the structure.

A similar technology has been patented in Japan, but it produces only entirely porous material. Researchers of SPbPU found a way to produce homogeneous and heterogeneous distribution of pores in the material. Because it is made of solid material, it can be either porous if necessary or with nonporous thickening or solid structure. Using this technology, double-layer sandwiches may be produced in which only one side is porous, increased density can be conferred to selected areas for mechanical or welded joints.

For more information visit: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-technology-porous-aluminum.html#jCp

Alba safety campaign

Alba safety campaign

In line with its commitment to Safety Tomorrowland, Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) launched a new safety awareness campaign “My Health ... My Responsibility” on Monday July 10th 2017 targeting Line 6 Contractors at the Alba Oasis Hall.
 
Organised by Alba and in partnership with the Ministry of Health, this two-day event was held under the patronage of the Undersecretary of Bahrain’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development, Subah bin Salem Al Doseri. The campaign was inaugurated by Alba’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Murray in the presence of Alba Executives, Directors, and Managers as well as Line 6 Contractors’ Officials, in addition to representatives from both ministries.
 
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Murray, said:
“We are pleased to team-up with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development along with the Ministry of Health to safeguard the Safety of our employees and contractors especially as Line 6 construction is underway. We also believe that Safety is woven in our business as we aim to provide the best safety practices to maintain a safe working environment especially in the hot summer months.”
 
This tailored campaign aims to improve the contractors’ awareness towards safety and health during the summer months especially heat stress and dehydration. This event features a number of presentations delivered by speakers from Alba, Ministry of Health as well as Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7677nsh

Gulf Extrusions: New CEO

Gulf Extrusions: New CEO

Gulf Extrusions is pleased to welcome Christian Witsch as the new Chief Executive Officer, responsible for all the Metals initiatives within the Al Ghurair Group.

Christian brings 30 years of extensive business management experience to Gulf Extrusions of which 25 years have been dedicated to the Global Aluminium Extrusion Industry with leading producers such as SAPA and Hydro Aluminium Extrusions.

Throughout Christian's career he has been recognised as a Manager who is passionate for Manufacturing Excellence. His extensive understanding, and experience, of business and industrial manufacturing has ensured his continued success. Christian has held various managerial roles within the Hydro Aluminium Extrusion organisation including Vice President for Operational Excellence for Europe and Asia, Managing Director of Hydro Aluminium Poland and Hydro Aluminium UK as well as Manufacturing Manager of Austria, Germany, Argentina and Poland.

Christian is a distinguished and talented Leader who demonstrated passion and capability throughout his impressive career. We are confident that Christian's joining further strengthens Al Ghurair Group Metals initiatives TOWARDS A FUTURE OF POSSIBILITIES.

Smelter restart

Smelter restart

Alcoa Corporation has announced plans to restart three of five potlines at its Warrick Operations aluminium smelter near Evansville, Ind., an action that will further improve the competitiveness of the on-site rolling mill.

The process to restart the three lines, with 161,400 metric tons of annual capacity, will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2018. The three potlines will directly supply the Warrick rolling mill, which serves the North American market with flat-rolled aluminium for the food and beverage can packaging industry. The smelter’s molten metal will supplement purchased scrap metal and other raw materials that the Warrick site will continue to procure.

“By restarting a portion of the Warrick smelter, we will provide an efficient source of metal for the co-located rolling mill and help it meet an anticipated increase in production volumes,” said Tim Reyes, President of Alcoa’s Aluminum business unit. “The action will enable us to more fully utilise the assets at this integrated site for the benefit of our investors, customers, employees and the community.”

The smelter at Warrick closed in March of 2016. Two of the five smelting potlines will be classified as curtailed capacity and will remain idle. After this partial restart, Alcoa will have approximately 886,000 metric tons idled of its total smelting capacity of 3.4 million metric tons.

Restart expenses expected to be incurred in the third and fourth quarters of 2017 are estimated to be between $30 and $35 million (after-tax), or $0.16 and $0.19 per share, on a combined basis.

Additionally, in third quarter 2017, Alcoa will record an after-tax benefit of approximately $25 million, or $0.13 per share, for the reversal of liabilities related to the original closure.

The Warrick location currently employs about 1,250. The restart will increase the site’s employment by approximately 275, including those who will be hired or recalled from layoff status. Some existing employees will transfer to the smelter.

The federal, state and local governments have all been supportive of the restart plan. Alcoa appreciates the actions the Trump Administration has taken to address the challenges faced by the U.S. aluminium industry, including Chinese overcapacity. As Warrick Operations restarts aluminium production, Alcoa is confident the Administration will continue to be attentive to the industry’s needs.

The state of Indiana, through the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), and Warrick County offered preliminary assistance to support the restart plan. The IEDC offered Alcoa up to $2.4 million in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on plans to add new full-time jobs for Indiana residents.

"With its decision to restart operations in Indiana, Alcoa is showcasing the value that this facility and Indiana's manufacturing expertise provide to its global operations," said Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb. "In Indiana, we're witnessing incredible momentum as manufacturers continue to choose Indiana for growth, and we're pleased that Alcoa once again chose Indiana."

Alcoa Warrick Operations is comprised of the smelter and the rolling operations, which includes state-of-the-art casting, hot and cold rolling, slitting and coating capabilities. The operations also include the power supply for the smelter and rolling operations, consisting of a coal mine that fuels four generating units with a combined net capacity of about 750 megawatts. Three of those units are wholly-owned by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. A fourth unit, Warrick Unit 4, with 300 megawatts of net capacity, is owned in a 50-50 partnership with Vectren, a utility headquartered in Evansville.

As part of the smelter restart plan, Alcoa Power Generating Inc. and Vectren have agreed to jointly own and operate Unit 4 through December 31, 2023. Vectren’s support in the restart decision provides important clarity for the power portfolio at Warrick.

Carl Chapman, Vectren Chairman, President and CEO said: “Restarting the operations of the smelter is a significant economic development win, and we were pleased to play an important role in helping make this a reality.”

Ed Hemmersbach, Vice President of Operations for Alcoa Aluminum said: “We appreciate the assistance and collaboration with numerous stakeholders in this process, including our employees, United Steelworkers Local 104, Vectren, and the local and state officials who have all provided support in our work to strengthen the integrated operation here in Southwestern Indiana.”

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7hkhcly

Hydro acquires Sapa

Hydro acquires Sapa

Norsk Hydro has agreed with Orkla to acquire its 50 percent interest in Sapa for a total enterprise value of NOK 27 billion, giving full ownership in the global leader in extruded aluminium solutions and making Hydro a leading force in the global aluminium industry.

The transaction will be financed through cash positions and issuance of bonds in Norwegian and international markets, and will be temporarily funded by committed undrawn credit lines. Following the transaction, Hydro is committed to retain its investment grade rating and a robust balance sheet. Hydro will maintain its dividend policy of returning 40 percent of net income over the cycle, with NOK 1.25 per share seen as a floor in 2017.

The purchase price will be paid in cash at completion, adjusted for net debt and normalised working capital.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval from relevant competition authorities, and is expected in the second half of 2017.

Union representatives from both companies have been involved in the acquisition process from the very start, making sure the voices of their members are heard. 
Completion of the transaction is expected by second half 2017, pending approvals from relevant competition authorities in Brazil, Canada, China, EU and Turkey.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/yc9vfgyb

Light-weight construction

Light-weight construction

Government and industry initiatives put spotlight on lighter weight auto and consumer materials 

2017 marks a key year for aluminium, with China’s 13th Five-Year Plan putting the emphasis on the development of light-weight vehicles and the implementation of policies to encourage the auto industry to deliver greater energy efficiency and low emissions. With lighter manufacturing becoming the new global norm, the aluminium industry Is gearing up to seize new opportunities and next month’s Aluminium China 2017 in Shanghai from 19-21 July, will put the spotlight on light-weight trends and deep processing that will drive new growth. The event will feature over 500 exhibitors from China and around the world and will attract some 20,000 trade visitors from more than 40 countries.
 
Reflecting this major transformation, this year’s Aluminium China will see the launch of the new Auto Wheel and Cast Piece Pavilion and the Lighter Auto-related Technology Development Forum. In addition to showcasing innovation in the areas of materials, processing and engineering applications, international visitors from leading design and manufacturing companies will share insights into new advanced technologies and production processes.
 
Aluminium China 2017 will also focus on cutting-edge research and development in other consumer markets. In particular, it will explore how the industry is meeting growing demand for aluminium in light-weight and robust consumer electronics casing. This will include new casting, forging and full CNC processes to accelerate adoption and reduce costs. It is urgent that these challenges are addressed to satisfy the needs of the consumer aluminium industry, while the conference and exhibition will also focus on other future growth areas, such as transport and aerospace along with new welding technologies and other hot technical developments.
 
