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EDITORIAL/PRODUCTION Editor & Programme Director Nadine Bloxsome +44 1737 855115 Production Editor Annie Baker Advertisement Production Martin Lawrence

SALES Sales Manager Nathan Jupp +44 1737 855027 Business Development Manager (Europe) John Lane +44 1737 855014 Sales Director Ken Clark +44 1737 855117

CORPORATE Managing Director Steve Diprose CEO Paul Michael Published by: Quartz Business Media Ltd Quart House, 20 Clarendon Road Redhill, Surrey RH1 1QX, UK +44 1737 855000 © Quartz Business Media, 2018

Contents 3

Welcome by Nadine Bloxsome


Future Aluminium Forum Conference Programme


Speaker Biographies




Exhibitor Profiles


Hydro’s New Technology Pilot


Is Digital Just a Flash in the Pan?


Lean Principles into Digital Transformation


Industry 4.0: Disrupting the Supply Chain


A Compliant Quality Management System


Protecting Your Organisation


Smart, Connected Safety Solutions


Making Smarter Automation Investments


Digital Smelter Solutions @alu_forum

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always the better solution Heavy duty mobile equipment for aluminium industries . . .

GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH Headquarters: HornstraĂ&#x;e 19 D-45964 Gladbeck / Germany Fon: +49 (0) 2043 9738 0 Fax: +49 (0) 2043 9738 50 email:

Welcome As we move into a new, digital age, technology around us is becoming smarter and more efficient. Mobile phones and tablets are evolving into an extension of us - mine seems to know where I am going as soon as I get into my car, even before I do - and in most households now, ‘Alexa’ is on hand to answer our ridiculous questions and offer, sometimes unwanted, assistance. When it comes to utilising technology and digitalisation across the aluminium manufacturing industry however, it goes much deeper than simply checking with the refrigerator what the weather will be like today... It appears the fourth industrial revolution is upon us and while for some, ‘Industry 4.0’ is merely a buzz phrase, for those with vision, it represents a major development in the way industries conduct their day-to-day operations. However, it comes down to more than just how powerful this new technology is and what it can do. If we are not prepared to utlitise the information and data being presented to us and use it to build a better, more efficient process, then the benefits may not be fully realised. Stefan Koch, Global Lead for Metals, SAP, sums it up in this special publication by saying: “Companies that don’t embrace digitalisation will be left behind.” If you are reading this at the Hotel Michelangelo in Milan, Italy, then it is likely you are attending the Future Aluminium Forum, which will focus entirely on the challenges concerning digital manufacturing. There are plenty of expert speakers at the ready to answer any questions you may have and I hope this is the beginning of a dedicated meeting place for the aluminium supply chain to build a more efficient, sustainable and streamlined future together. Nadine Bloxsome, Editor, Aluminium International Today & Programme Director

Aluminium International Today

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Registration Open


Welcome to the Future Aluminium Forum Nadine Bloxsome, Editor, Aluminium International Today


Opening Welcome Dr Mauro Cibaldi, President, CentroAl


Keynote From Automating Knowledge to Doing the Impossible: Five Top Use Cases for the Aluminium Industry to go Digital Stefan Koch, Global Lead for Metals, SAP SE

SESSION ONE  THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION CHAIR  MANISH CHAWLA, GENERAL MANAGER, GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS, IBM 09:15-10:30 The Cognitive Enterprise: Leveraging AI and Blockchain to Drive Productivity, Scale Expertise and Transform Material Science in the Aluminium Industry Manish Chawla, General Manager, Global Industrial Products, IBM The Origins of the Industry 4.0 Concept Dr Mario Gibertoni, Lecturer, Gruppo Studio Base Implementing Industry 4.0 Dan Miller, Senior Process Consultant, Innoval Technology Ltd Guided Maintenance with HoloLens Mark Breeden, HSO



Coffee Break and Exhibition Time


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Aluminium International Today

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SESSION TWO  INDUSTRY 4.0 IN ALUMINIUM MANUFACTURING: STATUS, STRATEGY AND CAPABILITIES CHAIR  MARCOS IERIDES, INNOVATION CONSULTANT, BAX & COMPANY 11:00-12:30 Combining Physically Based Models and Artificial Intelligence in Future Production of Aluminium Extrusions Hans Erik Vatne, Chief Technology Officer, Norsk Hydro Dedicated Data Warehouse Solution for Rolling Mills Hans Peintinger, General Manager, QuinLogic GmbH A Big Data Platform for Industrial Cloud Applications Roger Feist, Digitalisation, Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG Accelerating the Application of Material and Manufacturing Innovations Through Open Challenges Marcos Ierides, Innovation Consultant, Bax & Company


Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Reader in Cyber Security Management at the Centre of Business in Society of Coventry University (UK) Trend of Automation and Data Exchange in Manufacturing Technologies Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter BA (Dunelm) Hon DSc FRINA FIMarEST MRAeS is CEO and Managing Director of Coltraco Ultrasonics


Lunch and Exhibition Time

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SESSION FOUR  THE SMELTER OF THE FUTURE PANEL DISCUSSION CHAIR  MARK DORREEN, VICE PRESIDENT  TECHNICAL, ENERGIA POTIOR 14:15-16:00 Towards 4.0 in the Process Industry landscape: The Smelter of the Future Claude H. Vanvoren, President, AVTAL Association The Karmøy Technology Pilot – Industry 4.0 from Words to Implementation Hans-Erik Vatne, Chief Technology Officer, Norsk Hydro Aluminium Smelting in the Age of Renewable Energy and the Internet of Things Geoff Matthews, Vice President, Energia Potior Primary Aluminium Production Industry 4.0 Integrated Automation Maarten Meijer, President, GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH


Coffee Break and Exhibition Time

SESSION FIVE  KEY MARKET OPPORTUNITIES CHAIR  CLAUDE H. VANVOREN, PRESIDENT, AVTAL ASSOCIATION 16:30-17:45 CP Smart Solutions - The Innovation Journey Ingmar Holst, Territory Sales Manager, Claudius Peters Smart Aluminium Temperature Sensors for Industry 4.0 Fiona Turner, Physics Section Manager, Ametek Land DANIELI DIGI&MET - Adding Value to Aluminium Andrea Polo, Senior R&D Manager, Danieli Automation What Industry 4.0 means for Aluminium Smelters and Aluminium Extrusion Davide Brancaleoni, Rockwell Automation Roberto Motta, Business Development Lead NSS, Rockwell Automation


Conference Close


Networking Dinner Join us for an evening of networking, good food and drink at local restaurant, Hosteria Della Musica, Via Giovanni Battista Pirelli, 1 20124 – Milano. The restaurant is a short walk from the Hotel Michelangelo.



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Aluminium International Today

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Welcome Nadine Bloxsome, Editor, Aluminium International Today

SESSION SIX  SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY: HOW IS THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY AIDING THE MOVE TOWARDS A GREENER ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY? CHAIR  JEROME LUCAES, MARKETING & SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR, UC RUSAL 09:05-10:30 About the Emergence of a Low CO2 Aluminium Market Jerome Lucaes, Marketing & Sustainability Director, UC Rusal 20% Higher Aluminium Recovery Using PyroGenesis’ On-site & Salt-free Process, DROSRITE™ David D’Aoust, Sales Manager, PyroGenesis, Canada Tracking Sustainable Aluminium Dr Melanie Williams, Sustainability Consultant Smart Recycling and the Circular Economy Dr Gino Schiona, General Manager, CiAl

SESSION SEVEN  STRIKING A BALANCE WITH AUTOMATION AND PRODUCTIVITY CHAIR: DAN MILLER, SENIOR PROCESS CONSULTANT, INNOVAL TECHNOLOGY 10:30-11:30 The Smart Furnace: Boosting performance and predictive maintenance through Industry 4.0 Alain Campo, 4.0 Engineering Manager, GHI Hornos Industriales, S.L In-situ Chemical Specification Analysis with Automated Alloying and Homogenisation Rob Morello, Technical Sales Engineer & Marketing Manager, Altek What does Industry 4.0 mean for aluminium extrusion? The role of integrated handling systems Cristina Minari, Marketing Director, DimaSimma

11:30 Coffee Break & Exhibition Time Aluminium International Today

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THE INNOVATION HUB: EUROPEAN ALUMINIUM PANEL SESSION CHAIR  NADINE BLOXSOME, EDITOR, ALUMINIUM INTERNATIONAL TODAY 12:00-13:00 Founded in 2015, the European Aluminium Innovation Hub is a proactive community of innovative companies from across Europe’s aluminium value chain. The goal is to trigger research projects that advance a sustainable future and tackle technological challenges, thereby advancing the industry’s Sustainability Roadmap to 2025. In this panel session, European Aluminium will analyse with key speakers respectively from the aluminium industry, the technology supplier industry and the research community how digitalisation can boost innovation and sustainability in the aluminium sector, especially through collaborative public-private funded projects and cross-sectoral approach. Panellists include: •

Hans-Erik Vatne, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Norsk Hydro

Serge Despinasse, Aluminium Technology and IT Director, Fives, Aluminium Division

Claudio Pastrone, Head of Pervasive Technologies Area, Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB)

Christian Leroy, Manager Innovation Hub, European Aluminium


Lunch & Exhibition Time

SESSION EIGHT  INDUSTRY 4.0 AND ITS CHALLENGES: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? CHAIR  GEOFF MATTHEWS, VICE PRESIDENT, ENERGIA POTIOR 14:00-15:30 How Industry 4.0 will Affect Potroom Operations/Improvements Mark Dorreen, Vice President - Technical, Energia Potior Role and Limitations of the Equipment Supplier in the Deployment of Industry 4.0 Strategies in Aluminium Production and Processing Pascal Côté, Director, Development and Innovation, STAS



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Aluminium International Today

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Digitalisation of Heat Treatment Makes your Furnaces Talk to You! Claudio H. Goldbach, Business Development, Termica Aluminium & Digital: Path to the Future Abhimanyu Prakash, Director,

15:30 Coffee Break & Exhibition Time

SESSION NINE  SMARTER MANUFACTURING FOR A STREAMLINED SUPPLY CHAIN 16:00-17:00 Aluminium Alloys for Additive Manufacturing Riccardo Casati, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano Data-Driven Industrial Modelling Of Future Wrought Aluminium Alloys Dr. Varužan Kevorkijan, Managing Director, Impol A Sophisticated Industry Tool Delivering Data for Aluminium Production 4.0 Alexander Schlemminger, Head of Sales, SECOPTA Analytics GmbH Digitalisation of Aluminium Casting Process Improves Competitiveness Based on Real Time Monitoring and Quality Predictive Model Nicola Gramegna, Chief Technical Officer, EnginSoft SpA


Innovation Award One of the speakers from across the two days will be chosen to receive the ‘Innovation Award’, which will honour a new technology or process, working towards a smarter aluminium industry. The award is supported by Aluminium International Today.


Conference Close

Please note, this programme is subject to change at the organiser’s discretion

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Nadine Bloxsome, Editor, Aluminium International Today Nadine Bloxsome graduated with a BA(Hons) in Journalism from the University of the Arts, London. After completing her degree, she gained work experience as a news correspondent at ITV and took on the role of Editorial Assistant for Springer Science and Medicine. In 2011, Nadine started her career with Quartz Business Media, working on Glass International

magazine. After a couple of years, she was appointed Editor of Aluminium International Today. Nadine has worked to cover all areas of the aluminium value chain in the magazine, while bringing new publications like the ‘Safety Guide’ to the forefront. She has developed the Future Aluminium Forum, which will see leading figures unite to discuss manufacturing technologies.

