Production

Aluminum Manufacturing: Handling and Processing

Aluminum is one of the most crucial elements that is derived from the ore, bauxite. It constitutes almost 8% of the earth’s crust, and thus, is a major element in the supply chain of consumable goods. Signature alum offers the most customized solutions to the customers, thereby standing as one of the leaders in the industry. It offers tight tolerant linear parts with a focus to meet the customer needs at the most competitive cost. Also, it takes care of distribution, post-production logistics, and responsive supply chain solutions.

It has been found out the negative impacts of aluminum are comparatively lesser than its numerous positives. It comes with the amazing corrosion-resistant property, and certainly, the low density of the element is one of the major reasons for which it is used in the production at every level of manufacturing. It is an essential commodity that has a role to play, right from that of the food storage to that of aerospace development. Millions of tons of aluminum are processed every year, and thus, hundreds and thousands of jobs are leveraged in this industry each year. However, there are several challenges associated with Aluminum handling and processing, and each of these processes demands advanced material solutions. Nevertheless, aluminum still has a great impact on the global economy as a whole.

Source:britannica.com

Environmental impact due to the aluminum extraction

The aluminum industry faces quite a lot of challenges in its production process, and one of the major issues that the process has got to face is in the involvement of the Alumina. It has the chemical formula of Al2O3. It undergoes a chemical digestion process during its extraction from the bauxite ore. The effluent material, thus, received, is known as the red mud, which is basically an insoluble waste product. It comes with major difficulties in terms of storage, and thus, resulted in a scenario wherein various refineries have been turning to marine dumping, lagoons, and dry-stacking for the ore disposal. The aluminum industry has made several intensive efforts to enhance its sustainability. It has also taken different measures to minimize the carbon footprint. It has undergone immense changes in both primary and secondary processes. Advanced aluminum handling techniques and equipment have improved the methods of recycling and extracting aluminum. Also, it has become almost 29% more energy efficient than its former, age-old methods.

Troubles for primary and secondary aluminum handling

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As already mentioned, and just like any other ore manufacturing process has both primary and secondary modules of handling, the same goes for aluminum as well. Aluminum is an extremely durable material that comes with high corrosion resistant properties. It also comprises of high-thermal potential. The procedure usually involves the smelting of the molten aluminum at a temperature of approximately 980° Celsius or 1796° Fahrenheit. Such a high temperature is capable of chemically corroding materials through thermal spalling or wetting. As a result, it decreases the longevity of service lives of refractory products such as the thermocouples and heater tubes. Hence, it has raised the major maintenance expense.

Aluminum applications

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High quantities of aluminum are used in goods packaging, beverages, and in the medical industry as well. It does not affect the taste of food as a whole but is capable of repelling the water, and thus, extend the shelf life of food items as a whole. In addition to it, the element is used to make utensils, foils, trays, cookware, toasters, and refrigerators. Aluminum is greatly used in the locomotive industry as well, particularly in the manufacture of ships, trains, buses, and planes. It is light, strong, and flexible, and thus, has a great role to play in the aviation industry and in the making of spacecraft such as the space shuttles.

Aluminum’s resistance to corrosion also contributed to its popularity in the field of construction wherein it is capable of keeping homes cool during the summer months and warm in the winter. It is even used in the electrical industry due to its low density and 63% of electrical conductivity, which makes it an ideal choice for long-distance power lines. Besides, it is used in consumer goods like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.

Common problems associated with Aluminum manufacturing

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A lot of engineers and technicians say that aluminum manufacturing is not at all an easy job. The properties of aluminum that allow higher speed in terms of processing and attribute towards giving it a good mechanical performance, on the other side, make the cutting process difficult. As a result, you might require a special measure to settle the manufacturing process without any hassle.

Some of the common problems related to that of drilling and cutting. One of the major troubles in aluminum cutting is the Built-Up Edge – welding to the tool edge on the soft and gummy workpiece material resulting in the loss of effective geometry shapes. It compels one to offer a higher force during the cutting, as well as lead to several quality problems.

However, each and every case is unique and demands different sets of measures to be taken. In general scenarios, the aluminum operations call for the highest parameters of RPM, usage of maximum coolant, and articles available without any tool coating. In the case of continuous production, the use of Polycrystalline diamond or PCD and Cubical Boron Nitride or CBN are incorporated to promote the production and minimize the risks of built edge issues.

Communication passed down to the granular level to lower the risks and boost the production

With modern equipment and new technologies, processes are turning out to be easier than ever. As a result, the technicians are advised to meet the industry standards and safety measures at the workplace to lower the risks of their job. Communicating new techniques to the employees and vendors have become mandatory at different levels of the organization. From production planning to QA manager, plant manager, extrusion or finishing supervisors, sales manager, and GM, inputs are being provided to incorporate the instructions at the workplace.

