A recent company survey indicates that forgers are more concerned with the availability of qualified labor than its cost. Given that, the forging community should consider automation to minimize its labor requirements. Automated billet feeding is one area that can improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce labor costs.
Century Aluminum Sebree LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Aluminum Co., announced two expansion programs at its Sebree, Ky., smelter that will increase the smelter’s production of both value-added and secondary aluminum. The programs, which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019, will improve the smelter’s product mix by adding approximately 90,000 metric tons of additional billet production to the Sebree casthouse and increase the smelter’s overall output by adding 20,000 metric tons of additional secondary (scrap reprocessing) capacity.
Given that aluminum and its alloys offer numerous advantages over many other metals, it is not surprising that inquiries about induction billet-heating equipment increasingly involve the heating of aluminum alloys.
Steelmaker Gerdau completed the transition from 152-mm (6-inch) square billets to 210-mm (8.25-inch) square billets on the recently installed state-of-the-art continuous caster at its special-bar-quality (SBQ) steel mill in Monroe, Mich.