Stefan Koch, Global Leads for Metals at SAP Stefan Koch is responsible for SAP solutions for the metal industry globally. In this role, he looks closely at all aspects of how technology can be applied to drive efficiency, innovation and growth across the metals industry. He is in frequent discussions with leading metals companies, industry user groups, technology implementation partners and independent software

vendors. Presently Stefan is guiding a number of ongoing discussions with metals companies on how to drive digital transformation in metals and to identify the role of Industry 4.0 and IoT in this context. Stefan has been involved in the application of technology in manufacturing industries for more than 20 years.

Dr Varužan Kevorkijan, Managing Director at Impol Group Varužan Kevorkijan is a doctor of materials science with more than 25 years of experience in aluminium industry and industrial R&D. In Impol Aluminium Group, as the managing Director of Quality and Research, he is currently fully responsible for the quality control and certification. His industrial and academic R&D activities are

focused on the advanced aluminium recycling technologies, the development of new, recycling friendly aluminium alloys, the fabrication and characterisation of aluminium-based composites, the stochastic and cognitive modelling of advanced materials, the development of advanced continuous casting technologies and much more.

Manish Chawla, General Manager, Global Industrial Products at IBM Manish Chawla is the Global Industry GM for Industrial Products, based in Delhi, India. At IBM, Industrial Products covers the Manufacturing, Resources and Construction segments. Manish took this role in January 2016 after leading the IBM business in these industries in the US, and then Asia Pacific to sustained growth.

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Manish is currently focused on driving Digital ReinventionTM and productivity for IBM’s clients in these industries including Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Cognitive Solutions, Automation and Blockchain. He has over 21 years of diverse management/technology advisory & solution experience related to global business transformations in these industries.

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Dr Mario Gibertoni, Lecturer at Gruppo Studio Base Dr Mario Gibertoni graduated in Economics before gaining extensive industry experience with a range of multi-national companies (FIAT Iveco, Fiat Teksid, Beretta Armi.) In 1983 he decided to move into the consultancy business and spent time in Japan at both the Kaizen Institute and the prestigious Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) specialising in the Toyota Production model. He is now a lecturer

at both San Raffaele University and the Sole 24 Ore Business School in addition to his consultancy work. In 2013 he began specialising in the Industry 4.0 business sector at both the Fraunhofer Institute and Stuttgart University acquiring the knowledge required to help guide client companies on their path towards Industry 4.0 status.

Dan Miller, Senior Process Consultant at Innoval Technology Dan Miller is a senior rolling process consultant at Innoval Technology and a recognised expert in aluminium rolling with almost 40 years’ experience. In his career he has covered all stages of production, from bauxite refining to finishing. He is a world expert in flatness control and has

significant experience in control systems, cold and foil rolling, plant auditing, evaluating plant data, improving gauge performance, specifying equipment and leading advanced process improvement workshops. He also teaches in several of the sessions on Innoval’s Aluminium Rolling Technology Course.

Mark Breeden at HSO As a 30-year veteran within the IT industry, Mark has been involved with many systemised project implementations. Over the last seven years he has been helping companies transform their operations through the application of Microsoft technologies most recently based upon the Azure platform. With

the increased awareness of Industry 4.0 and the role technology can play in achieving the benefits from adoption, Mark will be focusing on how commercially viable solutions can be applied to the maintenance of plant and equipment within the aluminium industry.

Hans Erik Vatne, Chief Technology Officer at Norsk Hydro Hans Erik Vatne is Chief Technology Officer in Hydro and heads Hydro’s Corporate Technology Office. He holds a Master degree in Physics and a PhD in Metallurgy, both from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He has more than 20 years of experience within the aluminium industry

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in Hydro, holding positions in R&D, rolling operations (a.o. plant manager at Holmestrand Rolling Mill, Norway), Head of Business Unit Remelters and lately within technology. Vatne is also board member of the faculty of natural sciences at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.


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Jerome Lucaes, Marketing and Sustainability Director at UC Rusal Jerome is currently Marketing and Sustainability Director at RUSAL. In his role, Jerome is working with the customers and the supply-chain to develop the market of low carbon aluminium. He also actively shapes the future of the industry sustainability profile through engagement in collaborative initiatives such as the ASI. Jerome has 24 years of experience in

international executive roles in sales, marketing, business development, innovation and general management in different industries. He spent his last 17 years in the aluminium industry (both downstream and upstream sectors). Jerome was also a co-founder and forefront leader of the early development of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative.

Hans Peintinger, General Manager at QuinLogic Hans Peintinger is one of the managing directors of QuinLogic GmbH responsible for sales & finance. He is also one of the founders and shareholder of the company which started in 2007. Today, the majority of QuinLogic shares are held by SMS a world leading German line builder. Meanwhile the company is the market leader for quality assurance software solutions

in steel and aluminium industry worldwide. One of Hans Peintinger’s core competences is the Industry 4.0 transformation process, which is just starting in the rolling mills. It is initiated to fulfil the growing requirements of the customers referring to quality, performance and efficiency.

Roger Feist, Business Unit Digitalization at Achenbach Buschhütten Roger Feist studied electrical engineering at the University of Dortmund. After graduating in 1991 he worked as a developer for rolling-mill automationsoftware, later for robotics-simulation software. 2005 he became functional safety expert for Tüv Nord until he decided to return to his first employer in 2009. For nine years he was responsible for the automation

of rolling-mills at Achenbach Buschhütten before he took over the lead of the digitalization-department inside Achenbach. He is a passionate promoter of model-based development and virtual commissioning. Since 2015 he has been strongly engaged in the development of cloud-based solutions for the metals industry.

Riccardo Casati, Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano Riccardo Casati is associate professor of metallurgy at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano. His research deals with the evolution of microstructure and mechanical behaviour of metallic materials during manufacturing and service. In recent years, his scientific activity has focused on alloys and

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composites produced by powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing processes. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering with a thesis on aluminium die casting and received a Master degree in Materials Engineering with a thesis on functional behaviour of shape memory alloys at the Politecnico di Milano.

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Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Reader in Cyber Security Management Dr Alexeis Garcia-Perez is a Reader in Cyber Security Management at the Centre for Business in Society of Coventry University (UK) and a Visiting Research Scholar at Georgetown University (USA). A sociotechnical understanding of information systems has enabled Alexeis to focus on the wider challenges of

data, information and knowledge management in organisations and society. He has collaborated extensively with key industry players including Siemens, General Electric and the British Railway Industry.

Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter, Managing Director at Coltraco Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter BA(Dunelm) Hon DSc FRINA FIMarEST MRAeS is CEO and Managing Director of Coltraco Ultrasonics, a British designer and manufacturer of portable and fixed monitoring systems for the naval, shipping, offshore, energy and fire sectors. He is a former GreenJacket Officer in the British Army and a Graduate and Honorary Doctor of Science from

the University of Durham, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Royal Institute for International Affairs, Royal Society of Asian Affairs and Royal United Services Institute. Dr Carl lives in London and Somerset in England, travels extensively in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Claude H. Vanvoren, President at AVTAL Association Claude Vanvoren obtained his Engineering Degree in Electrochemistry and Electrometallurgy from the National Polytechnic Institute. After a Master Degree in Solid State Electrochemistry, he achieved his PhD in Mineral Chemistry working on Carbon Monoxyde disproportionation. Mid 2009, Claude was appointed Vice President Technology and R&D, Rio Tinto Aluminium, managing RTA R&D Centres of

Excellence in Canada, France and Australia as well as corresponding Process Engineering organisations with the responsibility of delivering industry benchmark Technology Packages both in Bauxite & Alumina and Primary Metal. From March 2017, Dr Claude Vanvoren is proposing consulting services in Innovation Management as well as Technology development and operational support in smelting.

Geoff Matthews, Vice President at Energia Potior Geoff Matthews was appointed Vice President of Energia Potior Ltd, in July 2015, with the responsibility of commercialising the patented EnPot technology. After acting as Personal Private Secretary to New Zealand’s Prime Minister for 10 years between 1987 and 1997, Geoff embarked on a successful career in advertising and public relations before establishing

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multi award-winning branding and marketing company, BrandCom Ltd in 2001. In his current role for Energia Potior, Geoff is immersed in the world of aluminium smelting with a particular focus on sustainability issues, and how flexible operating scenarios can change the financial outlook for smelters.


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Mark Dorreen, Vice President, Technical at Energia Potior Mark is the Director of the Light Metals Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Mark has over 20 years’ experience (10 years at the Light Metals Research Centre) in research and development, technical support and project management in metal production industries. Mark is also the Vice President, Technical at Energia

Potior Limited, the company responsible for bringing the EnPot shell heat exchanger technology to smelters worldwide. EnPot enables smelters to modulate their energy consumption on an hourly, daily or seasonal basis, changing the energy supply dynamic and allowing them to integrate with renewable energy grids.

Maarten Meijer, President at GLAMA Maschinenbau Maarten Meijer is responsible for Glama material handling solutions for the global light metal industry. He looks closely at all aspects of how the primary light metal industry can transform from mechanised discrete material handling and human decision making into a just in time material handling system that fully supports the Hall Hérault process parameters. In the past he

showed that this approach leads to cost reduction and improved product quality. He is in frequent discussions with leading light metal companies, user groups and technology implementation partners on industry 4.0 concepts for light metal industry. It is his believe that the light metal industry will benefit most from smart robots.

Ingmar Holst, Territory Sales Manager at Claudius Peters With a professional background in project management in industrial services and turnkey project realisation Ingmar joined Claudius Peters sales team in 2014 as a Sales Engineer in the department Silo/ Pneumatic. He holds a Master degree in Process

Engineering and has gained professional global experience having worked in England, Scotland, Norway, USA and as an expatriate in Canada. He enjoys spending time with his family at home and on the road followed by his hobby: photography.

Fiona Turner, Physics Section Manager at Ametek Land Dr Fiona Turner is a Chartered Physicist specialising in instrumentation and metrology. She started her career developing rail vehicle based instrumentation for tunnel and track profiling, then went on to work on gas sensing applications, an instrumented aerosol chamber for climate change measurement and laser scanners for

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anti-counterfeiting. Fiona joined Land Instruments in 2010 as Physics Section Manager, where her main project has been the development of Land’s new SPOT thermometer range with extensive site trials for aluminium extrusion and rolling applications.

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Abhimanyu Prakash, Director at As Director at AlCircle, Abhimanyu has been part of the AlCircle journey in various capacities since its inception and now leads the efforts around marketing and business development for the team. Being a third generation participant in the aluminium value chain he brings inherited knowledge in this space and has

been involved over the past few years at Jiwanram Sheoduttrai and Uniseven Engineering Pvt. Ltd., which have been successfully servicing the global aluminium industry for the past few decades. His keenness in the digital space and its unlimited potential are key drivers to help achieve the AlCircle vision.

Roberto Motta, Business Development Lead, NSS at Rockwell Automation Roberto began his work in industrial automation in the second half of 80’s and has maturated his experience, covering different positions within some major players. He joined Rockwell Automation in 1993 in the role of Account Manager. From the earlier 00’s, moving to the Product Marketing, he has supported the introduction and adoption on the Italian market of Rockwell

Automation’s core Fieldbuses including EtherNet/IP. More recently he has managed the partnership with CISCO in Italy specifically promoting the new technologies adoption process generally called Industry 4.0 (The Rockwell Automation’s “The Connected Enterprise”.

