Video: F150 Changes Not Just What Trucks Are Made of, But How They’re Made

The assembly line that mass produces the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F150 is as innovative as teh truck itself. Two decade in the planning, it features precise computer-modeled stamping, rivets, flow-through screws instead of welds, and scrap recycling. Ford demonstrates these innovations in a new video.

Video: The Aluminium Unique Life Cycle Story

The European Aluminium Association released a new video about the unique lifecycle story of aluminum.

Automotive Congress Presents Vehicle Lightweighting Strategies – Interview with Craig Renneker, Ford

Global Automotive Lightweighting Vehicles Detroit

The 3rd Annual Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit (GALM) congress will be held on August 20-21 in Detroit, Michigan. As OEMs seek to develop vehicle lightweighting strategies that will allow them to cost-effectively meet fuel economy targets, they are increasingly shifting their focus to incorporating mixed-material solutions at mass produced scales. The highly anticipated Ford F150 heralds the integration of lightweighting technologies into the vehicle with the highest volume of sales in North America for the last 36 years and is representative of an overall industry trend towards mass produced lightweight vehicles.

However, applying lightweight materials to mass produced vehicles comes with a fresh set of challenges. OEMs need to select the optimal combination of materials including aluminum, high-strength steel, composites, and magnesium, source them in the volumes and specifications required for high volume production, and then determine the optimal joining and casting techniques for mixed material manufacturing at scale.

To address these challenges, leading vehicle OEMs will be gathering in Detroit for the GALM congress to the share the latest advances in materials and manufacturing techniques that are having the biggest impact on reducing the cost of mass produced lightweight vehicles. Highlights Include: a Focus on Mass Production, Aluminum & Mixed Material Joining, Material Selection & Optimization, Corrosion Prevention, Vehicle Repair & Crash Performance, and Casting.

Interview with congress speaker, Craig Renneker, Ford

Craig Renneker, FordCraig Renneker, chief engineer – Component & Pre-Program, Transmission & Driveline Engineering at Ford, is one of the OEM speakers who will present at the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials congress. In his current role, he is responsible for the development of all new automatic and hybrid transmission programs within Ford, as well as all component engineering activities.

What are the main challenges you are currently facing at Ford in relation to lightweighting?

Delivering lightweight technologies to our customers at a good value. There are many great technologies out there that are simply too expensive for our market.

Read More…

LME Roundup – May 20 through June 17

May 20 – “Exclusive: Goldman puts Metro metals warehousing unit up for sale,” Reuters

Some U.S. lawmakers welcomed news that Goldman is taking steps to exit the metals warehousing business that end-users such as Coca-Cola Co and MillerCoors, which use aluminum to make beverage cans say has led to long wait times and inflated physical metal prices.

“Today’s announcement is a victory for beer and soft drink makers and for the safety and soundness of our financial system,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and staunch critic of banks’ involvement in the physical commodity business, in a statement.

May 23 – “Aluminium weakens by 0.2% on global cues – Traders pare positions as subdued demand at home fuels negative sentiment,” Business Standard

May 28 – “China restarting idle aluminium capacity as prices rebound,” Business Recorder

Chinese aluminium smelters are restarting some idled capacity after prices of the metal rebounded from five-year lows hit in March, also taking advantage of lower power costs promised by a province in the southwest, industry sources said.

The restarts could again drag on domestic prices in the world’s top producer and consumer of aluminium, triggering higher exports of both primary aluminium and its products and in turn weighing on the global market.

Read More…

Our June 2014 Issue Now Available!


The June 2014 issue of Light Metal Age is now available. The digital edition has been released to subscribers and the print edition will be shipped next week.

The cover features the new runnout system at take-charge extruder Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, GA, which installed a new start-of-the-art extrusion line engineered to automotive specifications. The newly installed double run out system is part of a complete handling system supplied by Turla, Italy. The complete story of the $17 million expansion project is the lead story of the June issue.

Feature Articles include:

  • On the Front End of the Curve – Bonnell Aluminum Shifts into Automotive,” by Andrea Svendsen, Managing Editor
  • “New Developments in Automotive Extrusions Offer Huge Opportunities,” by Geoff Scamans, Innoval Technology, and Andrew Hall, Alken
  • “LME Deals with Warehouse Issues and Upgrades Trading Options for Aluminum – Interview with Garry Jones, LME”
  • “Dead Zones in Dies and Their Effect on Streaking,” by Nick Parson and Chris Jowett, Rio Tinto Alcan, and Jean-Francois Beland, Canadian National Research Council
  • “Emirates to Produce Half of the Gulf’s Primary Output – Interview with Abdulla J.M. Kalban, EGA”
  • “Heatsink Redesign Saves Weight and Increases Efficiency”
  • “Innovative Joining Processes Enable Increased Use of Aluminum in GM’s New Corvette Z06 and Beyond”
  • “Extrusion Design Competition Showcases Inventive Functional Designs”

Editorial departments includes a Book Review on Direct-Chill Casting of Light Alloys: Science and Technology by John F. Grandfield, Dmitry G. Eskin, and Ian F. Bainbridge and a Lightweight Matters department on Aleris’ supply of extruded parts for marine engines to MTU in Friedrichhafen, Germany.

Other coverage includes the Extruder News, Primary Aluminum News (with aluminum production tables by country and company from 2010-2013), and Contracts & Expansions departments, as well as a U.S. Aluminum Extrusion Press Patent Retrospective starting from the 1970s that catalogs the evolution of various press technologies.

If you would like to receive a copy of the June issue, as well as future issues of Light Metal Age, subscribe online today!

11th Australasian Aluminium Smelting Technology Conference to be held in Dubai, UAE

The 11th Australasian Aluminium Smelting Technology Conference (AASTC) will be held December 6-11, 2014 in Dubai, UAE.

Program organizers promise delegates a week filled with up-to-date technical information, research findings, and vigorous panel discussions on technical issues of concern to the industry. These sessions will be led by the world’s foremost exponents of smelting know-how, so delegates will once again have access to game-changers in the industry, as well as an exclusive opportunity to see up close the very latest in operating smelting technology.

Throughout the 33 years of this conference, there has always been a strong link between the UAE and Australasia — including conjoint development of technology and work practices. With the changing dynamics of the aluminum smelting industry it was considered an appropriate occasion to broaden this year’s “Australasian” conference to an “Austral-Asian” one and therefore it is being held in the UAE.

Jebel Ali Golf & Beach Resort — located a convenient distance from both Emirates Global Aluminium smelters, Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) and Emirates Aluminium (EMAL), — has been selected as the venue for the 11th AASTC, so that delegates can visit the new state-of-the art phase 2 potline at EMAL. A limited group accommodation booking has also been made at the venue. Together with its beach-side setting and golf course, the resort offers beautifully appointed rooms, pool bars, entertainment zones and a range of culinary experiences.

Conference and social event registration, accommodation bookings and sponsorship opportunities are available on Detailed information about the conference themes and submission of abstracts and papers can also be obtained from the website, when they become available.


Photo: Delegates of the 10th AASTC conference held in Launceston, Tasmania in 2011


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