Last month, Novelis revealed that it has invested $48 million in its automotive aluminum scrap recycling facility. Novelis, the world’s largest flat-rolled aluminum maker, has recently entered the automotive industry by producing parts for auto companies that are shifting from steel to all-aluminum bodies. Novelis currently produces the aluminum that is used for the body and engines in Ford F-150 trucks.
The automotive aluminum scrap recycling facility employs a “closed loop” system, which will allow Novelis to reuse 20 million pounds of scrap every month. When the company manufactures aluminum coil, around 40% of the coil remains from the parts. Using the closed loop system, Novelis will gather the scrap and bring it back to the factory floor, where it will be reused again.
US automakers have been required to switch from steel to aluminum to comply with President Obama’s mandate that new cars must double their fuel economies by 2025. Ford F-150′s are now lighter — aluminum parts have already advanced the trucks’ fuel efficiency by 30 percent. Ford is slated to manufacture 850,000 of the trucks, which will call for 350,000 tons of aluminum sheeting.
In order to fill the supply gap for the automotive aluminum sheet market, several US and global producers have announced building of either greenfield construction or brownfield expansions — mostly in new Detroit and southern states like Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
This trend will provide several business challenges and opportunities to gather, sort, and manufacture aluminum sheet alloys from recycled post-consumer scrap, including UBC, and will hopefully use recycle-friendly alloys.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
February 8, 2015
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