“Expanding into wider downstream segments and end-user markets represents a key shift in supply-side reform in the aluminium industry,” said Chris Zang, Senior Project Manager at Reed Exhibitions China. “It is predicted that consumption is yet to peak and there is still room for major growth. Now that aluminium can offer performance as well as cost-benefits, the material is enjoying increasing popularity and competitiveness.”
 
Looking at downstream applications and end-user scenarios, another new Aluminium China pavilion will feature aluminium packaging and the analysis of how transformation in metal packaging is benefiting aluminium and non-aluminium container manufacturers, coupled with an invitation to enter the Aluminium Packaging Annual Innovation contest. Meanwhile, an area dedicated to deep processing will to feature innovative deep processing solutions for transportation, packaging and consumer electronics. 
 
Aluminium China 2017 will be held at Hall W1-W3, Shanghai New International Expo Center from 19-21 July. “Building on the success of the past 12 events, Aluminium China 2017 continues to adapt to market and exhibitor needs by innovating contents and format and offering a range of additional activities and pavilions,” added Chris Zang.  “Focusing on the five ideals of innovation, co-ordination, green, openness and sharing, the event is helping to drive supply side reform and promote the aluminium industry in China and around the world.

Huafon expansion

Huafon expansion

The Huafon Aluminium Cooperation based in Chongqing and part of the HUAFON GROUP took the strategic decision to expand its production due to its success in the production of a wide range of flat rolled products particularly for household and building technology and for the automotive, packaging, transport and electronic industry.

For this purpose a new production site is established in Chongqing, Sichuan province, Central China. One of the first investments are two Achenbach OPTIMILL® Foil Rolling Mills: one Roughing Foil Rolling Mill and one Finishing Foil Rolling Mill.

Also with regard to the necessary slitting machines and as increasingly more and more Asian customers do, the decision was taken in favor of the Achenbach OPTIFOIL® technology; unique features of maximum customer benefit in connection with important references led to this decision. As a first step, the subsidiary company to be established, trading under the name HuafonALUMINIUM CO. ordered one doubler and one separator out of the Achenbach OPTIFOIL® product range.

With a view to the future, both machines will be designed extrawide with a width of 2,150 mm. For example the doubler is characterised by both, an innovative contact roller system and new diaphragm cylinders at the contact roller. The diagphragm cylinders are also used in the separator namely at the contact, lay-on and support rollers. Further characteristics of high customer benefit are especially the optimised razor blade holders or the precisely operating pinhole detector guaranteeing together with all constructional details an ideal winding density and a perfect slitting appearance.

Achenbach as a reliable partner is pleased to have won a new customer and to support Huafon in building up their new production site in Chongqing with the delivery of first-class machinery.

For more information visit: http://www.achenbach.de/

EAFA new president

EAFA new president

Bruno Rea, commercial director at Laminazione Sottile Group of Italy, has been elected the new President of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) at the Association’s summer conference in Bilbao, Spain. 

He succeeds Jan Homan of Constantia Flexibles, who served two terms.

EAFA is the international body representing companies engaged in flexible packaging, in rolling and rewinding of alufoil as well as in the manufacture of aluminium closures and semi-rigid containers. Its more than 100 members include companies in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

Following his election Mr Rea looked forward to his term of office with an optimistic message for the sector, “It is a great honour to receive this responsibility and the trust of my colleagues to lead EAFA. The industry enjoyed a record breaking 2016 and the economic outlook, both in Europe and the rest of the world, is very positive. In all the core markets for aluminium foil, such as packaging and construction, the story is one of increasing demand and new opportunities for growth.”

“EAFA has a strong voice thanks to its strong membership and organisation. It is my task to ensure we continue to represent the sector at the highest levels and that the Association leads the way in promoting good practice, resource efficiency, sustainability and innovation,” he continued.

Our sector must work together for improved business opportunities, so EAFA has always set itself an ambitious agenda and l hope our voice and actions will grow even stronger in the future, for the benefit of our members and the industry at large,” concluded Mr Rea.

For more information visit: http://www.alufoil.org/media/press-releases.html

New cold rolling mill

New cold rolling mill

After commissioning a new hot rolling mill in September 2014, AMAG opened Europe's most state-of-the-art aluminium cold rolling mill in the presence of around 700 guests on June 22, 2017. 

By taking this step, the company becomes the leading centre of expertise in aluminium rolled products.

Helmut Wieser, CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG, took the opportunity to express his thanks: "We would like to thank our owners who are enabling our strategic growth development through their forward-looking decisions, as well as our customers who have supported us on this path and have spurred us on." Wieser addressed particular thanks to the workforce and to the parties involved in the project: "We are very satisfied with the precision with which this project has been realised, including its implementation to deadline. Outstanding work by our project team and project partners has made this possible."

Investments
The Ranshofen-based company achieve its transformation into Europe's most state-of-the-art aluminium location with continuous investments totalling around EUR 1 billion (of which around 90 % in Austria) over a ten-year period. Around EUR 300 million of this amount is attributable to the most recent plant expansion. An impressive aspect of this enterprise is that most of the investments were financed from the company's own cash flow.

Boost for the location
With the construction of the new plant within a record construction time of just 16 months, AMAG commits itself again to Upper Austria as an industrial location – a site where orders worth EUR 350 million have been realised between 2013 and 2017. A total of 450 new jobs will also have been created, most of which have already been established. With its 1,750 employees AMAG is one of the flagship companies in the region playing an important role in encouraging growth and innovation.

State Governor Thomas Stelzer paid tribute to the company's commitment to the locality at the opening ceremony. "As a regional state, we are in competition with the best regions. For this reason, we as a government need a partnership with the strongest – with the leading companies in our country such as AMAG and its employees. Through its most recent investments, AMAG makes a clear commitment to Upper Austria and its future as an industrial and business location," notes Stelzer.

Portfolio expansion for top quality standards
Besides doubling production capacity to more than 300,000 tonnes, wider cold-rolled aluminium sheets and strips can also be produced now. The company retains its focus on special rolled products and sustainable production, which also prompted the company to expand its casthouse and increase recycling capacities. All of these measures make AMAG an attractive growth partner for customers from highly varied sectors, especially automotive and aerospace industries, as well as the packaging industry.

Helmut Wieser on the significance of the new cold rolling mill for the company's strategic development: "With the plant expansion, we are increasing our production capacity and at the same time our quality, flexibility, productivity, as well as our competitiveness in the global market. With the expanded product dimensions and 60 years of experience with aluminium, new sales potentials open up especially in the areas of automotive, aerospace, commercial vehicles, packaging and engineering."

Picture: From left to right - Erich Hampel (CEO of B&C Private foundation), Mag. Thomas Stelzer (Governor of Upper Austria), Dr. Wolfgang Hofer (Board member of B&C Private foundation), Helmut Wieser (CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG)

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/yd23b44q

2020 Sustainability targets

2020 Sustainability targets

Constellium has reported an increase in used beverage cans recycling rate following the installation of a new furnace at its facility in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, US.

The company in its recently released 2016 Annual Business and Sustainability Performance Report said it adhered to the industry-led objectives and helped Europe to reach about 80% recycling rate target set for 2020.

Commenting on the progress Chairman of Constellium’s Sustainability Council and President of Constellium’s Packaging and Automotive Rolled Products business unit Arnaud Jouron said, “At Constellium, we’re committed to integrating sustainability into the very heart of our business, where our efforts create value for our customers, our shareholders, our employees and the communities we proudly serve.”

As per the report, Constellium’s other sustainability objectives encompassing areas like Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement, Community Upliftment, and Sustainable Purchasing are also on track.

The company actively participated in finalising the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certification program, which will be available in early 2018.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9akzlnq

ARABAL 2017

ARABAL 2017

Sohar Aluminium, organisers of the 21st Arab International Aluminium Conference & Exhibition (ARABAL) has announced full details of the agenda for the event.

The event will feature a distinguished and high-powered cadre of international industry leaders who will make up the keynote panel, informing and inspiring ARABAL 2017 attendees with their expert industry insights. 

The organisers have indicated that the ARABAL 2017 Call for Papers will close on 30th June and urge interested parties to submit their abstracts for consideration.

For full details of the ARABAL 2017 program and its speakers, to submit a paper, or to take advantage of Early Bird Registration, please visit www.arabal.com.

For more information visit: www.arabal.com

EGA robotics competition

EGA robotics competition

Emirates Global Aluminium has announced Al Robot, a robotics competition that challenges students at universities and higher education institutions in the UAE to create a robot to tackle a real life challenge at EGA’s aluminium smelters.
 
The competition asks university students to design, build and operate an autonomous robot capable of laying the brickwork lining of pots in which aluminium is smelted. This challenging work is currently done by hand.
 
