LME London Update Forum

The LME’s annual London Update Forum will be held on Monday, 23 April, with registration from 15.30.

Further details and registration here.

Resplendent bronze for the South Bank

Powdertech Corby has powder coated more than 2,400 sq metres of façade elements for an exclusive, eight storey boutique development situated on London’s South Bank.

This is a retail-residential mixed-use building providing fifty-five private apartments, with panoramic views over Lambeth Palace, and across the Thames to the Palace of Westminster.

Sited in an exposed position close to the river Thames and busy roads, the exterior of the building needed a robust coating to withstand such conditions without corroding and to retain a smart, well-kept appearance.

“Our 6-stage chrome-free pre-treatment process for aluminium ensures that the metal is already protected before the final coating is applied,” explained Powdertech director Richard Besant.

The client selected IGP’s ‘Young Bronze’, for its bright and vibrant effect, maximising the elegance of the building’s sweeping curved elevation on the corner location. Powdertech is an approved applicator for IGP, and provided several samples before coating the façade elements which included balcony soffit and fascia panels for floors 2 to7, canopy soffit at street level, roof capping, louvres, drain pipes and rain water hoppers.

The high-performance powder and Powdertech’s rigorous pre-treatment system will help to keep the façade free from corrosion for up to 40 years.

Schools design competition winners announced

Ten students from schools around the UK have been named as winners in the 2017 Alu D&T Challenge, a national competition for 11 to 14 year olds, funded by the aluminium industry to inspire young designers to create sustainable products using aluminium.

Students and teachers travelled to Birmingham to receive their prizes at a celebratory event at ThinkTank Science Museum.

 Alu D&T Challenge 2017 winners and sponsors

 Grand Prize winners – Weatherhead High School, Wallasey

   

The national schools’ competition, linked to the Design and Technology curriculum, helps engage pupils with the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium by challenging them to design a sustainable product for the future using aluminium. The design challenges are based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories – transport, building and packaging.

The winning entry in each of the three design challenges received a Magnetic MODI robotics kit and a Mini Mambo Drone for their school, alongside £100 worth of vouchers for the pupils. Prizes were also awarded those who were shortlisted.

The grand prize of an educational visit to Milan, kindly sponsored by Novelis, was awarded to the entry deemed to be the most outstanding design across the three categories.   The two-day trip for the students and their D&T teacher will include the chance to visit two Novelis manufacturing plants on the outskirts of Milan, and an opportunity to explore this fast-paced metropolis

The 2017/18 winners were:

Vehicle of the future category:
• Winner: Toby Davies & Archie McTeare, St Ives School.

Garden building for a creative homeworker category:
• Winner: Finley Hawkins, St. Benedict’s Catholic High School, Alcester.

Innovative new packaging solution category:
• Winner: Sanjita Akter, Emma Baldwin Quirk, Libby Evans, Weatherhead High School, Wallasey.

Overall grand prize winners:
• Sanjita Akter, Emma Baldwin Quirk, Libby Evans, Weatherhead High School, Wallasey.

Speaking about the winning submissions at the prize-giving ceremony in Birmingham, Alu D&T Challenge judge and sponsor Andy Doran of Novelis said: “Meeting the winners of the competition has been a fantastic experience.  The enthusiasm and talent these young people show for designing products that will benefit society and protect our environment is so uplifting.  Between them, the winners demonstrated some really progressive ideas about designing sustainable products using aluminium, and I hope we have inspired some future engineers, designers and materials scientists who will make a difference to industry in the future.”

Boal Group Acquisition

Leading extruder BOAL has been acquired by private equity company Equistone Partners Europe.

A full statement from the company may be found here.

Aluminium Federation welcomes exemption from tariffs for the EU

The Aluminium Federation, which represents the UK’s aluminium sector, has welcomed the announcement that the European Union and six other countries will be exempt from steel and aluminium tariffs recently announced by President Trump.

“The exemption of the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea from these measures, which come into effect today, is good news”, said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “However, this exemption is only temporary, and European markets are still vulnerable to flows of diverted aluminium product from producing countries that remain affected by the tariffs. This situation can only generate uncertainty in our industry.”

“Tariffs in general are a blunt instrument, and the indirect consequences of any resulting trade war could be far more serious for UK manufacturing than the original measures.

“We will continue to work with BEIS and the EU on a multilateral solution to the root cause of this issue, which is the problem of global overcapacity, particularly in China, whose output grew by 13% in 2017, and which already produces more than half the world’s primary aluminium.”

Aluminium Federation welcomes exemption from tariffs for the EU

 The Aluminium Federation, which represents the UK’s aluminium sector, has welcomed the announcement that the European Union and six other countries will be exempt from steel and aluminium tariffs recently announced by President Trump.

“The exemption of the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea from these measures, which come into effect today, is good news”, said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “However, this exemption is only temporary, and European markets are still vulnerable to flows of diverted aluminium product from producing countries that remain affected by the tariffs. This situation can only generate uncertainty in our industry.”

“Tariffs in general are a blunt instrument, and the indirect consequences of any resulting trade war could be far more serious for UK manufacturing than the original measures.

