The plant, which makes forged wheels for the commercial vehicles, automotive and defence markets, is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and occupies 50,000 square feet. It recycles a staggering 100 million pounds of scrap aluminium annually and transforms the remelted metal into forged wheels.
Such a vast quantity of recycled metal can make 2 million forged aluminium wheels, claims Alcoa. According to the Fort Mill Times, "the casthouse takes chips and solids from an existing Alcoa wheel machining plant on the same campus in Barberton, as well as from Alcoa's Cleveland forging plant, and recycles them into aluminium billets. The billets are then shipped to other wheel-processing facilities to forge into aluminium wheels."
Process improvements and reduced transportation needs have led to a 90% reduction in transportation-related energy use, it is claimed.
For an exclusive interview with Alcoa's chief sustainability officer, Kevin Anton, see the May/June 2013 edition of Aluminium International Today or wait for the article to appear on this website over the next few days.