EGA already works closely with academics to turn the latest scientific thinking into practical technology for EGA’s industrial sites. However, this is the first time EGA has invited student teams to participate in an open technology competition.
 
EGA will provide funding for teams that register to compete as well as a prize for the winners.
 
EGA’s existing academic partnerships include Masdar Institute, American University of Sharjah, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. Internationally universities EGA works with include the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
 
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “We have focused on innovation at EGA for 25 years. Academic partnerships play an important role in turning the latest science into usable technology. Through this first open competition we want to both solve a practical technology challenge we face, and deepen our relationships further with UAE universities.”
 
EGA has used its own technology, developed in the UAE, in every expansion since the 1990s.

EGA’s latest technology, DX+ Ultra has more than double the productivity of the company’s original D18 technology developed in 1990. Energy consumed during the smelting process is amongst the lowest in the global industry.
 
Last year EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core industrial process technology internationally.
 
EGA also supports students through scholarships. Currently EGA is sponsoring over 150 UAE Nationals in their university studies, including around 15 studying abroad.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

New extrusion line

New extrusion line

Bonnell Aluminum, a subsidiary of Tredegar Corporation has announced the start-up of its new aluminium extrusion line at its AACOA division facility located in Niles, Michigan.

This $18-million expansion project, which includes a new 3600-ton (9-inch container) aluminium extrusion press, handling systems and ancillary equipment, as well as additional floor space to accommodate future value-added fabrication capacity, will serve the automotive and specialty markets with custom finished aluminium extrusions.

“The completion of this project marks another major milestone for our company. Demand from our customers and core markets has been strong, and we are now in a better position to meet their requirements for quality products and services,” commented Brook Hamilton, President and General Manager for Bonnell Aluminum. “The addition of this new extrusion line strengthens us on all fronts.”

For more information visit: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170614006034/en/

Qatalum update

Qatalum update

The Qatalum plant in Mesaieed is operating at full production of value added aluminium products, and the closing of the borders by KSA, UAE and Bahrain has had no impact on day to day production.  

Qatalum is closely monitoring political developments in the GCC, and is working together with its shareholders to find mitigating actions to continue to serve global customers despite the current logistical challenges arising from the closure of transport links between Qatar and KSA, UAE and Bahrain.

For more information visit: https://www.qatalum.com/Media/News/Pages/Qatalum-has-no-impact-on-day-to-day-production-.aspx

Alba appointment

Alba appointment

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), has announced the promotion of Abdul Rasool Ahmed Abdul Rasool as the Director of Casthouse.
 
A. Rasool joined Alba in 1985 as an Operator and was promoted to Supervisor Casthouse in 1997. He was appointed as the Casthouse Manager in 2006 thereafter Senior Casthouse Manager in 2013.
 
Speaking on this occasion, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Murray said:
“Casthouse is the operational area that interfaces directly with our customers and A. Rasool has played a critical role in maximizing Alba's Value-Added Production (VAP). Alba will continue down the path of growing our VAP portfolio with the commissioning of a new state-of-the-art Casthouse as part of the Line 6 Expansion Project.
 
A. Rasool is another great example of developing management talent from within the Company. A. Rasool is a true leader in every sense of the word and I am confident that he will take the performance of our Casthouse operations to the next level.”
 
A. Rasool has a Higher National Diploma in Metals Technology, Sandwell College, UK and associate Diploma in Technology (Chemical Engineering) from Hindustan Institute of Engineering, Madras, India.

For more information visit: http://www.albasmelter.com/mc/News/Pages/2017/New-Director-of-Casthouse.aspx

Alcoa: Blackout update

Alcoa: Blackout update

Alcoa has restarted half the capacity at its aluminium smelter in Australia's Victoria that was crippled by a state-wide blackout six months ago.

The Portland smelter has been running at a third of its 300 000 t/y capacity since a freak storm prompted the power outage in December, causing molten aluminium to solidify in the facility's potlines and freezing production.

"Getting to the half way point in our bid to restore the business has been a big task, but what I have seen up to now gives me great confidence in our ability to deliver the plan," Plant Manager Peter Chellis said in a statement.

The plant's resumption has come in part due to a A$240-million ($182-million) government-sponsored rescue package that has secured its future for at least four years in a state that has suffered from a spate of job losses including the shutdown of three major car makers and a power station.

With local power costs soaring, a cheap source of energy was also needed. The Portland smelter lined up a four-year power supply deal with AGL Energy for 510 megawatts, or about 10% of the state's electricity load, earlier this year.

"We are expecting to have production restored to pre-outage levels by early to mid-August," Alcoa spokeswoman Jodie Read told Reuters.

The government's financial aid is dependent on the smelter staying open at least until 2021 and output remaining at least 90% of pre-blackout levels.

The plant is co-owned by Alcoa, Australian firm Alumina Ltd, China's CITIC Resources and an arm of Japan's Marubeni Corp.

Beer boom Britain

Beer boom Britain

The boom of the small independent brewing industry in the UK shows no sign of slowing...

In fact, according to a recent report by Siba, a new brewery is opening in Britain every two days with one in six independent brewers planning to double levels of production, sales and turnover in the next two years. The trend is boosting the British economy with the beer and pub market sectors now responsible for some 869,000 jobs.

With the various events and festivals now organised around craft produce, in the UK and throughout the world, its near impossible to miss the craft beer explosion. Not only that, there are ‘craft beer clubs’ operating in Britain where, for a fee, beer drinkers are provided with a monthly supply of small batch, hand-picked craft beer from around the world, delivered to their doorstep. 

The Siba report states that 56% of produced beer is supplied to free-trade (non-brewery owned) pubs while over 80% of all beer sold by members is sold within 40 miles of the brewery. 17% are now exporting beer with a further 53% interested in doing so. In such a competitive market with plans for increased levels of both production and sales, it’s no wonder then that most breweries made capital investments in 2015, with 13% investing over £100K mainly in expansion of production, modernising equipment and transportation improvements.  To aid the entry into new markets and exports many breweries are looking to canning their beer. 

Of course, a growing market is a competitive one and while independent craft brewers continue to enjoy this rapid growth, larger brewers are also looking to capitalise on investments in this market, through mergers and acquisitions, and their own small batch brews. We saw this in early 2016, with the AB InBev takeover of UK based Camden Town Brewery, a brewery which has taken on canning their product, alongside their bottling and keg products.

While cans are undeniably becoming extremely popular, there is still a lack of ability to provide small batch brews in cans with the same print quality as mass produced product.   This is due to traditional processes and the economic crossover point of the suppliers, with minimum order quantities of around 150,000 cans and long lead times creating a barrier to the fluidity and potential rapid growth of small, independent brewers who need batch sizes of 10,000 to 50,000. 

Until now, the only alternative for small batch brewing to be packaged in cans is to utilise indirect label printing at a considerable additional cost to conventional manufactured cans.  New digital can printing technology addresses these issues while opening-up a whole new world of opportunity. Digital print technology for beverage can decoration, whether for craft beer or non-alcoholic craft beverages, wines or RTD’s can deliver the variety, flexibility and choice that producers need to succeed. In fact, with limited edition flavourings or one-off special brews increasing in popularity, packaging can help a brand stand-out. 

From a cost perspective alone, Tonejet direct to can digital printing is roughly 20 times cheaper than label printing for cans. 
With the inherent nature of digital print and minimum orders of almost one, brewers are now provided with virtually limitless personalisation opportunities. Not only that, but as the technology is capable of printing several batches a day, product time-to-market is decreased too, enabling brewers to respond quickly to seasonal trends or produce and can key beverage brands for events or social media campaign, opening-up new business opportunities. 

True personalised packaging, made available from printer manufacturers such as Tonejet, are key to unlocking significant investment opportunities, for a variety of craft beverage packaging business models – be that simply as a financial investor or in setting up individual custom digital can printing operations. 

In the USA, small batch beverages have been canned for some 20 years with a variety of mobile canning companies offering a canning service at the brewery when the beer is ready. By example, a recent Tonejet customer in North America is setting up a contract can printing company, buying in blank cans and printing smaller run orders for local craft brewers. With no order constraints, even before the system is installed, its order book was full for several months in advance. They are already expecting to invest in a second system to meet demands!

In the UK, with an increased focus on branding and customer communication, there is a huge opportunity for such canning operations, whether that be for small and contract brewers, beverage producers, printer converters or potential investors. 

“Key to financing of the digital printing asset, is a clear understanding of the income generation potential of the equipment and the security it offers to an asset finance company. Working closely, with the manufacturer, provides an important link to this process. At Paragon Bank business finance, we have a dedicated team of industry experts, who have provided funding solutions to the print industry and have a lot of experience with this type of production asset”. Paul Eversfield, Paragon Bank. 