European Steel Production: Timeline, History, and Important Milestones

Steel was invented about 4000 years ago with the rise of the Iron Age. It was thought that Iron was harder than Bronze and many other metals a reason why they chose to look for another alternative. This is the reason why steel started to suppress bronze in the tools and weaponry industry.
However, the quality of the steel produced would depend entirely on the availability of ore and the production methods at hand. Although this time, there were no advanced technologies in the iron production industry, the production was increasing with the invention of new methods of mining and understanding of the iron. Modern-day technologies allow steel to be refined and molded down to bars, tubes, and more, which you can view more on onlinemetalsdepot.com.
By the 17th Century, most people in Europe had understood the concepts of mining and iron. This increased after the first civilization. There was also a huge increase in demand for steel in Europe, which means they would toil to produce more of it.

Image source: ceramicindustry.com

Though, the most breakthrough in the steel industry was seen in the 19th century with the second civilization. This was in 1850 when Henry Bessemer designed another method of using oxygen to reduce the content of carbon in iron.
The Chinese were already using the blast furnaces as early as the 6th century. This was not widely used in Europe, but later the same was diffused to other countries. When this technology hit Europe, there was an increase in the production of cast iron.
Before the advancements that we say in the 1860s, steel was not a big deal because it was made in small quantities and was specifically used in making tools, swords, and cutlery.
By this time, England and Germany were the centers of production. It was centered around Middlesbrough and Sheffield. Britain was the largest producer supplying all the other markets, including Americans and the European markets.

The open health operations and the Bessemer were the things that contributed significantly to the production of steel. The Bessemer process means that the molten pig iron is converted into steel by simply blowing air through it after it comes from the furnace.
The air will help to burn the carbon and silicon out. This is actually what released the heat and made the temperatures increase. Henry Bessemer demonstrated this technology in 1856. A few years later, the process was successful, and many miners had already turned to it. That is the reason why this technology was being used by 1870 to make the ship plate.

As a matter of fact, the speed, weight, and quantity of railway traffic were limited by the strength of the wrought iron rails that were being used. You would expect that all these were expensive, but because of the Bessemer technology, they were competitive in the price.
The experience made people realize that the steel had more strength and was able to withstand the whole process a reason why it was used widely after this.

Open-Hearth Furnaces Technology

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By the 1890s, the Bessemer technology was being gradually replaced by the Open Hearth steelmaking. By the mid-20th century, this was no longer in use.
The Open Hearth furnace technology was introduced in the 1860s in France and Germany. This technology used pig iron, ore, and scrap to make the steel. This is why the whole process started being referred to as Siemens Martins’s process.
The good thing with this step is that it allowed closer monitoring of the composition of the steel. Additionally, a substantial quantity of scrap could be included in the charge.
This process was essentially the most used in the 20th century for making steel.

The Electric Arc Furnace

This was the technology that came to replace Open Hearth Steelmaking in the 1900s. The technology was preferred because many steel manufacturers believed that it was very efficient and made the whole process easy. The primary reason why this was adored is that the cost of electricity remained down.

Steel in Britain

Image source: uk.reuters.com

In the 19th century, Britain was the first country in Europe that contributed significantly to the industrial revolution. The country had an early commitment to coal mining, textile mining, railway, and machinery.
The main reasons why Britain was among the topmost influential steel producers is because of the demand, the ample capital, and eventually energetic entrepreneurs.
Britain accounted for about 47% of all the steel that was produced by 1875. A third of this pig iron came from the Middlesbrough area contributing to about 40% of the steel produced. Most of the steel produced by this time was being exported to the US. This is because the US was rapidly growing its railways and other infrastructures.
Two decades from this time, the British share had already dropped to 29% of pig iron. Very little of the steel was being exported to the US. What this means is that Britain lost it’s American Market, and other countries started to peak and get a share of that market. The US also was able to produce more of its own iron, which was at per the main producers.

Germany

Germany was also another country that also had major milestones in the steel industry. The Ruhr Valley acted as the main source of German iron and the steel industry. What this means is that this country was among the biggest contributors to the iron industry.
In 1850 the Ruhr had about 50 Ironworks with about 2,813 full-time employees. In the country, the first modern Furnace was built in the 1840s.
The rapid growth in steel demands was scaled by the creation of the German Empire. When World War 1 Hit in the 1880s, the demand for iron to make vehicles and many other things increased.
Other European countries, including France, Italy, and many other countries also contributed significantly. The market for steel in Europe has also increased significantly over the years, but China and India have already taken up the market. The steel market in this region is also promising because of the increase in technology and cheap labor.