Dr Melanie Williams, Sustainability Consultant at Melanie Williams Consulting Dr Melanie Williams started her career with BP. She spent 10 years developing new processes for the chemicals and refining businesses. This involved new catalyst development and also financial assessment of different pathways and processes for new and existing products. She led the work to develop and implement new BP processes for the production of vinyl acetate

monomer and maleic acid hydrogenation to speciality products. She then spent three years licensing BP technology for the conversion of remote gas and benchmarking technologies for potential investment. She also worked in Intellectual Property management and competitor analysis.

Gino Schiona, General Manager - CIAL Dr Gino Schiona has been the General Manager of CIAL (Consorzio Imballaggi Alluminio, Aluminium Packaging Consortium) since 2000. After having worked as Project Manager within Siemens Power generation Division, he worked for some years at Replastic as Research and Development Manager, a position, which allowed him to broaden significantly his experience in the

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environment and energy field. In 1998, as member of the task force, he took part in the start-up process of Conai (Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi, National Consortium for Packaging) and afterwords he was entrusted with roles of increasing responsibility within the system: from the management of the Recycling and Sales business unit at the Plastic Packaging Consortium, to his current position at CIAL.


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David D’Aoust, Sales Manager at PyroGenesis Canada David is a business development manager at PyroGenesis Canada Inc currently tasked with bringing the recently launched and commercially proven saltfree rotary dross furnace DROSRITE™ to market. David brings a fresh approach to developing revolutionary solutions for companies operating within the upstream metals industry and downstream manufacturing sector, with a successful track record in strategic relations,

supply-chain optimisation and product development from the design stage to commercialization and mass adoption. David is passionate about finding new ways to optimise or eliminate waste streams to provide clients with significant bottom line savings, while simultaneously and most importantly reducing their environmental footprint.

Alain Campo, 4.0 Engineering Manager at GHI Hornos Industriales Alain started in GHI as Electrical Automation Engineer in the Engineering Department, responsible for the design and commissioning of highly automatised hot stamping furnaces, aluminium wheel rim plants, aluminium dross recovery plants and aluminium heat treatment furnaces. He used his know-how and knowledge in automation and processes to create the Industry 4.0 department of GHI, where he designed,

developed and set up the GHI 4.0 Solution “The SmartFurnace”. Nowadays he is 4.0 Engineering Manager of GHI, responsible for smartisation, data analytics, knowhow managing and customer advisory. He is also a member of the GHI Research & Development managing team.

Rob Morello, Marketing Manager & Technical Sales at ALTEK Rob Morello is Business Development Manager for ALTEK. He has worked at ALTEK for over seven years, beginning his career with a two-year rotational graduate scheme covering all aspects of the business, before moving into a sales and marketing capacity and finally Business Development Manager. He is heavily involved in many of ALTEK’s research and

development programmes from mainly a commercial and economic perspective, three of which have been launched in the past year: ALTEK’s Electromagnetic Scrap Submergence System, ALTEK’s Curved Electromagnetic Stirrers (for dome furnaces) and most recently the much anticipated AluSalt Salt Slag Recycling technology.

Serge Despinasse, Aluminium Technology and IT Director at Fives Involved with the aluminium industry since 1989; Serge started his career at the LRF research and development laboratory of Aluminium Pechiney, where he contributed to the design and development of AP Technology cells. He also occupied positions as reduction R&D engineer and as engineering advisor on Greenfield and modernisation projects, including investment

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evaluation, in the Alcan then Rio Tinto Alcan group. Within the Fives ECL company between 2009 and 2017, Serge occupied the role of R&D Department Manager, where in accordance with the strategy of the Aluminium Division of the Fives Group, he supervised the development of equipment used in aluminium smelters. In 2017, Serge took the position of Technology and IT Director of the Aluminium Division.

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Claudio Pastrone, Head of Pervasive Technologies Area at Instituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) Claudio Pastrone received the M.Sc. degree in telecommunications engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2002. In 2005, he joined the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella where he is currently heading the Pervasive Technologies research area focused on innovative solutions enabling the paradigm of

the Internet of Things (IoT) in different application scenarios, including process industries, smart factories, smart cities and smart grids. He has been active in a number of EU and regional funded R&D projects as well as industrial collaborations with both technical and management roles.

Christian Leroy, Manager, Innovation Hub at European Aluminium Christian Leroy joined European Aluminium in January 2014 as Consultant in charge of Innovation and Life Cycle Assessment. Previously, as full-time employee of European Aluminium since 1999, he was in charge of various functions covering education, technology and environmental fields. Christian is now the manager of European Aluminium’s

Innovation Hub. Founded in 2015, the Innovation Hub is the European aluminium industry’s vehicle to develop joint innovation projects that advance a sustainable future and tackle technological challenges, thereby contributing to the industry’s Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025.

Pascal Côté, Director, Development & Innovation at STAS Professional engineer (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, 1989) in mechanical engineering. Director of the Development & Innovation group for STAS, a Canadian based technology manufacturer. He has been involved in new products developments for most of his career.

His work is mainly oriented towards the aluminium industry, covering all the sectors of primary aluminium production and processing. He leads a team of professionals focussed on developing innovative solutions for the industry, integrating the latest technologies.

Claudio H. Goldbach - Business Development at Termica Solutions Claudio is responsible for Business Development at Termica Solutions. He has 25 years of experience in thermal processes, and extensive knowledge in industrial equipment, electrical and gas furnaces, ovens and heaters. In 2005, he founded TERMICA Solutions, headquartered in Joinville/Brazil, a company focused

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on the research and development of solutions for thermal processes, which led to the current state of thermal processes digitalisation. In 2015, Goldbach founded TERMICA Technology, based in the USA, a manufacturer of cutting-edge technology furnaces for the aluminium market.


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Dr Mauro Cibaldi, President Centroal – Centro Italiano Alluminio

Marcos Ierides, Innovation Consultant at Bax & Company

Davide Brancaleoni at Rockwell Automation

Dr Cibaldi is the President of CentroAl Centro Italiano Alluminio. His previous roles have included CEO of Albre Alluminio Bresciano Srl (Aluminium trading company on raw material and scrap); President and CEO of Deral Spa (Aluminium foundry company).

Marcos is an innovation consultant at Bax & Company, focusing on the area of mobility, and particularly on lightweighting. He helps clients and partners develop innovative technologies in the field of materials and manufacturing processes, and attract financing to scale up.

Davide joined Rockwell Automation in 2012 as EMEA Packaging Segment Leader. He previously worked, for many years, for another company specialised in Automation covering different roles. He holds a Degree in Electronic Engineering, Master in Automation.

Nicola Gramegna, Chief Technical Officer at ENGINSOFT S.P.A.

Alexander Schlemminger, Head of Sales at SECPOTA Analytics

Cristina Marina, Marketing Manager at DimaSimma

Chief Technical Officer of Manufacturing Competence Center at ENGINSOFT S.p.A. with a focus on process simulation, offering consulting and training focused to Design Chain solutions and Optimisation.

Head of Sales for SECOPTA Analytics GmbH, Alexander was a Key Account Manager for automotive laser welding company until 2017. He holds an M.Eng. Mechanical Engineering - Production Systems in Berlin 2012.

Andrea Polo, Senior R&D Engineer at Danieli Automation

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Marketing Manager at DimaSimma, which provides customers with solutions for integrated logistic systems. DimaSimma, has been active for more than 40 years in the warehouse and handling field.

Thank you to all of the speakers for taking part in the first edition of the Future Aluminium Forum

Aluminium International Today

16/04/2018 15:52:34












3 1


13 14







1. Ametek Land

9. GHI Hornos Industriales SL

2. Lintec Europe

10. Thermo Fisher

3. Advanced Dynamics

11. DimaSimma

4. Achenbach Buschhütten

12. Aluminium International Today

5. PyroGenesis Canada Inc

13. ALUMINIUM - World Trade Fair & Conference

6. Claudius Peters Projects GmbH

14. Altek Europe Limited

7. GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH

15. QuinLogic

8. Innoval Technology Limited

Aluminium International Today



19 13/04/2018 14:42:19


Achenbach Buschhütten

Stand 04

Advanced Dynamics

Stand 03

Siegener Str., 152, 57223 Kreuztal, Germany Phone: +49 2732 799-760 Email: Website:

Phone: +1 (450) 653 7220 / +1 (450) 653 7220 Email: Website:

Achenbach Buschhütten is an independent family-owned company looking back on more than 560 years of history. Today, Achenbach is a global provider of non-ferrous metal rolling mills with rolling oil and automation systems as well as foil slitting machines for winding, separating and slitting thinnest metal foils and converting material. Following the company’s philosophy ‘everything from one single source’ the machines are designed, manufactured and assembled at Achenbach. Service & Support is provided through their entire operating life cycle. The range of products comprises turnkey production plants, machinery lines, single machines or selected technology components. The modernisation of Achenbach machines and third party machinery completes the range of products. Achenbach’s mission ‘Technology for Future Concepts’ is proven in both, in every single project and development work. Achenbach has the technology to realise its customers’ future ideas for the production of first-class rolling and slitting products with most modern tailor-made machinery. Against this background Achenbach represents three core messages towards its customers: - We are the Specialists - We are leaders in Technology and Quality - We are your Partner

Heavy-duty material handling systems for aluminium cast house and smelters. Advanced Dynamics is a management owned company that focuses on engineering, designing and manufacturing of custom heavy-duty material handling systems. Our company has seen exceptional growth since being established in 1965, and is now known worldwide in the paper and metals industries.

Worldwide references prove the great experience and the high recognition on the world market - Achenbach OPTIMILL® Rolling Mills: 400 - Achenbach OPTIFOIL® Foil Slitting Machines: 80 - Achenbach OPTIROLL® Automation Systems: 300 - Achenbach OPTIPURE® Media Systems. 530

ALTEK is a technology-based company with specialist expertise in the design, manufacture and installation of machinery to aid in the productivity and operational efficiency of the aluminium cast house. ALTEK invented the dross press in the early 1990s. In 2009 ALTEK took over the TARDIS dross press business, combining the two different technologies to create the most advanced, automated dross press systems available in the world with over 500 dross press references worldwide. In 2009 ALTEK also launched their Electromagnetic Stirring range with great success, subsequently becoming world leaders and preferred suppliers of this technology to many companies around the world. Adaptations to their unique technology over recent years have allowed for developments which no other competing system is capable of. Automated scrap submergence systems submerge and circulate the furnace at the same time, a ‘curved’ electromagnetic stirrer design follows the curved profile of dome furnaces, and QuickSwitch controls allow for immediate reversal of electromagnetic flows for increased operational performance. ALTEK’s salt slag recycling plant technology, AluSalt, launched this year and is the last piece in the jigsaw for aluminium recycling. Small enough to be situated on site, AluSalt will allow for in-house

The new Achenbach OPTILINK® IoT Platform for the further optimisation of the entire production process with regard to quality and productivity complement the Achenbach range following the philosophy of providing its customers with everything from one single source.

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Altek Europe Limited

Stand 14

Lakeside House, Burley Close, Chesterfield S40 2UB, United Kingdom Phone: +441246 383737 Email: Website:

Aluminium International Today

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aluminium recovery, 98%+ salt reclamation, no third party processing fees and transportation costs, much more operational control and most importantly, no waste products. Due to ALTEK’s sophisticated control systems, the whole plant can be run by only 2 operators per shift. It is ALTEK’s mission to provide customers with the best technology and knowledge, to meet their needs through a deep understanding of their production processes, operation, equipment and operational cost and profitability requirements.