References: 
*From Siba (Siba members):
http://toolbox.siba.co.uk/documents/Facts%20and%20Figures/SIBAMembersSurvey2016.pdf 
Wall Street Journal 
http://www.wsj.com/articles/sabmiller-ab-inbev-agree-on-deal-in-principle-1444717547
https://www.beer52.com/

For more information visit: http://www.tonejet.com/news/beer-boom-britain-what-s-in-it-for-you

Partnership extension

Partnership extension

Quintiq has announced the extension of its partnership with Aluar Aluminio Argentino S.A.I.C. (Aluar) to further improve the aluminium producer’s planning and optimisation capabilities.

Quintiq’s optimisation technology has been at the core of Aluar’s operations since 2007. In January 2016, Quintiq established its headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil to better serve its customers in Latin America. This development, coupled with an already positive and stable relationship between the two companies, became the catalyst for Aluar’s decision to extend its partnership with Quintiq. 

Aluar is using Quintiq to plan across all time horizons, including tactical planning in sales and operations planning, capacity planning and master production scheduling, and detailed production scheduling. 

“The advantages of Quintiq were clear to us from the start,” said Gabriel Perez Villamil, Aluar’s IT Director. “In 2007, we worked with the Quintiq team from the Netherlands to implement the solution. Now that Quintiq has expanded into Latin America, we are being served by a local team. This enables us to collaborate with even more ease.” 

“Having a headquarters in Latin America gives Quintiq many advantages, including a deeper understanding of the business climate and culture of our customers in this region,” said Camilo Gaviria, Director of Quintiq Latin America. “We want to empower Latin American companies like Aluar to excel in planning and increase their efficiency, productivity and profit potential. Our local presence will allow us to do just that by giving our customers the best service possible.”

Image caption: Camilo Gaviria, Director of Quintiq Latin America (center), with (from left) Pablo Widmer, Ivone Jacobsen, Gabriel Perez Villamil and Diego Marsicano of Aluar Aluminio Argentino S.A.I.C

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ydf8qxje

Qatalum update

Qatalum update

Norsk Hydro: Qatalum working to solve logistical challenges arising from Middle-East tensions

The Qatalum aluminium plant is working to solve outbound logistical challenges arising from the uncertain situation in the Middle-East after Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut off transportation links and severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.
 
Qatalum is a joint venture between Hydro and Qatar Petroleum, and is producing more than 600,000 tonnes per year of value-add primary aluminum to customers in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Most Qatalum shipments normally go through the large Jebel Ali port in UAE, but this port looks to be closed for all Qatar shipments from Tuesday morning.
 
Supported by owners Hydro and Qatar Petroleum, the Qatalum JV is currently working to find alternative shipment routes to enable it to continue to serve its global customers.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybes9eb8

Can recycling milestone

Can recycling milestone

Alupro has announced a new milestone has been reached for aluminium drink can recycling in the UK as the recycling rate reaches 70%.

Seven out of ten aluminium drink cans sold in the UK in 2016 were recycled, according to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation.

Beverage cans make up by far the largest sector of the 180,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging placed on the market during the year; and with the UK being the largest beverage can market in Europe, and aluminium the dominant metal used for can manufacturing, the 70% milestone for aluminium cans makes a major contribution to the European metal packaging sector’s ambition to reach and exceed an average 80% metal packaging recycling rate by 20201.

Commenting on the recycling rate milestone Alupro Executive Director Rick Hindley said: “We are obviously very pleased that aluminium packaging recycling rates continue to increase year on year and it’s particularly nice to reach a new 70% ‘milestone’ for beverage cans. The continued growth is due to the support of our members and partners in the wider industry and their commitment to invest in and support our programmes to drive positive, lasting behaviour change among consumers.”’

Alupro has expressed concern that future recycling performance will be compromised by a lack of ambition from government in setting new targets for aluminium, and lobbied for targets to 2020 to be ‘front loaded’. The organisation has also argued for reform to the PRN system, including the mandatory registration of reprocessors and exporters to ensure that all material collected for recycling is reported through the issuing of Packaging Recovery Notes.  This was the result of research it carried out to reveal the ‘real recycling rate’ for aluminium packaging. The organisation expressed frustration when its argument for an increase in the 2017 target was ignored.

“We remain convinced that future growth in aluminium recycling performance is achievable within the current system, subject to a few revisions which will ensure all recycling is accurately reported and that behaviour change programmes are properly funded on a fair and equitable basis. Alupro believes that communication is the missing link between the collection infrastructure and recycling growth, as has been proved over and again by industry-funded programmes like MetalMatters and Every Can Counts. Our focus remains to make people aware of the aluminium in the packaging they use every day and how to recycle it so that the metal can be given a new life, over and over again.”

For more information visit: http://www.alupro.org.uk/aluminium-recycling-news/alupro-announces-new-milestone-reached-aluminium-drink-can-recycling-uk-recycl

Alba Line 6 Update

Alba Line 6 Update

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), the Bahrain-based international aluminium smelter, has been taking solid steps with the progress of Line 6 Expansion Project, according to a statement issued by the Chairman of Alba’s Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa.

The statement was made at the second quarterly meeting for this year, held on Thursday, 25 May 2017 at Alba.

Adding further, Shaikh Daij said:

“We are very pleased with securing the first tranche of Export Credit Agency (ECA), c. US$ 700 million, and we expect another US$300 - US$400M of ECA-covered financing to be closed by the end of the 3rd quarter which will fully secure Line 6 financing.  

I would also like to thank the Alba team for the significant progress in restoring reduction line 5. We look forward to fully resuming Line 5 production both safely and as soon as possible.”

During the meeting, the Board approved the minutes of the previous meeting, which was held on 9 February 2017 as well as the membership of the Standing Committees of the Board.

Taha Int update

Taha Int update

Bahrain based Taha International WLL has announced a tie up with the Indian start up company Runaya Refining LLP (RRL).

The Indian counterpart, which aims to provide dross processing solutions to the aluminium industry is a company founded by the Agarwal brothers, Naivedya and Annaya. Their start up Runaya Metsource, the parent of Ranaya Refining, is funded by the principal shareholders of the Vedanta group, and will be managed by Annaya Agarwal. Annaya Agarwal’s father is the Chairman of Vedanta Ltd.

Taha has signed a technology licensing agreement with Runaya Refining to address one of the biggest challenges facing the Indian Aluminium industry today, which relates to the handling, evacuation and disposal of dross in an environmentally friendly manner. Developed by TAHA as a major waste minimisation initiative, the new treatment method makes it economically viable to treat and convert residual waste, thus eliminating any environmental impact of dross. The environmental aspect of aluminium manufacturing is now a major factor for all sectors of the industry.

The project launched by RRL will set up a dross processing facility in Jharsuguda, with an initial capacity of 30,000 MT. RRL expects to commission Phase 1 by end of 2017 and commence commercial production in 2018.  
Frank Pollmann, Taha International’s CEO and founder commented “India represents one of the most important Aluminium markets in the world, and RRL is strongly positioned to serve this market. Many years of experience, and dedicated service in the aluminium industry in Bahrain serving robust companies like Alba, and Garmco have borne fruit, and I am delighted that Taha technology, conceived and developed here in Bahrain, is going to be implemented in India.” 

As per the agreement, Runaya will obtain Taha International’s technology for exclusive operations in India and receive value added product distribution rights on a worldwide basis.

Annaya Agarwal, CEO of Runaya Refining commented “This is an advanced technology that has tremendous market potential in India and can contribute significantly to India’s manufacturing sector.”

Ma’aden signs Alcoa MOU

Ma’aden signs Alcoa MOU

Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden signed two landmark Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with its U.S.-based partners Alcoa and Mosaic at the ongoing inaugural Saudi-U.S.CEO Forum that was launched in Riyadh on Saturday, May 20.

The Memorandums are expected to provide fresh impetus to the Kingdom's mining sector which is identified to be a playing a crucial role in the economic diversification of the nation as outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.

The first MOU outlines the scope of feasibility assessment of a potential expansion of aluminium production complex in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City, by Ma'aden and Alcoa, the joint developers of the project.

Since inception in 2009, the Ma’aden-Alcoa aluminium smelting joint venture complex has made a significant contribution amounting to US$4 billion to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. On completion of expansion, primary aluminium capacity of the venture is expected to be raised by 600,000 metric tonnes per year. It would also result in over 3,000 high quality jobs creation in the Kingdom.

The other two MOU also pertain Ma'aden's mining and fertiliser businesses. The projects are subject to the definitive studies and obtaining necessary approvals and consents of the Board.

EGA company of the year

EGA company of the year

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has been named aluminium company of the year at the Platts Global Metals awards.

