AMM aluminum award winners announced for 2012
Aug 28, 2012 | 07:00 PM
In the competitive world of the aluminum industry, what does it take to be the best? AMM addresses that question by presenting the winners of the inaugural Awards for Aluminum Excellence to recognize the most innovative companies and individuals.
Earlier this year, a total of 24 nominations were named as finalists in nine different categories by a panel of independent industry experts. Then a panel of distinguished judges--industry leaders and AMM staff assembled exclusively to provide an impartial, professional and wide-ranging level of expertise--chose the winner in each category. AMM congratulates the winners in the following categories: Best Technology/Process Innovation,Best Product Innovation, Best Brownfield/Greenfield Technology Project, Environmental Responsibility/ Stewardship, Charles Martin Hall Aluminum Advocacy Award, Logistics/Transportation Provider of the Year, Scrap Supplier of the Year, Aluminum Smelter Excellence, Aluminum Mill Excellence.
BEST INNOVATION: Aoki Science Institute
One small company, Aoki Science Institute Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, continues to introduce new and innovative products to the global marketplace. Its oil-based aluminum die casting lubricant called WFR (water-free releasing agent), which has quickly become a game-changer for the automotive industry, picked up AMMs award for Best Technology/Process Innovation.
WFR was developed by a team of four scientists at Aoki charged with creating a new formula for an aluminum die casting lubricant to challenge traditional emulsion lubricants. It was no small task: Emulsion lubricants have been used successfully in die casting for more than 50 years. Even though the lubricant application process is relatively inefficient, emulsion lubricants are still widely used on most major automakers production lines. To convince manufacturers that switching to a new oil-based lubricant would be smart and cost-effective, the Aoki team needed to develop a formula that would drastically reduce consumption, improve product efficiency, lower carbon dioxide output and cut production costs. BEST PRODUCT INNOVATION: AlcoaPittsburgh-based Alcoas successful commercialization of a suite of third-generation aluminum-lithium alloys won the company AMMs Best Product Innovation Award. Now, Alcoa plans to not only step up output at two facilities that currently make aluminum-lithium, but also to build a $90-million, 20,000-tonne-per-year greenfield facility adjacent to its Lafayette, Ind., production plant that is expected to be online by 2014.....
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