ALUMINIUM – World Trade Fair & Conference Stand 13

Aluminium International Today is an English language journal dedicated to the production and processing of aluminium. It contains a digest of global news, events, and statistics as well as more detailed technical articles, company and country profiles, conference reports and regular regional economic briefings. The target readership are managers and CEOs in the aluminium industry, but it is also widely read by members of research organisations, technical consultants and business consultants. An average of 4000 copies of each issue are circulated worldwide to a combination of subscribers and targeted readers. It is published in English six times a year alongside regular Chinese and Russian language editions. A round up of the top news stories is also sent to our entire database each week as a free e-news bulletin.

AMETEK Land (Land Instruments International Ltd) Stand 01 Website:

ALUMINIUM is the world’s leading trade show and B2B-platform for the aluminium industry and its main applications. It is THE must-attend event for the aluminium industry and a powerful sourcing platform by uniting producers, processors and also endconsumers as well as technology suppliers. ALUMINIUM is showcasing international innovations from the entire value chain: from raw materials, semi-finished and finished products through to machinery and equipment, accessories and surface refinement. ALUMINIUM is the place to get up-to-date information in concentrated form and find pioneering solutions. ALUMINIUM displays the latest trends and topics of the industry – in the Innovation Areas, in the Special Forums and the ALUMINIUM Conference you find new solutions for uses of tomorrow. Future topics focus on sustainability, recycling or technology of processing and automation.

Aluminium International Today Stand 12

Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1QX, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1737 855115 Email: Website:

Aluminium International Today

exhibitor profiles.indd 3

Stubley Lane, Dronfield S18 1DJ, United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)1246 417691 Email: Website:

AMETEK Land is a leading manufacturer of monitors and analysers for industrial infrared non-contact temperature measurement, combustion efficiency and environmental pollutant emissions. Through their trusted range of technologies, they are chosen the world over to deliver the highly accurate measurement solutions that meet every customer’s process needs. choosing AMETEK Land ensures the highest standards of process safety, process control and product quality are reached. AMETEK Land will showcase intelligent temperature measurement for aluminium extrusion processes at the Future Aluminium Forum 2018. Accurate temperature measurement is critical in quality aluminium extrusion production. The introduction of new high tech aluminium alloys designed for high end applications such as aerospace, automotive or safety products have increasing mechanical specifications and decreasing product weights, the extrusion and quench process temperatures are crucial to meet the extremely high requirements and specifications of the final products. The SPOT AL EQS (Aluminium Extrusion, Quench and Strip) application pyrometer combined with the new SPOT Actuator enable unprecedented and highly accurate process temperature measurements and intelligent product and process tracking to continuously monitor temperature and improve process and product quality. Extruders who produce lower quality profiles can increase production rates because press speeds can be increased. AMETEK Land is part of the Process & Analytical Instruments Division of AMETEK, Inc., a global supplier of high-end analytical instrumentation.


21 16/04/2018 14:24:26


Claudius Peters Projects

Stand 06

Schanzenstraße 40, DE-21614 Buxtehude, Germany Phone: +49 4161 706 0 Email: Website:

Claudius Peters is a world leader and innovator of materials handling equipment and process technologies providing turnkey and semi-turnkey systems to the cement, gypsum and alumina industries. Claudius Peters’ role in alumina processing is based upon total ecological awareness coupled with materials handling products that are as competitive as they are reliable. Expertise in stockyard systems, grinding mills, pneumatic conveying and storage and dispatch provides solutions that benefit both the customer and the environment. Pneumatic conveying systems benefit from a lower velocity and less power consumption; whilst anti-segregation silo systems provide special mixing (ring) chambers for continuous grain size distribution and optimum discharge out of the alumina silos. The Alumina Distribution System feeds the alumina to the pot room. These are just some of the innovations from Claudius Peters that are redefining what is possible within the industry. Great aftermarket service is all about accessibility - Claudius Peters’ new on-line customer support platform the ‘CP Portal’ was launched in May last year and offers fast, centralised access to new and current project-related documentation and spare parts in just a few clicks.


Stand 11

IT41057 Modena, Italy Phone: +39(0)59930270 Email: Website:

DimaSimma, has been active for more than 40 years in the warehouse and handling field. Since the end of the 1960’s DimaSimma has been continuously developing and innovating the automation of industrial processes and in cooperation with customers, elaborating fully automatic customertailored solution and so Dima’s product portfolio includes innovative products. Our mission is provide our customer with innovative solutions for integrated logistic systems for a range of needs: long products, dies,

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coils, sheets, plate and pallets, bins... The advantages of integrated logistics throughout a factory to improve the competitiveness of aluminium Rolling Mill, Smelter, Extruders, profile distributors and manufactures. Because cost for raw material are more or less the same for everyone, therefore the only area available to intervene in order to obtain cost reductions and improve services remains the logistic, handling and storage. Frequently several cost eludes the control because are sunken cost; by logistic system is possible to create a competitive advantage. A logistic system, with an automated warehouse and a peripheral handling system or integrated with AGV -LGV, with AUTOMATIC CRANE can coordinate the different phases of the production process for any establishment. In this way it is possible to trace the different items to maximise output of all production and treatment areas thanks to the constant monitoring by the automation and software interfaced with each production and treatment area, it is possible to reach a full automation. The main results: reduction cost, more safety, more efficiency and best client service. DimaSimma the brand of Integrated Intralogistic Handling System.

GHI Hornos Industriales

Stand 09

Phone: +34 944 49 16 00 Email: Website:

GHI Hornos Industriales S.L. (GHI) is an industrial engineering company dedicated to the supply of equipment for the fusion, heat treatment and heating of metals. We offer personalised comprehensive solutions that include industrial furnaces, turnkey plants, technical assistance, digitisation and consulting services. Founded in 1937, in Biscay, GHI has more than 80 years of experience in the design, manufacture, erection and commissioning of industrial furnaces. As a family business, the ownership of the company is equally divided among the third generation of brothers. The registered capital totals 500.004€. Our deep knowledge of product and process, reaffirms us as a world reference in segments such as hot stamping, aluminium recycling, heat treatment and wheel manufacturing plants. GHI is formed by a team of 130 professionals, 41% of which have a superior technical education. In addition, we have a wide network of highly specialised suppliers in various sectors (metal casing and components, refractory material, electric material, etc) that add another 300 people at its service. That allows us to have flexibility to multiply our production capacity.

Aluminium International Today

16/04/2018 14:24:27

GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH Stand 07

Lintec Europe

Hornstr. 19, D-45964 Gladbeck, Germany Phone: +49 (2043) 9738-0 Website:

LINTEC EUROPE, Unit 4 Century Point, Halifax Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP12 3SL, United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)1628 777766 Email: Wesbite: /

GLAMA designs and built heavy-duty equipment for the forge industry, aluminium pot rooms, cast houses and anode rodding shops throughout the world for 55 years now. GLAMA’s experience of many years of producing machines with a unique combination of advanced control and rugged, reliable construction is evident in the several hundred machines now in service. GLAMA equipment withstands the heat, dust, vibration and battering of heavy industry while delivering precise handling performance. Where Glama already is a partner in line automation for the forge industry we recently started a program to transfer this know how and technology to the Aluminium Industry. This will result in a new line of robots and interactive machines that enable men to gain from collective knowledge, reach a much higher yield and performance in potlines, rodding shops and casthouses all over the world.

Innoval Technology

Stand 08

Stand 02

LINTEC EUROPE offer label & tag products under our Heatproof range that are specifically designed to withstand the extreme temperatures of the aluminium industry. Our Heatproof products can be printed on site via a thermal transfer printer and then applied either by hand or automatically. This product enables customers to use barcode (variable data) labels which will withstand pre heating processes and application to aluminium up to 650°C as well as homogenising at 650°C (up to 24 hours) and annealing at 450°C (up to 24 hours). The Heatproof series ensures reliable identification for aluminium producers and re-processors. These products reduce the risk of human error, improve safety and ensure superior product tracking throughout the supply chain. They will also withstand harsh outdoor environments and chemical exposure. Our Heatproof product range is being used across 150 sites in the aluminium, steel, manufacturing and ceramic industries.

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. Beaumont Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 1TQ United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0) 1295 702800 Website:

Innoval Technology provides high quality consultancy, technical support and training to investors, manufacturers and end-users of aluminium across a broad range of industry sectors. Their clients are rolling, extrusion, forging and finishing companies, and their suppliers and customers, throughout the world. Innoval has developed a suite of tried-and-tested aluminium rolling process models which are used to optimise rolling processes to increase productivity, improve quality or save energy. They believe their models are the most accurate available to the aluminium industry today. This is because, alongside the physics of the process, they incorporate the comprehensive knowledge and understanding of aluminium that is unique to Innoval.

Aluminium International Today

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Stand 05

1744, William St., Suite 200, Montréal, Qc H3J 1R4, CANADA Phone: +1 514 937 0002 Email: Website:

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. is the world leader in the design, development, manufacture and commercialisation of advanced plasma processes. We provide engineering and manufacturing expertise, cutting-edge contract research, as well as turnkey process equipment packages to the defense, metallurgical, mining, additive manufacturing, oil & gas, and environmental industries. PyroGenesis maintains its competitive advantage by remaining at the forefront of technology development and commercialisation. PyroGenesis’ DROSRITE™ system is a salt-free, cost-effective, sustainable process for maximising metal recovery from dross onsite. PyroGenesis’ patented process avoids costly loss of metal while reducing a smelter’s carbon footprint and energy consumption, thereby providing an impressive return on investment.


23 16/04/2018 14:24:28


QuinLogic GmbH

Stand 15

Heider-Hof-Weg 23, 52080 Aachen, Germany Phone: +49 (2405) 47 999 40 Email: Website:

The company was established in Aachen in 2008 with the aim of harnessing large quantities of complex measurement data for quality management in the steel and aluminium industry so as to facilitate significant increases in production efficiency. QuinLogic’s customers include a large number of well-known steel rolling mills throughout the world. The SMS Group is a majority shareholder in the company since 2016. The outstanding and easy-to-use technology of the QES - Quality Assurance System is increasingly applied in premium steel rolling mills as well as developing into the standard for aluminium flat rolling plants. Industry 4.0 QES - A Pragmatic step towards Industry 4.0 The discussion about the future transformation in industrial production processes is actively ongoing. This “4th industrial revolution” does not have one standardised definition, but there are major criteria to describe it: - Better use of data - Merge production processes with information technology - Real-time availability of relevant information - Mass customisation - Technical decision assistance Finally it is an application that reveals know-how, preserves it and makes it available to anybody in the plant 24/7 Link the real production world with the virtual world QuinLogic’s QES is a 4.0-compliant application that: - Makes production data transparent - Supports the consideration of individual customer specifications in a mass production environment - Provides relevant information to support the human being in making a decision in case of quality deviations or process deviations – throughout the entire value chain.