The awards ceremony took place in London and brought together the global metals industry. EGA was recognised as ‘Industry Leader – Aluminium’.
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA, said: “It is pleasing to be recognised by our peers in this way. This award is for each of our 7,000 people whose work over decades has made EGA the industry leader it is today.”

EGA makes around one tonne in every 25 tonnes of aluminium produced in the world. EGA’s high quality aluminium is supplied to some 300 customers in 60 countries.

Around 10% of EGA’s production is sold in the UAE to 26 downstream companies that use it to make products. The aluminium sector employs some 30,000 people, making it the largest employer amongst the UAE’s energy intensive industries.

EGA has been smelting aluminium in the UAE for almost four decades. Today EGA is expanding upstream and internationally into bauxite mining and alumina refining to create a vertically integrated national industrial champion. 
EGA has built its success on a culture of continuous improvement. EGA has developed its own technology in the UAE for 25 years.

EGA’s homegrown technology is amongst the most efficient in the global aluminium industry. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its own large-scale industrial technology internationally.

In 2017, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

Alu is key in auto

Alu is key in auto

International business leaders, engineering experts and academics from the automotive industry and complete aluminium value chain will be converging in Shanghai in July for Aluminium China 2017, to share the latest developments in lightweight automotive design and manufacturing. 

Aluminium is increasingly seen as playing a key role in minimising overall weight while ensuring strength and safety for a new generation of lightweight vehicles. And the global auto industry has a lot to gain, including the enhancement of power, reduction in fuel consumption and the mitigation of air pollution to strengthen energy efficiency and improve environmental protection. Statistics show that the aluminum-made vehicle body can reduce the overall vehicle weight by 10-15%.
 
This year’s Aluminium China 2017, which will feature over 500 exhibitors and attract more than 20,000 visitors, is putting a major focus on a wide range of lightweight auto solutions, including materials, processes and technologies to help accelerate further development and adoption. In the Light Auto Core Technologies seminar program and new Light Auto Zone, leading car makers from China and around the world will showcase lightweight aluminium and magnesium along with emerging materials such as composites and carbon fibres and advanced manufacturing equipment. In addition, the Auto Parts and Forge Zone will feature high-end forge and cast materials and processes to promote cutting-edge lightweight auto technologies.
 
“Aluminium China always provides a key barometer to the global industry and leads the debate around key new trends and developments,” said Chris Zang, Senior Project Manager at Reed Exhibitions China.  “This year is no different. In addition to focusing on lightweight auto, Aluminium China 2017 will also look at innovative aluminium technologies and applications in other areas of transportation and consumer electronics, presenting a tremendous opportunity to brainstorm solutions that will drive future development.”
 
The 13th Aluminium China at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from July 19 to 21, is Asia’s top trading, sourcing, networking and branding platform for the complete aluminium industry chain. This year, the event is expected to attract more international delegates than ever before and the special International Visitor Program provides opportunities for travel allowances, fast-track access to onsite conferences, a VIP lounge, free business match-making services and factory visits.
 
The event this year also sees significantly more exhibitors including companies such as CHALCO, Hongqiao, Zhongwang, Conglin, Alnan, Mindalu, Pratic, UACJ, AMAG, TMEIC, SMS, Pyrotek, Wagstaff, Castool and MAKA. Many leading exhibitors are coming to the event for the first time include Constellium, Gillespie & Powers, SIJ RAVNE SYSTEMS, Magma, RUF, HAEHNE, TB Sensor, Silvent, Tongli, Zhongfu and Yinbang.  

For more information visit: http://www.aluminiumchina.com/en

Recycling report

Recycling report

A new report by Nespresso on consumer attitudes to recycling has been released to identify opportunities to close the gap between official and self-reported recycling rates.

The results found that despite 98% of Brits having high intentions to recycle and 70% claiming to recycle every day, official statistics highlight a gap between intention and reality with only 44% of waste being recycled across the UK.

In order to help consumers to meet their aspirational goals, it’s important to look at what can be done to help increase recycling rates. The report identified consumer recycling confusion, highlighting a need for better communication and simplification of the process, as two in five (39%) consumers state that they’re unaware of what can or can’t be recycled, and a third (33%) are unaware of which items have to be separated.

The research identified a number of additional factors that will help UK residents to recycle more, including more bins being provided (27%) and increased frequency of collections from home (27%).

Nespresso – which has been investing in its dedicated UK and Ireland recycling schemes for almost 10 years – commissioned the report to help understand what needs to be done to help consumers recycle more. Nespresso capsules are made from aluminium, which not only maintains the freshness of the coffee but has the dual benefit of being infinitely recyclable, a fact which is not widely understood.

Francisco Nogueira, Managing Director, Nespresso UK and Ireland comments: “When it comes to recycling, consumer participation is vital. Nespresso’s Consumer Attitudes to Recycling Report shows that people in the UK want to do their part - but they don’t necessarily know how. Consumers need clear and comprehensive information and accessible infrastructure to enable them to recycle more.”

“Nespresso is committed to making recycling even simpler, practically effortless. This latest report highlights several opportunities for businesses and governments to help consumers close the gap between attitudes and actions. As this report makes clear, when it comes to recycling, we all have our part to play.”

“Nespresso regularly communicates to its customers about how they can recycle their capsules through our dedicated service, and we strongly encourage them to do so. In addition, we are working with local authorities across the UK to improve municipal collection and sorting schemes, as well as looking at ways to develop our own recycling service even further.”

In an environment of confusing messages about how and what we can recycle, Nespresso is committed to making it easy for customers to recycle its aluminium capsules through its dedicated scheme. 

The Nespresso recycling service offers customers a range of options:
- Return used capsules to one of 24 Nespresso boutiques in the UK;
- Take them to one of more than 6,000 Collect+ or Doddle collection points in the UK and 124 Parcel motel locations in the Republic of Ireland;
- Have them collected from their doorstep when they take delivery of a new order

Local authorities were found to be the main source of recycling information for consumers (69%), with half also believing the council is most responsible for recycling (49%). Earlier this month in the UK Nespresso launched a trial to recycle used aluminium coffee capsules through Kensington and Chelsea Council’s collection service. Consumers can leave their used capsules in a Nespresso recycling bag alongside their normal waste which is collected twice weekly by the local council.

The research also revealed that not only does self-reported recycling rate increase with age, confidence and the likelihood of finding recycling an easy process also increases with age, as only 6% of over 55s reporting that they find recycling difficult, compared to 19% of 16-24 year olds. The recycling process within urban areas, that are more likely to be the home of the millennial generation, has been found to be perceived as more difficult, with those living in flats (23%) stating they’re much more likely to find recycling a hard process compared to those in detached homes (7%).

Whilst our intentions to recycle are high, consumers are also environmentally conscious, with 76% claiming that the top reason for recycling is to help the environment and  over a quarter of Brits  (27%) wish they could recycle more.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/m7cgk6c

Ultra-light car parts

Ultra-light car parts

Researchers at Brunel University London are developing a new generation of ultra-light car parts that will reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions.
 
The three-year, £7.5m project is a partnership driven by Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Jaguar Land Rover and others.
 
Liquid metal engineering experts will work on it from Brunel’s Advanced Metals Casting Centre (AMCC) and Advanced Metals Processing Centre (AMPC) at its Uxbridge campus in West London.
 
The aim is to perfect incredibly light, thin-walled aluminium die-cast parts for future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, which could be used for shock absorption, chassis parts or door closures.
 
With BCAST bridging the gap between fundamental research and industry application, they hope to help create lighter vehicles and reduce fuel costs and emissions.
 
“By casting a vehicle that is lighter, you improve fuel efficiency, because they need less energy to propel them along to the road” said BCAST Director of Programmes, Eric Nyberg. “And better fuel consumption means cleaner air by pumping fewer polluting gases into the environment.”
 
The research venture is partly funded by the government and by project partners, with £3.7m from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The project is one of seven sharing a massive £62m APC cash injection to make the UK a global leader in low-emissions technology. Put together, the APC says these projects will create or safeguard 2,370 UK jobs and help it save 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2023.
 
Ian Constance, APC Chief Executive, said: “The funding demonstrates the depth of low-carbon development that is in the UK. From powertrain, to light-weighting, to energy storage, these new projects will not only lower emissions but secure thousands of jobs, address supply chain gaps, and help the UK become a true global leader in advanced vehicle technology.”

For more information visit: www.brunel.ac.uk

New Constellium plant

New Constellium plant

Constellium N.V. has announced the grand opening of its new plant in White, Georgia, dedicated to the production of advanced aluminium automotive structural components and crash management systems. 

The 135,000 sq. ft. facility is strategically located to supply automakers in the Southeast U.S. and may be expanded to 220,000 sq. ft. to meet customers’ supply needs in the future. Constellium expects to have 150 employees in White, Georgia, by 2019.

