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17.08.22

PREPARED FOR TAKE-OFF - MAKING FLYING GREENER WITH A UNIQUE VALUE CHAIN

As a founding member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), AMAG made an early commitment to actively respond to the challenges of ensuring a livable environment for future generations.

Due to the unique recycling opportunities at its integrated site in Ranshofen and the access to particularly low CO2 primary metal through its interest in the Alouette smelter in Canada, AMAG has been able to consolidate its exemplary position as a leading aluminium manufacturer on sustainability issues. The closed material cycle between AMAG rolling, AMAG components and AMAG casting further reinforces this position.

 

Additional confirmation comes from the long list of certifications and awards as well as positive customer feedback:

  • EcoVadis Sustainability Rating 2022
  • Platinum Award ASI Chain of Custody
  • Effective Sustainability Communicator Gold Award
  • ESG Rating Sustainalytics "Top Performer"

Buy-to-fly reduction

 

This aims to reduce the volumes of primary materials purchased in relation to the installed ("flying") materials. Rectangular platforms remain the most common form in which rolled products are supplied. However, the parts produced from these rolls usually have irregular contours. Furthermore, parts are often only allocated to plates during the assembly phase (blank cutting) at intermediate service providers. The result is sub-optimal material utilization and thus a fairly high proportion of scrap.

 

The AMAG Group offers products with different levels of vertical integration, which aircraft manufacturers can use to improve in their buy-to-fly ratio. The contour band saw at our Ranshofen site can make contour cuts in optimized layouts to produce as many pieces as possible from rectangular plates. On the other hand, our component manufacturing specialists in Übersee and Karlsruhe have precise knowledge of the parts spectrum, which can lead to additional material savings across the AMAG Group's entire value chain.

Integrated site

 

Even with optimized material utilization, it is not possible to entirely avoid producing process scrap in rolling mills. This makes it all the more important to have recycling processes in places where scrap is generated. AMAG casting is one of the largest single-site scrap recyclers in Europe, using cutting-edge sorting and melting systems to recycle all types of scrap aluminium. In order to avoid reducing the value of this scrap metal, all of the scrap produced on the site is sorted by alloy so that it can be recast into rolling ingots with minimum addition of primary aluminium and alloying metals.

 

Speaking of primary aluminium, AMAG can access primary aluminium whenever needed from the Alouette smelter in Canada, in which the company has a 20% shareholding. The aluminium produced at the plant has a particularly small carbon footprint as 100% of the energy used in the electrolysis process is sourced from hydropower.

Closed-loop recycling

 

The combination of a foundry, a rolling mill and a parts supplier represents a unique asset in the industry and makes it possible to close the aluminium cycle. Swarf accounts for the largest proportion of aluminium waste generated in parts production. It is only logical that this swarf should find its way back into the factory to correct the mass balance and so that only minimal quantities of primary metal and alloying elements need to be added.

 

However, the swarf first needs to be processed to ensure that it has the highest possible value. After sorting the swarf (ideally by alloy) and drying it out, it is pressed into briquettes at AMAG components. This pre-treatment is vital to optimize the metal yield in the melting process at AMAG casting. The geographic proximity of the two AMAG subsidiaries makes it possible to keep transport costs and the carbon footprint to a minimum.

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