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Thermo Fisher

Stand 10

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Frauenauracher Str. 96, 91056 Erlangen Germany Phone: +49 (0) 9131 998 0 Email: Website:

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of more than $20billion and approximately 70,000 employees globally. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers solve complex analytical challenges and increase productivity. Through our premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services – we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive support. Meet stringent customer specifications and guarantee the performance of your products, while minimising raw material waste. Aluminium production is very complex and requires highly technical solutions to ensure the finished material meets precise specifications. Thermo Scientific™ online thickness and coating weight measurement systems meet this challenge with a comprehensive alloy compensation algorithm that provides accurate, non-contact measurement in the high-speed production environment of aluminium strip and foil mills for even the most specialised alloys and clad products. We offer a complete range of non-contact thickness and coating weight gauges for hot- and cold-rolling aluminium mills that provide precise, real-time measurements to meet the tightest specifications of any application while maximising raw material use. Whether you’re producing aluminium from primary or secondary sources, and your end product is several-cm thick plates or foils less than a millimetre thick, you can rely on us for accurate thickness or coating weight measurement and the highest quality finished products.

Aluminium International Today

16/04/2018 14:24:29


Hans Erik Vatne, Chief Technology Officer, Hydro 1. How important is the Industry 4.0/digital concept to aluminium manufacturing and processing? Our industry is mature and improvements in productivity and cost are thus becoming more challenging. I4.0 clearly has the potential to improve safety by removing inconvenient and dangerous work tasks through robots, reduce cost due to automation, improve productivity due to higher stability and better resource utilisation through automation and better control systems (utilising digital twins and advanced analytics). 2. Do you expect the digital concept to be embraced by aluminium manufacturers? Most aluminium companies are now in an exploratory phase where they test out and try to find the potentials and business cases of I4.0 and really identify what is value creating and what is hype. As an industry we have a rather high degree of manual work. This is where most work is going on. 3. What does your company offer its customers in terms of the Industry 4.0/digital manufacturing concept? Currently we have quite good customer portals to simplify order handling and communication and modern information channels like @ShapesbyHydro. 4. Has digital manufacturing become an important concept at your company? Do you have an R&D team devoted to it, for example? We are working on digital twin concepts, i.e. complete digital/numerical simulation models of physical processes like a machine, electrolysis cell or a complete plant, based on a combination of: (i) Physically-based models, (ii) Advanced sensors/measurement systems (to continuously calibrate the model), (iii) Advanced analytics algorithms (statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence).

Aluminium International Today

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Such models are in the testing and development but have the potential to optimise electrolysis as well as more downstream manufacturing. 5. How has your technology evolved to embrace the digital age? Hydro has recently built the Karmøy technology pilot to verify our next generation electrolysis technology. In the final project phase a lot of efforts were used to improve automation and the control system, including use of advanced analytics and new sensoring. Thus, the technology pilot has also become a first step towards a digital plant.

7. What is your vision of an aluminium smelter or processing plant in five to 10 years time? The vision is clearly and autonomous cell, i.e. an electrolysis cell that is self-controlled and without need for manual intervention but this is likely to take more than five years.

6. Are there any negatives to the digital age? It is obviously challenging to spend resources wisely and find the right business cases for digital projects. Further, automation and robotisation of shop-floor as well as office tasks challenges traditional tasks. So far this is positive – creating more interesting jobs but longer term it might have consequences for the need for human labour.


25 13/04/2018 14:23:07


Hydro’s new technology pilot: Breaking new ground in energy consumption Here is the challenge: Build electrolysis cells that produce aluminium with the world’s lowest energy consumption and the world’s lowest CO2 footprint while maintaining high quality and productivity as well as a low CAPEX. In short, that’s what Hydro’s technology pilot at Karmøy is aiming to do: Verify at an industrial scale the world’s most climate-and energy efficient aluminium technology.

26 Feature Hydro.indd 2


13/04/2018 14:36:03


ore than a decade has passed since Hydro researchers and engineers started working on the next generation electrolysis technology. Today, 60 new electrolysis cells packed with Hydro’s HAL4e technology stand side-byside at Hydro’s technology pilot in Karmøy, Norway. 48 cells shall produce aluminium with an energy consumption of 12.3 kWh per kilo aluminium, significantly lower than world average and with CO2 footprint below 1.5 t CO2/t Al. The remaining 12 cells are equipped with HAL4e Ultra technology that brings the energy consumption down to industry benchmark at 11.5-11.8 kWh/kg. The technology pilot consists of physical technology elements and an improved process control system. Many of these elements can be tailored for and used for existing aluminium plants too. Taming the electromagnetic field The team at Hydro’s Primary Metal Technology often use the analogy of a racing car to explain the complexity of the cells. “We’ve developed a Formula One car which is so complex to drive that very few will manage, but now we’ve trained a number

of drivers to manage this kind of car,” says Johannes Aalbu, Head of Hydro’s technology development, adding, “it’s like developing a new car model, except that you build both the car and the factory at the same time”. Hans Erik Vatne, Hydro’s Chief Technology Officer, highlights the challenge of taming the electromagnetic fields. “What is unique about the technology pilot, is that we will produce 75,000 tonnes of highquality primary aluminium annually, with low energy consumption and low emissions, in a limited amount of available space. Placing compact electrolysis cells so closely together comes with huge challenges. When we send 450,000 hydropower-generated amperes through a cell, it creates strong electromagnetic fields that disturb the neighbouring cell. We’ve now found the solutions that enable us to tame the forces created inside the cell, to achieve a stable metal-bath interface which in turn means that we can reduce the energy consumption,” Vatne says. “By developing a new control platform and introducing automation, we also have a highly precise and efficient aluminium production. We can perfectly manage heat-

balance, add precise amounts of alumina and limit the amounts of energy waste to a bare minimum. We even use laser technology to monitor and limit emissions,” says Vatne. Support from across Hydro and in external partners Hydro’s technology pilot is developed inhouse, with contributions from the company’s research centres in Neuss in Germany, Porsgrunn and Årdal in Norway. Program manager Asgeir Bardal, who leads the work on the HAL4e technology, says the technology pilot is a company-wide team effort. “I’m very proud to be part of a team that is contributing to reducing emissions through the pilot’s record-low energy consumption in aluminium production. We have seen that it works in a number of test cells, and now we’re set to verify this technology at an industrial scale,” Bardal says. Hydro has also had strategic partners in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), SINTEF (independent research organisation), Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), The Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and ENOVA, a

Norwegian government enterprise promoting energy efficiency. In total, NOK 4.3 billion has been invested in the project – including NOK 1.6 billion from ENOVA. Hydro’s investment in the Karmøy technology pilot is the largest single investment in Norwegian mainland industry outside the oil and gas sector since Hydro expanded the Sunndal aluminium plant in 2002-2004. �


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27 13/04/2018 14:36:37


Is ‘Digital’ just a flash in the industry? By Stefan Koch*


luminium is the foundation for many of today’s products. It’s used in everything from food and beverage containers to cell phones, automobiles and airplanes. Especially aluminium use in the automotive market is on the rise as vehicle manufacturers replace steel parts with aluminium in order to reduce the weight of vehicles and increase fuel efficiency. To meet the growing demand, worldwide production of primary aluminium is projected to grow. Yet despite healthy demand, many aluminium producers have to work hard to remain profitable in an industry characterised by oversupply, strong competition and volatile market conditions. Production is based on enormous capital investments in plants and assets. In order to run their business successfully, many aluminium companies have chosen a long-term partnership with SAP, some of them already for decades. With the many changes now taking place because of the new digital economy, companies are re-imaging their processes, how they manage assets and even how they build lasting customer relationships. This is crucial to ensure they can build sustainable business that can make sure the final products get sold - even in the future. For the aluminium industry, specifically, companies are applying Industry 4.0 concepts and big data insights to add value along the entire supply chain from managing production to ensuring the appropriate quality and delivering orders exactly as expected. Digital technology trends impacting the aluminium industry Companies across all industries are struggling to capture, analyse and use the vast amounts of data available today. As software applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain

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management have become more robust and comprehensive, they have also become more data-intensive. Likewise, physical assets such as mining equipment, transportation vehicles and obviously machinery in production are delivering continuous streams of information that are steadily growing. Aluminium producers must have the right technology in place to extract value from data and use it to transform how they do business. For example, machine learning is helping to improve product quality and automated processes. Augmented reality is also changing plant operations by blending physical and virtual models. To take advantage of these latest trends, metal producers need a technology solution with three core features: � A powerful technology platform that combines database, application processing, and integration services capable of quickly processing heavy amounts of data from multiple sources; � A graphical, intuitive and adaptable interface to make it easy for non-technical users to access, share and use data; � Cloud-based services so companies can have sophisticated, always-available solutions when and where they need it. With the right technology solutions in place, it’s possible to begin accessing, analysing and using data to make smart decisions. In particular, digital innovations are helping companies anticipate real-time changes in demand and supply, enhance operational efficiency, operate resilient supply-chains and add new value to customers. Agility and responsiveness The traditional value chain for aluminium is quickly transforming, driven by massive structural changes, new technology, highly

interactive devices and close-to-real time processes. While no company can ever accurately predict demand 100% of the time, technology is making it possible for metal producers to create digital models, which are analysed in real-time and used to adjust production so that output more closely matches demand. For example, signing a car sales contract might become a data point available and used by an aluminium producer for more accurate planning. This end-customer data indicates to the producer the demand of his automotive supplier that provides different parts of this car. So, it could shorten time needed to get this demand signal as well as allowing better planning as multiple supplier for this car type are served. Customer focus and added value Digitalising and connecting systems can add new value to a customer. Technology advancements provide the ability to understand customers and their buying behaviours in ways never before available, allowing for the development of personalised experiences, even in B2B scenarios. The use of digital assistants is making it possible for manufacturers to provide faster service, with less staff. Customers can interact with suppliers using any device (PC, phone, tablet, etc.) and any channel they prefer such as web, email, phone, or chat. An interaction supported by conversational applications can guide the service representative in responsive manner and will incorporate in the background the detailed data that is now available. New services can provide full transparency during order processing and allow access to detailed product data. Operational and energy efficiency Data from machines, vehicles and products can be combined to make better predictions,

Aluminium International Today

13/04/2018 14:38:53


the pan? Or is it changing simulations and decisions. Automation and connectivity throughout the plant is helping to reduce error rates, increase speed and cut operation costs. For example, by integrating systems for demand planning, production capacity and transportation capacity, producers can maximise throughput and asset resources, which also lowers stocks. Additional efficiencies can be achieved by correlating sensor data with business data in real-time, which can help producers, use less energy and reduce their carbon footprint. Fleet management is another opportunity to leverage data insights for increased efficiency. Connected fleets combine vehicle telematics data (tire pressure, engine speed, etc.); driving behaviour data (speed, accelerating, braking, time spent loading and unloading); and business data to save on transportation costs. For example, by viewing fuel consumption under various conditions, such as a full load, no load, idling, etc., producers can identify the trips with the highest fuel consumption, drill down to the details, then compare to fleet benchmarks in order to reduce activities leading to higher-than-normal costs. This is applicable to the trucks that operate within the mines as well as the trucks that go out to deliver to the customers. Supply chain operations In the aluminium industry, the supply chain is long and complicated. It begins with mining operations and ends with the piece of aluminium that is sold. The classic industry set up where a single company handles the endto-end process from Mining over refining, smelting, and downstream fabrication has been changing over the past few years. Buying and selling companies has become the norm in the aluminium industry. A classic example of both a merger and a divestment of comes from looking at the history of Novelis, which was a set of separate companies before its acquisition by Alcan. Consequently, the rolling units were reorganised and renamed “Novelis” and then acquired finally by Aditya Birla