“I am very pleased to be in Georgia today to celebrate the opening of this new plant, its state-of-the art manufacturing capability and world-class team that is committed to work in partnership with our automotive customers,” said Paul Warton, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures & Industry business unit. “Being closer to our customers’ assembly plants will allow us to better serve automakers in their mission to make vehicles lighter and safer and to respond to the industry’s growing demand for aluminium structural parts.”

“On behalf of Constellium, I would like to extend our gratitude to the State of Georgia, Bartow County, our local partners and employees for their strong support in establishing the White, Georgia, plant,” commented Eric Krepps, Vice President and General Manager of Constellium Automotive Structures North America. “We are honoured to be part of your community.”

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/lcshbjj

Kobe Steel & Novelis JV

Kobe Steel & Novelis JV

Kobe Steel, Ltd. and Novelis Korea Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Novelis Inc., have entered into a definitive agreement to establish a joint venture in South Korea that will produce aluminium sheet products.
 
Kobe Steel plans to acquire 50 percent of the Ulsan Plant of Novelis Korea, for US$315 million (about 35 billion yen). The joint venture, to be named Ulsan Aluminum, Ltd., is anticipated to be established at the end of September 2017, when the deal is expected to close.
 
The joint venture will undertake production, with each parent company responsible for commercial relationships and sales. The joint venture will provide cold-rolled aluminium as a semi-finished product to Kobe Steel for use at two of its locations: the Moka Plant in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan and subsidiary Kobelco Automotive Aluminium Rolled Products (China) Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, China. Kobe Steel will be able to receive up to half of the Ulsan Plant’s production capacity of approximately 300,000 tons per year.

For more information visit: http://www.kobelco.co.jp/english/

New ALFED President

New ALFED President

The Aluminium Federation (ALFED), the trade body of the UK’s aluminium sector, has announced the appointment of a new President.

Giles Ashmead, managing director of Powdertech (Corby) Ltd, was previously Vice-President of the Aluminium Federation, and succeeds Adrian Platt.

Powdertech is one of the UK’s leading metal finishing companies, focusing on the construction, automotive and rail sectors. The company has been involved in many headline construction projects such as the Shard, the ‘Cheesegrater’ and St Pancras Station, and coats components for JLR and train projects such as Hitachi IEP and Eurostar. Giles has been a member of the Aluminium Federation’s Board since 2009, and has chaired both the Aluminium Finishing Association and its successor, the ALFED Finishing Cluster.

“I am delighted to welcome Giles as ALFED President,” said Will Savage, Aluminium Federation chief executive. “He has great technical knowledge, as well as experience in the aluminium sector and on the ALFED Board. Giles also played a key role in the smooth transition of the Aluminium Federation from an amalgamation of smaller associations, including the Aluminium Finishers Association, to a new direct membership model in 2015."

For more information visit: http://www.alfed.org.uk

China Trade Taskforce

China Trade Taskforce

On Wednesday, May 3 2017, China Trade Task Force (CTTF), a multinational campaign group, visited London to rally transnational support to call for an end to Chinese illegal aluminium subsidies that are leading to job losses across Europe and the United States.

CTTF is urging more European and UK stakeholders to join the fight and are calling on the European Union and the UK government to press the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to take urgent and decisive action.

Since China’s entry to the WTO, the number of primary aluminium smelters in the EU has declined by over 38% and more than 9,000 European aluminium workers have lost their jobs, not to mention the 1,640 British primary aluminium jobs that have been lost in UK as a result of China’s illegal aluminium subsidies that violate its WTO obligations. The U.S. has also been particularly hard hit with over 3,500 aluminium workers losing their jobs in the last 18 months alone. 

Mike Bless, CEO of Century Aluminum Company, noted that, ‘China has egregiously violated WTO rules by giving its own aluminium industry ultra-low interest loans, grants and illegal energy subsidies. Only through these illegal actions has China been able to build and maintain an uneconomical aluminium industry at the expense of workers across the European Union, United Kingdom and the United States.’ Mr. Bless remarked ‘the WTO and US and European leaders must act quickly to ensure a fair playing field for the US and EU aluminium industries to compete.’

At the time of its entry to the WTO China represented just over 10% of worldwide aluminium production, and now through its illegal subsidisation represents over 55% of global aluminium production. Recent UK Minister of Trade for State Lord Digby Jones expressed his support for the WTO case moving forward at the CTTF press conference in Westminster noting that, ‘China is breaking the rules and its illegal aluminium subsidies are hurting European industry. China’s cheating has resulted in the loss of more than 1,600 well paid British jobs.’ Lord Jones went onto note that ‘The WTO case gets at the heart of how China uses government directed capital to unfairly seize market share at the expense of European workers and their families. And for a post-Brexit Britain that will be forging new trade deals around the world, it’s vital that the WTO is seen to act when nations such as China cheat’.

The CTTF has published an open letter to the UK government, a copy of which they are delivering to 10 Downing St, setting out the scale of the crisis and calling for the UK government and leaders in Brussels to stand up for European aluminium workers.

For more information visit: https://chinatradetaskforce.com/media/

EAFA Website

EAFA Website

The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) has upgraded its website to improve navigation and give it a contemporary look and feel.

It takes into account the greatly enhanced content, which has been added over the last six years and aims to help users find the answers they seek quickly and easily.
 
The main aim is to provide information in a far more attractive and visual way, leading quickly to the content required. But the Association wishes to retain all the existing popular elements, such as market information, the latest news on sustainability and its very dynamic media section, while offering new interactive content and functionality. The website is now fully responsive with mobile devices, making it easy to navigate on a wide range of web browsers and portable devices.
 
Talking about the improvements EAFA’s Manager Communications, Cédric Rauhaus explained, “We wanted to retain the best elements of our old website, but with a refreshed and modern design - as well as a wide range of enhancements. The better navigation will help visitors efficiently manoeuvre through the wide selection of information offered on the site.”
 
Several new sections have been added, including Cuisine, which features barbeque recipes supported by cooking demonstration videos and images, and a lively events section.
 
In addition the member search facility has been improved to make it easy to navigate this section and locate EAFA’s member companies, as well as potential suppliers of alufoil products.

For more information visit: http://www.alufoil.org/home.html

New Danieli projects

New Danieli projects

ALRO SA, part of Vimetco NV has contracted Danieli for the supply of a new aluminium plate stretcher and major cold rolling mill modernisation for its plant located Slatina, Romania.

The new 18MN plate stretcher will process very thin aluminium plates with high surface quality of alloys series 1xxx to 7xxx used for aerospace, marine, defence and commercial transportation applications.

The modernisation will allow ALRO cold mill #2 to improve sheet gauge and flatness tolerances, increase productivity, improve strip dryness and mill reliability. New filtering and fume treatment systems will also improve the environmental protection level.

Both projects include the implementation of a complete package of mechanical, fluid, automation and electrical systems as well as the complete supervision of the installation and commissioning.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/lfpfads

New Arconic President

New Arconic President

Arconic has announced that Eric Roegner, Chief Operating Officer of Investment Castings, Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products and President of Arconic Defense, has been named President of Arconic Global Rolled Products (GRP), effective immediately. 

Roegner continues as President of Arconic Defense. He succeeds Kay Meggers who is leaving Arconic effective June 2 to become a faculty member at the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University.

For more information visit: http://www.arconic.com/global/en/news/news_detail.asp?pageID=20170501000404en&newsYear=2017

Alumina increase

Alumina increase

UC Rusal has announced the launch of a new digestion train at the Urals Aluminium Smelter (UAZ). The total amount of investment in the project exceeded 1.1 billion rubles.
 
Upon commissioning the new digestion train that consists of 82 units, the refinery will expand alumina production by 130 thousand tonnes per year. Total annual output of UAZ will reach 900 thousand tonnes of alumina. New equipment will increase the safety and energy efficiency of the production process resulting in cost reductions of alumina.
 
The construction of the new digestion train lasted two years and became a major investment project within UAZ‘s refinery 1.5 billion rubles modernisation programme.
 
The opening ceremony of the new facility was attended by Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL, Yakov Itskov, director of RUSAL’s alumina division, and Yevgeny Kuyvashev, governor of Sverdlovsk region.
 
“During the course of the modernisation of our production sites, we have introduced up-to-date technologies and equipment. It is important to notice that the commissioned digester primarily consists of equipment that has been designed and made in Russia and as such, surpasses its foreign counterparts”, Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL commented.

For more information visit: http://www.rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/17379/

New US rolling mill

New US rolling mill

Braidy Industries Inc. to spend $1.3 billion to build the highest quality, lowest cost auto body sheet and aerospace plate aluminium rolling mill in the United States.

