Alcoa announced that the $21 million casthouse expansion at its Wheel and Transportation Products plant in Barberton, Ohio, is expected to halve the total amount of energy used to recycle aluminum for forged wheels, reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the overall efficiency and sustainability of the company’s manufacturing process. The recycling facility uses advanced technology to produce wheels from re-melted and scrap aluminum. Construction of the 50,000-square-foot facility began in July 2011. It is now running at full capacity and has created more than 30 full-time jobs.

The casthouse, which is expected to significantly reduce energy use through a combination of process improvements and reduced transportation needs, 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 aluminum billets. The billets are then shipped to other wheel-processing facilities to forge into aluminum wheels.