Aluminium International Today

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Group. Another example is Emirates Global Aluminium that is expanding to cover the aluminium value chain from the start. In this case the growth by acquisition of bauxite mining is another factette. Now the norm is constant mergers, acquisitions and divestitures as companies seek to balance portfolios and maximise profits in a much shorter time frame. These frequent organisational shifts can be extremely difficult for organisations to manage. Many companies turn to technology, which can not only smooth the transition but in many situations, can actually support the business case because of the speed and efficiency with which the M&A can happen. Technology and best practice approaches provide standard processes that can be more easily assimilated by new divisions. Cloud solutions are a natural option because the fact that they are not a physical installation and thus tightly related to a business unit can support a more flexible move of business units. Circular economy One trend that is also driving mergers and divestiture is the concept of circular economy. The circular economy, especially in North America and Europe, is an important industry and business milestone as it implies that the regional amount of commodities in circulation is sufficient. Meaning, no more virgin raw material additions are needed if

recycling or even better re-use is orchestrated properly. A related positive impact is the reduction in energy use and CO2 emissions. The vision is to create a virtuous cycle that fosters prosperity in a world of finite resources, moving away from traditional linear consumption patterns. It will also fuel potential new business models. Taking that cycle in motion you will have to perform multiple business tasks like manufacturing of a product, sales and distribution, collection, and recycling. This is nothing new in general but in the future, you can envision that all of this could be administered by one player and complemented by other supporting processes for example, lifetime material tracking, financing and other services like service provisioning. As a result, new business models might evolve like leasing for versus selling aluminium. Digital Technology will play a major role to enable this future. Supporting technologies such as block chain might also enable a decentralised tracking of material not possible as of today. SAP is supporting metal companies around the globe on their journey to the Digital Business of the future – and this is no flash in the, hopefully aluminium, pan - but often beyond the plant fence. � Author * Global Lead for Metals, SAP


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Lean principles into digital transformation By *Bernd Schreiber, **Willem Romanus, ***Yong Lee


e’re through with lean – it’s time to go digital!” will sound familiar to the ears of many executives today. At first sight the idea of abandoning lean and trying something “new” that delivers more radical improvements seems appealing. However, although lean and digital initially appear largely unrelated, ignoring lean principles may be risky, and can even prevent digital transformation projects from being successful. Successful companies have achieved outstanding performance by incorporating lean management at the centre of their corporate transformation. However, even in those companies for which lean once transformed ways of working, the limits of what can be achieved have almost been reached. Numerous companies suffer from lean “fatigue”, with managers frustrated with results that are increasingly incremental. The shift to digital At the same time the potential of digital technologies to transform performance is now widely recognised. However, most companies struggle to find the right approach to effectively grasp the benefits of this digital promise. Indeed, choosing from among the plethora of new options provided by digital technologies is a real challenge. Typically, it is unclear where to start and how to prioritise a company’s efforts and resources to drive tangible results. While some companies have been able to achieve a radical performance increase of up to 50% or more, many have become stuck in a situation in which initiatives happen in silos, efforts lack coordination, and successes

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are limited or even non-existent. Recent experience has shown that integrating lean principles into digital transformation can be a highly effective way of achieving radical simplification of the process, allowing companies to identify and apply the most effective levers for the digital journey. In this article, we therefore explore the challenge of building digital transformation on the foundations of lean management. Starting from traditional lean excellence, we will indicate how companies can select the right technological building blocks based on their specific value creation potential. Subsequently, we will illustrate how to use lean principles to radically simplify the value stream and explain why digital “shortcuts” typically fail. Finally, we will highlight the need for a new, combined lean/digital capability, which paves the way for sustainable competitive advantage of outstanding organisations Companies that rely on lean principles achieve relatively high performance levels compared to their competitors. A recent Arthur D. Little automotive study classified the lean lifecycle into three phases and determined annual company growth rates in each phase. Using a key automotive productivity indicator (“hours per vehicle”) as a measure, the correlation with lean implementation was analysed. (See Figure 1.) Performance growth of up to 8% is common during the Lean Exploitation phase. This decreases as performance improves, and tends to stabilise at around 1% in the Lean Excellence phase. Digital technologies have the potential to make a further step-change

improvement across all phases. Similar trends have been identified in other industry sectors. Whatever the industry, outstanding lean organisations tend to be strong in the three “lean pillars”: Leadership and culture; targets and performance management; and Kaizen platforms. (See yellow box.) However, despite the widespread understanding of these principles, many lean journeys fail. Companies often focus too much on tools rather than philosophy, and on waste removal rather than customer value. Disappointing incremental improvements and lean “fatigue” are common symptoms of this failure. The challenges of improving performance through new digital technologies The advent of new digital technologies undoubtedly provides huge opportunities and levers for making a further step change in performance. However, companies that simply introduce new technological devices and systems, without considering the value stream holistically, run the risk of failure. There are several reasons for this, for example: � Issues related to deficient value streams and/or poor data quality are seldom overcome by using sophisticated technologies � Digitalisation of processes with poor (data-) quality risks make existing shortcomings even worse � The local, workplace-specific application of technological gadgets seldom leads to radical simplification at the enterprise level

Aluminium International Today

13/04/2018 14:33:27

� Technologies which, at first sight, seem easily applicable may lack maturity, causing frustration for employees � Radical simplification requires a holistic approach to value-stream transformation Selecting the right technology building blocks based on their value-stream potential Overcoming these challenges requires excellent knowledge of available technologies and a deep understanding of how and where they can affect the value stream – this is where the three lean pillars are invaluable. Each company needs to configure its own set of technological blocks, to address its organisational characteristics and priorities. Five categories of technological building blocks are defined in Arthur D. Little’s digitalisation framework, “Future of Operations”. (See “Future of Operations in the digital world”, Viewpoint 2016.) This classification helps companies to trace operational needs to the relevant building block: � Cognitive: using pattern recognition based on (big) data for automating tasks (e.g., big data/advanced analytics, bots, autonomous transport systems) � Connected: incorporate machines,

tasks, etc., through the cross-functional use of information (e.g., collaborative, smart machines and robots) � Virtual: leverage productivity by decoupling and transforming physical conditions into virtual spaces (e.g., cyberphysical systems, augmented reality) � Human centred: design new workplaces through the use of collective knowledge (e.g., collective intelligence, virtual workplace) � Value-add: define new business models through the use of new core technologies (e.g., additive

manufacturing/3D printing) These building blocks are interconnected, and therefore need a holistic and integrated design approach. They apply across the organisation, in both core operational functions such as manufacturing and logistics, and in support functions such as robotics process automation (“RPA”) in production planning and finance. By adopting lean principles, including a classic lean value-stream analysis, it is much easier to identify the right areas and the levers to make the change. (See Figure 2)

Compound annual growth rate

120% Figure 1: Performance growth rates along the lean lifecycle Source: Arthur D. Little, the HARBOUR Report 2008

±% Exploration

+5-8% Exploitation

Performance (normed)

Digital lean

+1% Excellence




Digital potential

“Traditional lean”

Failure Time

The three lean pillars of outstanding lean organisations Pillar 1: Leadership and culture

Pillar 2: Targets and performance management

Pillar 3: Kaizen platforms

Whether in daily routine or in times of transformational change, leadership and distinct roles and responsibilities provide the cornerstone for effective collaboration. Clearly formulated expectations, derived from top management’s vision and based on a cross-functional understanding, help to make management and delegation effective. This mindset nurtures the culture of continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement and transformation start with setting clear targets. These targets need to be designed both vertically (the organisational hierarchy) and horizontally (reflecting the required end-to-end value-stream orientation). Performance management assures the effectiveness of measures taken through better leadership quality and clear focus on the waste-free value stream.

Lean is not only about methods and tools, but also about addressing the right problems and using the right set of employees with the right problem-specific approach. Continuous improvement can be seen as continuous training, and is a sustainable way of developing employees. The Kaizen platforms, whether for self-contained improvements, problems within a defined organisation unit, or cross-functional/ cross-site problems, need to be integral, not additional to, the design process.

Aluminium International Today

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Big data/ advanced analytics

Cognitive, self learning systems/bots

Connected things

Collaborative, smart machines & robots

Augmented reality

Cyber physical systems/

Digital building blocks

virtualised networks

Kaizen platforms Targets &

Autonomous transport systems


Virtual modelling/ simulations

management Leadership & culture

Collective intelligence crowd sourcing

Virtual workplace/ workplace 4.0

Addictive manufacturing 3D printing

Assessing the digitalisation potential of the value stream As we have said, radical shifts in performance can be achieved by embedding new (proven) technologies in the value stream to overcome factors that have traditionally limited performance. The full digitalisation potential of the value stream may be derived using a design approach based on two key questions: 1) Which physical process steps can be automated by mature and proven technologies? First, design a lean value stream on the greenfield. Simplify the value stream radically by eliminating interfaces through consolidation and integration: make the value-add visible. For each process step, especially for the non-value-adding ones (“waste”), ask why this step needs to be processed by an employee and by what technology it should be automated. The immediate use of mature technology building blocks on standardised processes will deliver more reliable processes with fewer failures. Significant increase in productivity is the consequence of shifting the focus from eliminating waste to creating value-add. The greenfield value-stream design will differ radically from the current value stream: it reveals its digital potential. 2) Which remaining non-physical (information) process steps can be radically digitalised?


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Figure 2: Combining lean principles with selected technology building blocks. Source: Arthur D. Little, Future of Operations

Block chain

Second, automate and digitalise manual information processing and standard decision-making. Strive for a fully automated target condition in which the employee is just monitoring and confirming automated quality

gates. Reduce manual intervention to zero. Especially for high-frequency routines, in which employees transfer data between programs, or even for very complex decisions, robotics process automation, artificial intelligence or decision-supporting systems radically simplify administrative information flows. Digitalised information flow does not only produce less failures and accelerate workflows significantly, but also creates new value and optimisation opportunities through the digital visibility of big data. Developing lean digital capability to build a long-term and sustainable competitive advantage The ability to effectively and efficiently digitalise an organisation’s value stream is, unquestionably, a source of future competitive advantage.

Case example: Unlocking the digital potential of a logistics player Figure 3 shows a logistics industry example, in which the application of digital greenfield design led to a reduction of 50–80% of traditional manual tasks. The digital value-stream heat map visualises the radical simplification of the value stream of this company. One-third of the initial process steps and tasks were identified as waste, and hence eliminated. For another one-third, technological building blocks for automation and digitalisation were identified. Autonomous transport systems and robot-driven storage completely removed all walking distances. As a result, productivity increased dramatically by 20%. Another important building block was the substitution of manual reading of nonstandardised documents and data entry by automated scanners with machine learning. This allowed additional productivity gains through parallel processing. The use of smart tags (bar codes), including all relevant data for processing along the

Figure 3: Digital value-stream heat map visualizing radical simplification for a logistics player. Source: Arthur D. Little

entire value chain, was combined with the use of smart gloves, which scanned the bar codes by one pick. The failure rate in data entry was heavily reduced, and real-time data allowed a significant acceleration of the material flow in the warehouse. Finally, the remaining one-third of the process steps was subjected to a radical workplace redesign with completely different requirements for the employee.