The Braidy rolling mill seeks to become the nation’s low cost producer of high quality auto body sheet aluminium, plate and ultra-high strength alloys for the Aerospace industry. The mill will open with capacity of 370,000 tons per annum, producing series 5000, 6000, and 7000 aluminium sheet and plate products. Braidy is also exploring new scientific nano-crystaline technical advances capable of improving molten metal-based manufacturing.
 
“Braidy Industries’ decision to locate in Eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky,” said Gov. Bevin. “This $1.3 billion investment will create enormous opportunity for people in the region, and would not have been possible without our recently passed right-to-work legislation. I look forward to the success of Braidy Industries as they leverage the incredible work ethic found in Eastern Kentucky. The ripple effect of this investment will be significant and will produce positive change in the region for generations to come.”
 
Ground breaking at the 370 acre South Shore site will occur in the first quarter of 2018. Over $1.3 billion will be spent on the mill located in Greenup County Kentucky, close to the city of Ashland. The mill will be 2.5 million square feet under roof, with an ideal location on the great Ohio River, and already-permitted barge capacity. The CSX railroad runs through the property, and highway I-64 connects the mill site to some of the nation’s largest auto-making and aerospace customers. The State of Kentucky exports more than $10 billion per year in aerospace products, ranking it second among all states in the U.S.

For more information visit: http://www.braidyindustries.com/2017/04/23/braidy-industries-press-release/

LME News

LME News

HKEX and LME announce new LME Chief Executive and Leadership Structure.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and the London Metal Exchange (LME), a wholly-owned subsidiary of HKEX, are pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Chamberlain as Chief Executive of the LME effective immediately subject to the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK.
 
Mr Chamberlain will remain on the LME Board and will continue as a member of HKEX’s Management Committee.
 
Mr Chamberlain has been the interim Chief Executive since January 2017 and was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy of the LME, and co-Head of Business Development across the LME and LME Clear. During his time at the LME, Mr Chamberlain has led the LME's warehousing reform process, the new London platinum and palladium pricing administered by the LME and the LMEprecious initiative.
 
Before joining the LME in November 2012, Mr Chamberlain advised HKEX on the acquisition of the LME while heading European financial technology coverage at UBS. Previously, he was a founding member of the financial institutions coverage team at Perella Weinberg. He started his career at Citibank and holds an MA from Cambridge University.
 
In his role, Mr Chamberlain will work closely with Adrian Farnham, LME Clear Chief Executive. Mr Farnham has been instrumental in the establishment and continued success of LME Clear, initially as Chief Operating Officer, and currently as Chief Executive.
 
James Proudlock will take on the role of Managing Director and Head of Market Development for the LME and LME Clear, reporting to Mr Chamberlain and Mr Farnham. Mr Proudlock joined earlier this year from JP Morgan Securities PLC, bringing significant experience to the business.
 
This new leadership structure will allow the LME to continue to strengthen and secure its role as the centre for global metals trading.

Charles Li, HKEX Chief Executive, said: “Matthew’s experience and knowledge of the LME means that he is uniquely suited to lead the business in the next stage of its evolution.  We are confident that Matthew, together with Adrian and James, are the right leadership team to bring further success for the Group as we continue to grow our business and extend our geographical reach.”
 
Sir Brian Bender, Chairman of the LME, commented: “Matthew has proven himself to be a huge asset to the LME since he joined in 2012 and is the right appointment. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
 
Mr Chamberlain said: “This is an exciting time to take on the role of Chief Executive, and I look forward to working closely with our members, clients and the broader metals community.”

For more information visit: www.lme.com

Mechatherm expands

Mechatherm expands

Mechatherm Services continues to grow, adding both a Junior Service Engineer position and a Mechanical Engineer to the team.

The UK service division now employs eight people in various roles and will work to add yet more to the team as the company expands into the Middle East with its first branch office.

For more information visit: http://mechatherm.com/news/3/2017/13

Rusal: LMZ SKAD share

Rusal: LMZ SKAD share

UC Rusal has acquired share of the foundry and mechanical production facility SKAD (SKAD), which is a producer of aluminium alloy car wheels, located in Krasnoyarsk.
 
Under the terms of the transaction, Rusal will own a stake in the authorised capital of LMZ SKAD LLC and its founder, Idris Zakriev, will remain as Chief Executive Officer of the production facility.

SKAD produces alloy wheels for the Russian and overseas auto markets and, due to the growing consumer demand, SKAD’s management decided to raise funding by attracting a strategic partner for further development of the production facility.
 
‘Integrating LMZ SKAD into the Rusal’s structure fits perfectly with the Company’s goals, and will also contribute to a further increase in the sale of value added products of international quality level both in Russian and export markets,’ stated Vladislav Soloviev, Chief Executive Officer of Rusal.

For more information visit: www.rusal.com

Alba Line 6 update

Alba Line 6 update

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) has secured commitments of c. US$ 700 million from Export Credit Agency (ECA) supported facilities to finance Line 6 Expansion Project.
 
The facilities are made-up of a dual tranche of c. US$ 310 million and c. EUR 315 million SERV Guaranteed Export Credit and c. EUR 50 million Euler Herms Guaranteed Export Credit.
 
The SERV-backed facility will fund the Company’s Power Station 5 (PS5) wherein General Electric (GE), EPC contractor, will provide three 9HA gas turbines, three steam turbines and three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs). This facility will have a 15-year tenor and the principal amount will be repaid over 12-year period. The Hermes-backed facility will finance the Power Distribution Systems (PDS) where Siemens will construct and commission High Voltage electrical network and provide Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) up to 220kV. This facility will have a 14-year tenor and the principal amount will be repaid over 12-year period.
 
Commenting on this milestone, Alba’s Chairman of Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa said: “Securing the Export Credit Financing for Power Station 5 and Power Distribution System is a strong vote of confidence in Line 6 Expansion Project. We look forward to work with the Swiss and German Governments as well as with GE and Siemens to progress with Line 6 as per schedule.”
 
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is acting as the ECA coordinator to assist the Company in arranging the ECA facilities. Further information will be provided in due course.
 
Expected to start metal production in early 2019, Line 6 Expansion Project will boost the per-annum production by 540,000 metric tonnes upon its full ramp-up, bringing Alba’s total production capacity to 1,500,000 metric tonnes per annum to make Alba the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter.

For more information visit: http://www.albasmelter.com/mc/News/Pages/2017/Alba-secures-US700M-for-L6.aspx

Kleinfeld steps down

Kleinfeld steps down

Arconic has 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. Mr. Hess has decades of experience in leading aerospace and industrial businesses. 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.

“The Board is focused on hiring a world-class CEO to lead Arconic into its next chapter. We are focused on ensuring a smooth leadership transition for our customers, employees and many stakeholders,” said Ms. Russo. “The Board is deeply grateful to Klaus Kleinfeld for his dedication and service as Chair and CEO of Arconic, and previously of Alcoa Inc., and appreciates his assistance with this transition. Klaus led a complex and highly successful transformation of Alcoa Inc. that culminated in the launch of two strong, standalone companies – Alcoa Corporation and Arconic. Today, Arconic is a leading advanced manufacturer of highly engineered products with strong market positions.”

Mr. Kleinfeld said, “I have had the honour and the privilege of working with so many talented and dedicated colleagues at Alcoa Inc. and now at Arconic. Together we have accomplished a lot. Today, Arconic is well positioned for the next phase. I am committed to supporting David and the Board through this transition phase.”

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/mxt2m3y

EGA opens China office

EGA opens China office

The office in Shanghai of EGA’s wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary will source raw materials and other supplies in China. EGA has procured over $500 million of supplies from China over the past two years.

The office will also deepen commercial ties by developing sales opportunities for bauxite from EGA’s under-development mine in the Republic of Guinea.
Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “China is already a substantial source of raw materials and supplies for EGA, and we expect the importance of China for our business to grow in the coming years.”

The UAE is strategically situated in West Asia, an area of focus for China under its ‘Belt and Road’ initiative which aims to revive ancient Silk Road trading links. China has been the UAE’s second largest trading partner since earlier this decade.

Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived. China is the world’s largest bauxite importer and a major aluminium producer. Industry experts believe global demand for high-quality bauxite, particularly in China, will grow significantly over the next decade.

On completion, EGA’s bauxite mine in Guinea is expected to ramp up to produce 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year. The development of the mine and associated export facilities is the largest greenfield investment in Guinea in four decades.

Guinea has around 7 billion tonnes of bauxite resources, over a quarter of the global total. Guinean bauxite is amongst the highest quality worldwide. EGA’s concession in Guinea contains more than 1 billion tonnes of high quality bauxite.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

Outotec: Bahrain project

Outotec: Bahrain project

Outotec has agreed with Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (ALBA) on the design and delivery of anode rodding shop facility for ALBA's aluminium smelter expansion in the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

The parties have agreed not to disclose the contract price, but this is the largest order for Outotec in close to two years. The order has been booked in Outotec's 2017 first quarter order intake.   
 