Linear Actuators for Industrial Implementation

Linear motion systems have long ago become an integral part of the engineering and industrial sectors. Such systems are increasingly being used in need to achieve maximum accuracy of a linear movement for machines and assemblies. An integral part of the linear motion mechanisms is electric linear actuators. These are industrial electronic devices that transform the rotational movement of the motor shaft into a straightforward linear motion. Actuators inherently act as a reduction gear, thereby significantly increasing traction.

Despite the universality of linear actuators, when choosing them, it is recommended to pay attention to some aspects that determine the purpose, scope and other expected parameters of the actuator. To select the most appropriate actuator unit, customers have to determine what kind of linear motion is needed. It is possible to set horizontal and vertical movements with different stroke lengths.

Specifications Important for Industrial Purposes

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Then, customers should pay attention to the loads, while taking into account the weight of the object (the maximum load is always indicated in the technical specification) and the friction force. Also, to calculate the expected travel speed should be taken into account the weight of the load that is supposed to be moved by the electric actuator. For example, the 3000 lb linear actuator is usually used for industrial purposes as its force is pretty enough to perform complicated duties like machine-building tasks and engineering applications. Its stroke length can be adjusted from 4 inches to 40 inches which makes it a versatile instrument in the proper hands. Also, linear actuators may differ optionally, depending on the capabilities of the given programs and control conditions. If necessary, the speed and movement can be controlled with the help of special controllers. Get more on this site – https://www.actuatorzone.com/actuators

Why Choose Progressive Automations

Actuator solutions of PA manufacturers can be distinguished thanks to their customer-friendly prices, smart inner construction, and convenient outer dimensions that allow using them in almost all cases when a small but, at the same time, quite powerful linear motion automation mechanism is required. Moreover, the adjustable design allows using high force industrial actuators of PA for different industrial operations like opening shutters, moving workpieces in conveyors and other equipment, moving machine tools. These actuators may also be of the extreme convenience for furniture with adjustable backs and countertops, medical beds, wheelchairs, agricultural equipment, and many other tasks that demand the implementation of the linear motion automation systems.

Customer Friendly Linear Actuator Design

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All of the products supplied by Progressive Automations come with the 18-months warranty that prevents customers from being unlucky to face with ignorance of their customer rights. Also, industrial electric linear actuators, as well as other PA products, can easily be used with specially designed control boxes, mounting brackets, rocker switches, and power supplies. The convenient design of all these products makes it possible to assemble the linear motion automation construction by yourself even when not being familiar close with the details of engineering. Of extreme importance will be industrial actuators that allow use them within other more complicated devices seamlessly and effectively. These industrial products can serve to both personal purposes and automate the certain linear motion processes at factories, plants, etc.

The construction design of industrial electric linear actuators makes them heading the list of the most powerful and most convenient engineering solutions of the last decades. With adjustable technical specifications, these linear motion mechanisms can perform almost any kind of work wanted. They can be used for a variety of purposes with the same high effectiveness and convenience. This technology is increasingly appreciated due to solid construction that doesn’t require regular maintenance. Use it once and feel comfortable for a long time.

Donald Trump Supports Harley-Davidson Boycott

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According to the US President Donald Trump, it is “great” that many Harley-Davidson owners decided to boycott the company in this row of tariffs that escalates. Trump said that “most other firms… including Harley competitors” agreed to imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

As for Harley-Davidson, they announced that some of the production would be moved out of the United States, in order to avoid the tariffs set by the EU. As a response POTUS threatened the company with higher taxes. Instead of commenting, Harley-Davidson pointed to an interview CNBC did with Matthew Levatich last month.

He said that the company’s preference “in all cases is to supply the world from the United States.” However, he also noted that the firm invested in international manufacturing over the past two decades because “trade and tariff situations in certain markets” made it “prohibitive” without this investment.

“We’re only doing that because these are important growth markets for the company that, without those investments, we wouldn’t have access to those customers, at any kind of reasonable price,” he said.

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The warning came last month from Harley-Davidson that the profit margins of the company this year were most likely to halve due to trade tariffs. The added costs this year will be approximately $50 million because of the taxes imposed by the European Union. In June, the famous motorcycle maker said that they would have to move some of the production from the US to the assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India, and Thailand. It is not specified which factory would start producing more.

Meanwhile, Trump declared that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are essential to protect the US steel and aluminum industries. This has forced countries such as Canada, Mexico, India, as well as EU to react. The US has also threatened to hit billions of Chinese imports with import taxes, while the country also considers tariffs on foreign cars and vehicle parts.