Aluminium International Today

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Identifying and integrating the most appropriate digital technology into the value stream requires a profound understanding of all related business processes, as well as a sound understanding of the technologies on offer and their relative maturity. As with lean management, developing the required capability and establishing the required mindset throughout the organisation remain a top-management issue. The more employees and managers adopt this new lean digital mindset, the sooner efforts to digitalise will succeed in delivering step changes in business performance. Insight for the executive In order to be successful and overcome typical barriers, companies need to ensure that lean principles are well integrated into their digital transformation efforts. Companies need to: 1) Select the right building blocks

based on their specific value creation potential. This requires a broad and profound knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies. 2) Use lean principles to radically simplify the value stream. A digital greenfield design can be used to identify the digital potential in the value stream. 3) Avoid digital shortcuts, as they typically fail or lead to disappointing or unsustainable results. 4) Start developing a lean digital capability, which will form the basis for a long-term and sustainable competitive advantage. This implies a cultural change in the organisation and requires topmanagement attention.

article, the conclusion is simple. It is time to go digital – but this means that lean principles are more needed than ever before to help transformation efforts succeed over the long term. �

Authors * Bernd Schreiber is a Partner in the Frankfurt office of Arthur D. Little and leads the Global Operations Management Practice. ** Willem Romanus is a Principal in the Brussels office of Arthur D. Little and a member of the

Completing these four actions will allow companies to achieve radical shifts in performance levels by combining digital and lean. Returning to the opening statement of this

Automotive Practice. *** Yong Lee is a Manager in the Frankfurt office of Arthur D. Little and a member of the Global Operations Management Practice.

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Aluminium International Today

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33 13/04/2018 14:33:33


Roger Feist, Digitalisation, Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG 1. How important is the Industry 4.0/digital concept to aluminium manufacturing and processing? The digital concept of each manufacturer will strongly influence their competitiveness in the future. End customers will require digital twins of the real materials to plan their own production before they receive the ‘real twin’. New maintenance- and plant operation concepts using AI-algorithms will need realtime data and can be a disruptive change. 2. Do you expect the digital concept to be embraced by aluminium manufacturers? Definitely ‚yes‘. Many manufacturers are already working to realise their ‘digital concept’. 3. What does your company offer its customers in terms of the Industry 4.0/digital manufacturing concept? Our ACHENBACH Optilink® System opens possibilities to stream production data in cloud-storage and to generate high-level information in real-time. It can help to provide ‘digital twins’ for products, carry our predictive algorithms on the data and correlate claims with the whole production-chain. Achenbach, together with its partner-network can support a broad range of digital manufacturing applications starting with IoT-integraton of the aluminium production chain and ending with implementation of AI-Algorithms like neural networks or SVM.



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4. Has digital manufacturing become an important concept at your company? Do you have an R&D team devoted to it, for example? Digital manufacturing concepts are important for our products as well as for our own production. As a manufacturer residing in an ‘high-wage-country’ we are obliged to increase efficiency as far as possible without compromising quality. We have changed our organisational structure and have added a new business unit for digital solutions – of course including an own R&D-team.

5. How has your technology evolved to embrace the digital age? We are strongly engaged in cloudcomputing and lean concepts supported by real-time information.

6. Are there any negatives to the digital age? Transparency of product quality will be increased meaning that ‚just selling the name‘ is becoming difficult. The advantage coming from experience and size of a manufacturer will decrease as new networks can arise and agility is a critical factor for success in the future. 7. What is your vision of an aluminium smelter or processing plant in five to 10 years time? 10 years of time is too long to predict in times when technological development is accelerating and disruptive technologies occur. Processing plants will increase their capabilities to produce ‘on demand’ with less personnel and less use of energy. New fields of production-engineering will raise based on data-science.

Aluminium International Today

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Industry 4.0: Disrupting the supply chain The impact of industry 4.0 and smart use of data is reducing disruption in the supply chain says Michael Wallraven*


he impact of Industry 4.0 could easily be identified as a threat and a disruptor to the traditional supply chain. The truth is that, when deployed correctly, this dynamic combination is the antidote to supply chain disruption. In 2016, global supply chains were impacted by a series of unfortunate natural disasters including earthquakes and typhoons that ravaged nations throughout Asia. In 2015, analysis by insurance firm Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty found that between 2010 and 2014, the top five causes of business interruption loss globally were fires and explosions, storms, machinery breakdowns, faulty equipment or materials, and workforce strikes. Current events that are continually unfolding must also be considered, such as the economic nationalism propelled by the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s impending exit from the European Union. However, there are less dramatic situations that can cause supply chain disruption on a more frequent basis – small acts than have a large impact, such as human error causing delays on the production line. This creates an obvious knock-on effect that directly impacts the rest of the supply chain. It is clear that the supply chain is vulnerable to disruption. The traditional supply chain ecosystem is built around a rigid process that does not provide supply chain organisations with the flexibility to adjust to disruptions that will impact the bottom line, or the opportunity to predict or prepare for those disruptions. The traditional process is typically governed by inaccurate analysis of the market that dictates supply chain operations

Aluminium International Today

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in order to meet the predicted sales. A digitised reinvention of the supply chain will replace this inaccurate, siloed process with a flexible and agile solution that utilises data to severely diminish the impact of disruption. Industry of Things The moniker Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution which in turn refers to the rise of data exchange and automation in manufacturing technologies. ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is a similar term that supports the same notion of the world becoming more connected and is widely used to describe connected devices used in both industrial and domestic environments. In theory, connected devices, whether in a factory or in the home, bring all of these environments together to create one interconnected eco-system. Take Amazon Dash, for example. The e-commerce giant’s Wi-Fi-enabled device can be placed anywhere in the home and reorders a specific product with the press of a button. The user could place the button in a kitchen cupboard, enabling them to replenish their supply of a specific product. Even smartphones providing access to online shopping platforms have enabled consumers

to directly impact the supply chain from their own homes. The domestic benefits of connected devices are clear, but there is now an opportunity for the supply chain itself to benefit too. The ‘smart factory’ utilises automated machinery connected via the internet to facilitate more efficient and flexible production processes that can quickly adapt to production changes and demands. The Siemens AG plant in Amberg, Germany, is 75 percent automated while German truck builder MAN is building IoT technology into its vehicles, enabling haulage operators to access live feeds of raw data on the vehicle’s performance and track their journeys. For supply chain organisations, these developments provide them with the opportunity to pull their supply chain operations forward into the future. In comparison to the interconnected and automated technologies going into these factories, as well as the technologies that are making homes and shops smarter in the way that they are supplied with products, the traditional supply chain is exposed as outdated and inefficient. With the right flow of data, a digitised supply chain can help organisations thrive.


35 13/04/2018 14:20:03

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Disseminating the data From the shop floor to the factory floor, each connected device provides important data that can be fed into the digitised supply chain. To be of true value, this data must be tracked and visualised. Visibility is a key area of focus in leveraging data in the evolution of Industry 4.0, and it’s equally as important in the supply chain. Once the data is feeding into the supply chain and clearly visualised, the organisation can begin to think about disruptions before they occur. This can be achieved by manipulating the data in three key areas; supply chain design, event simulation and decision support. These three areas make up the functionalities of the solution that can be provided by digitised supply chain software. Designing the overall supply chain requires the visualisation of any route within the supply chain network, beginning with partners such as suppliers and service providers. Following the overall design of the supply chain within the software, the potential scenarios and ‘what if’ questions can be entered. As the software runs these scenarios, the outcomes will be generated and from here, organisations can explore the actions that can be taken to avoid total disruption should any of the potential events unfold. From this point, the supply chain becomes a flexible and reactive system that ensures disruptions have minimal impact. However, this all depends on the quality of the data that is fed into the digitised supply chain. Organisations will rely on the data to answer the tough questions, therefore flow of data must be carefully managed and stored to provide the most accurate responses. As the availability of data increases from all directions, including the factory, the warehouse and the shop floor, the data that is relevant to each organisation and its own supply chain must be filtered out. Without effective filtration of the data, the digital supply chain will become overwhelmed and the clear resolutions to disruption will not be achievable. When the flow of data is suitably managed through the adoption of intelligent supply chain software, organisations will benefit from a far-reaching view across all potential scenarios, enabling them to recognise and react to supply chain disruption before it has the chance to make an impact. � Author *Regional VP, Llamasoft

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Aluminium International Today

13/04/2018 14:20:03


Stefan Koch, Global Lead for Metals, SAP SE How important is the Industry 4.0/digital concept to aluminium manufacturing and processing? Digital transformation is at the heart of the entire global metals and aluminium industries. The industry is changing due to the fact that capacity is high, demand is growing as well but not at a similar pace. Aluminium companies need to find solutions to be profitable in oversupplied, competitive, and constantly changing markets. In addition, market disruptions can be caused by actions such as tariffs that require thoughtful and fast reactions. In this complicated environment, Industry 4.0 and digitalisation has become a strong lever for competitiveness and differentiation.

transformation aspirations, SAP has been digital from the beginning. SAP has always been at the forefront of the technologies that helped pave the way for today’s digital transformation. Our team is constantly pursuing the next innovation to help aluminium and global metals companies be more efficient, effective and profitable.

Do you expect the digital concept to be embraced by aluminium manufacturers? Yes. Companies that don’t embrace digitalisation will be left behind in this hypercompetitive environment. Much like a light bulb manufacturer that refused to pivot to LED light bulbs, or telephone companies that avoided mobile but relied on landlines for revenue, the shift is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Aluminium manufacturers of the future are those that are leading and establishing a strong foothold in the digital transformation today.

Are there any negatives to the digital age? The overall impact will be very positive to the aluminium and global metals industries. The digital transformation will help aluminium companies survive the industry dynamics and compete e.g. with alternative materials which is good for the industry. There will also be more efficient use of resources like energy, which is both good for the bottom line as well as the planet. However, there will be changes that will likely impact the workforce – a transition to more knowledgebased workers vs. action-based, and the likelihood that fewer workers will be needed long-term.

What does your company offer its customers in terms of the Industry 4.0/digital manufacturing concept? SAP offers a full spectrum of digital solutions to aluminium companies to master the digital revolution. Our solutions enable companies to run new sales models and omnichannel customer engagement that in an ideal case are directly connected to and make use of a digitally driven, profit-driven supply chain and plant and asset operations.

How has your technology evolved to embrace the digital age? SAP is continuously evolving our processes to incorporate the newest technologies. The SAP goal is to translate the latest technology innovations into the latest business processes to drive competitive advantage and the highest company business value.