Outotec is to deliver fully equipped anode rodding shop as well as bath and butts material recycling facility. The scope of delivery 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.
 
ALBA is now expanding their annual production capacity from about 971,000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes of aluminium. The smelter expansion is expected to become operational by January 2019.
 
"This order from ALBA further strengthens our reputation as a provider of high capacity rodding shops for the needs of increasingly large aluminium smelters. When delivering the entire rodding shop facility for ALBA's expansion project, we will ensure a high operational efficiency for our customer," says Kalle Härkki, President - Metals, Energy & Water business unit.

For more information visit: http://new.outotec.com

Tomago update

Tomago update

According to reports, the Tomago aluminium smelter has put itself forward as a foundation customer for any low emissions coal-fired electricity generator to be built in the Hunter Valley as it warns continued power supply instability and rising prices threatens its future.

With the plant accounting for 12 per cent of NSW’s electricity consumption, a commitment from Tomago would help underwrite any new power plant.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have both floated ultra-supercritical coal-fired power stations as potential sol­utions to stabilise the energy grid and drive down emissions.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/k2pwga6

Advanced stretcher online

Advanced stretcher online

Arconic has announced that the installation of its new manufacturing technology – the Very Thick Plate Stretcher (Stretcher) – is complete.

The Stretcher produces highly-differentiated aerospace and industrial plate. The investment in the Stretcher is backed by customer contracts, including one with Airbus, valued at approximately $1 billion. The project was completed on time with an investment of approximately $150 million, approximately $40 million under budget.

Located at the company’s facility in Davenport, Iowa, the Stretcher improves the performance of thick aluminium and aluminium-lithium plate in aerospace and industrial applications. The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed by customers.

In aerospace, the Stretcher will not only enable Arconic to service the existing plate market, but also allow airframe builders to make large wing ribs, fuselage frames and bulkheads in new sizes and thickness. For example, one of the challenges composite wings face as they get larger is strength and stiffness, and the aluminium plate from this Stretcher will allow aircraft manufacturers to make aluminium wing ribs to address that issue. In the industrial market, plate from the Stretcher can be used in manufacturing moulds and chambers for applications such as semiconductors.

“This investment was made to expand Arconic’s leadership in the aerospace market and create profitable growth in attractive industrial markets,” said Arconic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “The Stretcher allows Arconic to offer a variety of new products: in aerospace, we can now help aircraft engineers push the boundaries of design and performance. In other industrial applications, such as semiconductors and consumer electronics, Stretcher material helps increase productivity and reduce cost. In both cases, Arconic will help create demand that we are uniquely positioned to meet. And making all of this possible is our team in Davenport, who delivered this massive project on time and $40 million under budget.”

Arconic’s Davenport facility is currently commissioning the Stretcher, and has begun qualifying material for its customers.

For more information visit: https://www.arconic.com/global/en/news/news_detail.asp?pageID=20170411000395en&newsYear=2017

TALEX AUS expansion

TALEX AUS expansion

UAE-based Taweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company (TALEX), has announced its expansion into the Australian market with Melbourne the first city selected in its international expansion.

The company’s starting investment is AU$500,000, which will grow to $40 million over eight years.

TALEX believes the expansion offers “substantial opportunity” to promote the company’s exclusive hard alloys, which are suitable for sophisticated engineering applications and supply the market directly via its soon-to-be established local warehouses and distribution network.

The expansion will also allow TALEX to invest in key local industries, including major building systems suppliers for residential projects, big fabricators, wholesalers and engineering application sectors.

For more information visit: http://www.manmonthly.com.au/aluminium-extrusion-Australia

Rolling mill sale

Rolling mill sale

According to reports, Arconic ARNC is selling its rolling mill in Fusina, 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.

New auto line

New auto line

Hydro is opening a EUR 130 million automotive line in Germany on May 4.

Aluminium from the state-of-the-art facility will help lightweight millions of new cars each year – enabling them to further curb emissions. The new automotive line in Grevenbroich Germany, is one of Hydro’s strategic investments in European industry.

Car makers increasingly use aluminium to lightweight their vehicles and curb emissions. As a consequence of this industry megatrend, Hydro has over the last few years made several strategic investments in Norway and Germany to meet this demand and at the same time secure the viability of high competence industrial jobs in both countries. The new automotive line in Grevenbroich is a prime example of this.

“I look forward to showing the result of great efforts made by our sharpest engineers, leaders and operators. It has taken years of research, experience, ingenuity, in close cooperation with Europe’s world-leading automotive industry, to reach this level of cutting-edge development. Our new automotive line will help lightweight millions of cars each year and strengthen aluminums’ 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 & CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

The new automotive line investment is closely linked to investments Hydro have made further upstream in the company´s value chain in Norway. Over the last couple of years, casthouses in Sunndal, Høyanger, Årdal and Karmøy have been upgraded with new innovations and equipment, specifically designed to meet the requirements of car makers.

Altogether, these investments are worth close to NOK 150 million. New casting technology is under implementation in Høyanger and Årdal, where Hydro produce sheet ingot which at the plants in Germany can be rolled into plates and used in so-called hang-on parts such as doors, hoods, roofs, and trunk lids.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/lmk8hrs

Companies combine

Companies combine

Quaker Chemical Corporation (NYSE: KWR) and Houghton International Inc., have executed a definitive agreement to combine the companies.

Both Quaker Chemical and Houghton International are headquartered in the Philadelphia area.

"The proposed combination of Quaker Chemical and Houghton International represents the next phase of our evolution, and stays true to the vision of growing in our core specialties," said Michael F. Barry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quaker Chemical. "Joining forces with Houghton International combines two highly complementary businesses, each having a long history of building tremendous expertise, technology and customer-centric cultures dedicated to delivering long-term sustainable value to customers, shareholders and associates. The new company will capitalise on best practices and expertise from both businesses."

Sanjay Hinduja, Chairman of Houghton International, which is owned by the Hinduja Group through its Gulf Oil business, said, “We are pleased to enter this agreement to unite these two distinguished and global companies. Together we will strengthen our capabilities and business models to better serve the global market and all our stakeholders."

For more information visit: For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/lw46ygv

TOMRA: 45 years

TOMRA: 45 years

TOMRA celebrates its 45th anniversary following record revenue year

Starting in a small shed in Asker, Norway, the brothers Petter and Tore Planke created a solution to a problem: a local grocer wanted an automated machine that could quickly and easily take back used, empty bottles for recycling, and so TOMRA was born. By the end of 1972, TOMRA had installed 29 machines in Norway, and their successes quickly began to generate interest abroad.

Since those humble beginnings, TOMRA has diversified its offering and expanded its reach. During the first 30 years of its history, the company focused on growing its reverse vending business in markets with deposit systems for beverage packaging. In 2000, the company began developing a more comprehensive business platform, and through a number of strategic acquisitions during the past two decades, TOMRA has become a leading provider of optical sorting technology for a broad range of materials.
 
Almost 45 years later, TOMRA in 2016 noted record revenues of approximately €710m, with 90,000 systems installed in over 80 markets worldwide. TOMRA’s sensor-based solutions are used today in reverse vending, recycling, mining and food sorting. Recycling applications include numerous waste streams and metals in which optical sorters support plant operators with effective recovery and sorting of valuable secondary resources, while TOMRA’s food sorting and peeling solutions are utilised to boost food processing capacity, quality, safety, yield and profit.
 
The company’s mining equipment ensures more efficient recovery of minerals and ores, and in 2015 located the Lucara Diamond in Botswana, the second-largest gem quality diamond in history. All told, TOMRA technology is playing a leading role in helping diverse industries attain efficient business processes, improve resource utilisation and promote a better environment.  

Stefan Ranstrand, TOMRA President and CEO, said: “Our growth and longevity is due in part to the growing understanding that the world needs to utilise its natural resources in a better way to ensure sustainability. We are proud of the success our company has achieved thus far, and look forward to building on this in the years ahead as we continue to develop cutting-edge solutions for helping our customers meet their business needs and contribute to a better and more sustainable future.”

For more information visit: https://www.tomra.com

GARMCO: New CEO

GARMCO: New CEO

Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (Garmco), the Bahrain-based international aluminium rolling mill, has appointed Mohammed Essa, the current general manager of operations, as its interim chief executive officer.

Essa has over 30 years of work experience in the company. He joined Garmco in 1985 as a material tester in laboratory and served in key departments such as sales and marketing, operations and quality control, said a statement from the company.

Mahmood Al Soufi, chairman, Garmco, said: “We are confident that Essa’s experience with the company and his close working relationship with the executive team will ensure continuity and a smooth transition; and the company will stay the course with the existing strategic plan.”

For more information visit: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IND_322865.html