“We will continue to work with BEIS and the EU on a multilateral solution to the root cause of this issue, which is the problem of global overcapacity, particularly in China, whose output grew by 13% in 2017, and which already produces more than half the world’s primary aluminium.”

Aluminium Industry Safety Guide

The Aluminium Industry Safety Guide – published by Aluminium International Today

The first ever Aluminium Industry Safety Guide was announced earlier this week and is now available to download for free!

Acting as a respected resource for the industry, the Safety Guide presents safety statistics and up-to-date information, while encouraging aluminium production and processing companies to discuss successful safety projects, ways safety is being implemented, how it can be measured and the results.

Aluminium Federation warns of knock-on effects of Trump tariffs

The Aluminium Federation has warned of the adverse impact of the proposed US import tariffs on aluminium and steel.

“The proposed 10% import tariff would clearly make UK-produced aluminium products more expensive in the US,” said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead, “but these comprise mainly specialist items that US manufacturers would find difficult to source domestically.  The net result would be higher costs for US industry.

“Of greater concern is the unintended consequences of such unilateral tariffs. Even if the EU were exempted from this particular measure, the overall imposition of tariffs is likely to result in shipments of aluminium, especially from China and Russia, being diverted to Europe, creating market instability.”

   
 Giles Ashmead  Rolling aluminium sheet

Trade body European Aluminium estimates that a further 20% of primary aluminium exports and 35% of semi-fabricated aluminium products could end up in Europe, due to a redirection of metal flows from third countries following the imposition of US tariffs.

“Indiscriminate tariffs are a hindrance to free trade, and do little to secure a ‘level playing field’ for global commerce,” said Mr Ashmead.

“The root cause of the problem is overcapacity in primary aluminium production, especially in China, which last year produced 11 million tonnes of surplus aluminium, and the unfair trade practices that follow.

“This issue can only be managed effectively through a global and long-term solution, based on multilateral rules and common enforcement. The creation of a global forum of G20 nations on excess capacity in the aluminium industry would be the correct mechanism to achieve a negotiated solution.

“The Aluminium Federation is working on this issue with European Aluminium and, in the UK, we are collaborating closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to achieve a good outcome for UK industry. I am hopeful that the proposed US import tariffs will not be applied to the EU, and will, ideally, be dropped entirely.”

Frictionless trade with EU vital, says APPG

Richard Harrington MP , Business and Industry Minister, with Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead.

Richard Harrington MP , Business and Industry Minister, with Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead.

The imposition of barriers to trade between the UK and the EU could be disastrous for the European aluminium industry, a Parliamentary body has warned.

The Aluminium Industry All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) considered the potential impact of tariffs on the sector at a meeting today.

The meeting was addressed by both Business and Industry Minister Richard Harrington MP and Eoin Dinsmore, principal consultant at CRU. It was attended by companies across the UK aluminium sector, and by BEIS officials.

Companies highlighted the high volume of cross-border transit within Europe of components and work-in-progress, as well as finished product, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries. This integrated supply chain activity is usually overlooked when international trade is discussed.  The imposition of tariffs, or, equally important, non-financial barriers such as customs clearance, would severely impact UK manufacturing.

The meeting also discussed the threat of the US imposing tariffs, quotas or both on imports of aluminium into the country. Aimed at China, such measures would also hit US allies such as the UK and Canada, and could have the unintended consequence of boosting exports of finished goods to the US, while exports of raw materials decline.

The Aluminium Federation has recently supplied details of aluminium supply chains and trading patterns to BEIS, to inform its ongoing discussions with international trading partners.

Aluminium Federation warns of knock-on effects of Trump tariffs

The Aluminium Federation has warned of the adverse impact of the proposed US import tariffs on aluminium and steel.

“The proposed 10% import tariff would clearly make UK-produced aluminium products more expensive in the US,” said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead, “but these comprise mainly specialist items that US manufacturers would find difficult to source domestically.  The net result would be higher costs for US industry.

“Of greater concern is the unintended consequences of such unilateral tariffs. Even if the EU were exempted from this particular measure, the overall imposition of tariffs is likely to result in shipments of aluminium, especially from China and Russia, being diverted to Europe, creating market instability.”

   
 Giles Ashmead  Rolling aluminium sheet

Trade body European Aluminium estimates that a further 20% of primary aluminium exports and 35% of semi-fabricated aluminium products could end up in Europe, due to a redirection of metal flows from third countries following the imposition of US tariffs.

“Indiscriminate tariffs are a hindrance to free trade, and do little to secure a ‘level playing field’ for global commerce,” said Mr Ashmead.

“The root cause of the problem is overcapacity in primary aluminium production, especially in China, and the unfair trade practices that follow.

“This issue can only be managed effectively through a global and long-term solution, based on multilateral rules and common enforcement. The creation of a global forum of G20 nations on excess capacity in the aluminium industry would be the correct mechanism to achieve a negotiated solution.

“The Aluminium Federation is working on this issue with European Aluminium and, in the UK, we are collaborating closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to achieve a good outcome for UK industry. I am hopeful that the proposed US import tariffs will not be applied to the EU, and will, ideally, be dropped entirely.”