What is your vision of an aluminium smelter or processing plant in five to 10 years time? In just a few years, plants will have seamless, fully integrated processes that are running more or less autonomously. Plants won’t have production in one location, owned and controlled by one entity, but instead a plant will be an integration point of a network of managed resources beyond enterprise boundaries. This is a complete re-imagining of the enterprise business model, and yet will offer more efficient, profitable and sustainable businesses long-term. �

Has digital manufacturing become an important concept at your company? Do you have an R&D team devoted to it, for example? As the established leader in supporting companies to achieve their digital

Aluminium International Today

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37 13/04/2018 14:24:31


QES™ - A pragmatic compliant quality Today’s rolling mills generate a cornucopia of data during each step of the different manufacturing processes. All this data can be used for different tasks, from monitoring the manufacturing process, online release decision, and to optimising the manufacturing and quality assurance processes. However, large amounts of data pose various challenges.*


ased on innovative technology all quality and process data coming from the different process steps of a rolling mill are integrated into one system. Know-how, which is generated by applying statistical analysis methods, will become part of a continuous improvement cycle by being translated into rules and applied online. It starts with a data warehouse solution that addresses the specific requirements of a rolling mill. Just storing everything is not the complete solution. Storing everything will result in a huge amount of data, including all erroneous data, which has a negative impact on the efficiency. Therefore, rule-based validation processes are used to ensure an efficient data management and prevents the typical problem of “garbage in/garbage out”. Hereafter the data is prepared for the different data driven applications as there are e.g. online coil release applications or offline data analysis applications. Quality deviations are not necessarily show at the production step where they occurred! Therefore probably the most important part of the data preparation is the genealogy – the tracking of the process and quality data throughout the entire production chain and for each production step! Finally the data packages are compressed without any loss and stored for all process steps of the mill. This specific preparation and storage of data allows the user to get answers to queries in seconds addressing all different process

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steps from the liquid phase to the finishing. It is not rocket science: It is normally not just one but a combination of variables contributing to quality deviations. E.g. some are from casting process and at the same time from hot mill and maybe in addition the process settings at the cold rolling. Each variable contributes with a different weight factor to the deviation in quality. This is an indication for severity and also a clear direction for corrective actions. QES™ DataCorrelator module

proposal for a new rule set which can be used in the quality decision in each process step. In the following example, customer claims are used to generate new rules or a complete new “if/than” rule set. Knowhow which is once generated is no longer lost after a period of time, but will be permanently stored in the rule set of the mill. Knowledge can be retrieved from the system easily for future ‘on the spot’ analyses or for continuous adaptation to changed conditions. Additional applied QES™ software

Image 1. PDW – one data source for all data driven applications

automatically provides all the necessary information as a transparent decision tree. The decision tree is automatically calculated using neuronal networks and indicates all weighing factors for different levels of the tree, which can be used for setting of rules thresholds. The module even automatically provides a

modules for automatic product (heat/ slab/coil/sheet) release or grading and for re-assignment, statistical process control including the intelligent expertise management system allow establishing a comprehensive quality management solution. For the first time this system configuration

Aluminium International Today

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I m


Industry 4.0 management system

Process signals product quality

Image 2. Automatic generation of rules by “Machine Learning Algorithm’s“ for the rolling mill

Image 3. Continuous quality improvement in rolling mills

Customer claims quality grading

Automatic rule extraction

If... If... If...

then... then... then...

else else else

now offers continuous adaptation to everchanging requirements of markets and especially high-end customers. And this is not only related to frequently changing product specifications, but also to smaller orders down to 1 product lots, which need a very flexible and short adaptation of process and quality control. Unforeseeable process disturbances are today much more critical but can be handled if the process conditions are transparent and accessible for all users in the system online. Fast and positive acceptance by all quality system users in the mill, can only be achieved if the system fulfils all ergonomic and today’s usability requirements. Easy to use allows each quality and production engineer to maintain and operate the system completely autonomously. This includes new generation and maintenance of specifications, norms and customer specific requirements. Besides the quality targets all modifications have to include the economical view, which means to analyse and report exactly the produced output, the internal downgrades and the verified claims. Before new quality specifications are applied in the mill, a sophisticated off line simulation can predict how the new settings will perform. It calculates not only the “in specification” production but also makes sure that no similar product, out of specification responsible for a customer claim, will be delivered again. Modifications can be implemented and tested in minutes. Therefore users can follow the changes of the market or specific customer requirements with flexibility and extremely fast. � * Quinlogic GmbH

Aluminium International Today

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39 16/04/2018 14:26:41


Protecting your organisation By Matt Rhodes*


s cyber criminals become more sophisticated and attacks become more persistent, businesses are seeking government-approved Cyber Essentials Plus certification to protect their organisation, while offering assurance to partners and clients. In the past 12 months, 875,000 small and medium-sized businesses have been targeted by cyber-criminals, costing a fifth of affected organisations over £10,000 in damages. With high-profile attacks often making headline news, it is no longer enough for businesses to claim they are proficient at dealing with incoming threats – instead they must prove it, according to Quiss Technology Commercial Services Manager, Matt Rhodes. “Potential clients have started adopting much stricter vetting processes during the procurement process, as they look for companies with a clean security record. “Businesses of all sizes should be striving to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus certification, as it ensures you have effective security measures in place, while giving you a competitive edge when attempting to secure new business. A seal of approval “There are currently two different certifications available to businesses – the standard Cyber Essentials and the Cyber Essentials Plus. “Cyber Essentials represents the most basic level of cyber security, and requires organisations to complete a short questionnaire regarding their current security controls, before being sent to a recognised body for review. “The organisation will typically undergo

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an external vulnerability assessment from a certifying body, which directly tests that individual controls on the internet facing network perimeter have been implemented correctly. “This basic level of certification only offers a snapshot of the organisation at that time – it does not provide assurance that systems are effectively configured to defend against more sophisticated or persistent attacks. “Cyber Essentials Plus, however, requires an organisation to undergo a much more thorough assessment, which is based on internal security assessments of end-user devices. “Using a range of specialist tools and techniques, the Cyber Essentials Plus assessment directly tests that individual controls have been implemented correctly, and recreates various attack scenarios to determine whether a system is proficient in dealing with potential threats. “The Cyber Essentials Plus certification requires your organisation to have five technical controls in place, including; � Boundary firewalls – these devices are designed to prevent unauthorised access to or from private networks, but require good setup to achieve maximum effectiveness; � Secure configuration – ensuring systems are configured securely to suit the requirements of an organisation; � Access control – only allowing those with authority to have access to systems; � Malware protection – ensuring the most up to date virus and malware protection had been installed; � Patch management – ensuring the latest supported version of applications is used and all the necessary patches have

been applied. “Only once a company successfully passes these tests can they be awarded the badge, which can then be displayed on an organisation’s website, showing customers that they value cyber security and can effectively deal with any incoming attacks. Staying vigilant – remaining protected “For businesses who are serious about strengthening their cyber security, Cyber Essentials Plus is the only option worth considering. “The Cyber Essentials Plus scheme provides a well-defined standard that is suitable for organisations across all sectors, including charities, schools, universities and local authorities. “While the standard Cyber Essentials certification is a necessary first step for businesses looking to improve their security, the additional checks involved with Cyber Essentials Plus make it a much better choice, especially with GDPR only months away. “These new data protection laws mean it has never been more important to ensure your sensitive information is properly safeguarded, as any potential breach will naturally attract attention from media and clients alike.” Cyber Essentials Plus and the procurement process “Since 2014, Cyber Essentials Plus has been a mandatory requirement when applying for government contracts, and it looks as though we are transitioning to a point where businesses must hold a badge to be considered for most public-sector work.

Aluminium International Today

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“Cyber Essentials Plus offers procuring organisations greater levels of assurance that required controls and checks are in place. “If your business is looking to grow and win new business, specifically within the public-sector, then achieving compliance should be at the top of your to-do list.


ACCORDING TO QUISS TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIAL Achieving compliance – what to do next “If your company is serious about achieving Cyber Essential Plus status, then the first step is to visit the official uk website, and select one of the official accreditation bodies listed. “In order to successfully hold a Cyber Essentials Plus badge, you must have first completed the basic Cyber Essentials certification process. “Once an independent assessor has reviewed your answers and performed the basic tests on your security controls, you will be awarded the Cyber Essentials certificate, allowing you to proceed to Cyber Essentials Plus. “Once you have received Cyber Essentials certification, you will then need to start the compliance process by introducing the appropriate controls to your system. “When looking for support to help you achieve Cyber Essentials Plus, it is important you contact an IT specialist with plenty of experience helping clients achieve compliance – they will then arrange for your security controls to be thoroughly tested, which will determine your effectiveness in defending against potential cyber threats. “Remember, different suppliers will offer varying levels of service and support, so make sure you select one that meets your company’s requirements.

Aluminium International Today

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And finally… “The security and business advantages of becoming Cyber Essentials Plus compliant is undeniable, however achieving certification should be the start of your company’s commitment to improving cyber security. “Adopting wider security frameworks and being proactive in your efforts to tighten security should be an on going responsibility for your team. “More sophisticated assessments are available to companies who are looking to push their security further than the Cyber

Essentials scheme, including Penetration Testing and Simulated Targeted Attack and Response, which assesses specialist business functions with a market or country influence. “If you think your organisation could benefit from these additional levels of assessments, then contact an IT specialist and achieve total security for your business and clients.” � Author *Quiss Technology


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Forging a new paradigm i safety solutions Rockwell Automation discusses advances in modern, smart, connected safety products and systems and elaborates on the tools and support that are available to help you deliver optimum safety, performance and effectiveness.


ith the advent of Industry 4.0 and contemporary approaches to plantwide communication infrastructures and information paths, realtime operational data is becoming one of industry’s most highly prized assets. Part of this data-driven paradigm has been the creation of smart devices for use in even smarter factories, which are leveraging concepts such as the Connected Enterprise to help deliver timely and pertinent information to the personnel that need it… in a format they can readily exploit. These increases in capabilities have not just been in the automation and process arenas; safety has seen a similar shift towards more connected devices that are capable of delivering a whole new range of operational

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data that further increase the opportunities to optimise operations. However, in order to exploit these new smart safety devices and their enhanced capabilities, users need to adopt a more holistic approach to their safety designs and infrastructures. This plantwide, top down, connected approach has already demonstrated significant improvements in industries such as metalworking and refineries, where more traditional, disparate automation and safety solutions have been replaced by integrated systems that can deliver data from even the most basic sensor all the way up to enterprise suites. Rockwell Automation has a strong pedigree of working in the metals industry and in addition to its comprehensive range

of smart safety solutions, it has many tools available to help even the most ‘traditional’ plant streamline and enhance its safety solutions. In the first instance, its free Safety Automation Builder software is designed to simplify machine safety design and validation, reducing both time and costs. It helps streamlines safety system design and can improve compliance and reduce costs by guiding users through the development of their safety systems – including safety system layout, product selection and safety analysis – in order to help meet machinery safety Performance Level (PL) requirements as outlined by global standard (EN) ISO 13849-1. Recent integration with RASWin Risk Assessment Software provides users with

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m in smart, connected more consistent, more reliable, documented management of the Functional Safety Lifecycle. RASWin software helps manage the progression through the functional safety lifecycle, organising information from each step of the process and machinery validation. It links the steps of the safety lifecycle to avoid systematic failures, including safety function specifications, Performance Level requirements (PLr) assignment and PLr calculation, safety circuit validation and documentation. By deploying Safety Automation Builder and RASWin, engineers in the aluminium industry will minimise the time-consuming process of manually designing and documenting safety systems, which can often introduce human error and inconsistency, reducing compliance with accepted standards. And by leveraging the industry’s most complete offering of safety products, the two tools utilise widely accepted best practices to build a complete safety solution. With simulation of application development – including hard guarding, input/output devices, control systems and connectivity – the tool helps its users develop the most effective and productive safety solutions. Complementing these two software

packages, Rockwell Automation also offers a wide range of pre-engineered safety functions for machines. These safety function documents provide guidance for a specific safety function based on functional requirement, equipment selection and performance level requirement; including set-up and wiring, configuration, verification & validation plan and calculation of performance level. The safety functions include presence sensing, access and door guards, emergency stops, position and hand control, process and subsystems. They all cover multiple elements, including sensors or input devices, logic devices and output devices, which together provide a level of protection calculated by performance level as outlined in (EN) ISO 13849-1. Support for the widely used SISTEMA performance-level calculator tool is also available from Rockwell Automation. This support comes in the form of library files for Rockwell Automation machinery safety products, which can be used within the SISTEMA calculation tool. The combination of the two gives machinery and system designers comprehensive time-saving support in evaluating safety to (EN) ISO 13849-1. Finally, in addition to numerous guides,

tools, white papers and webinars, Rockwell Automation has published the fifth version of its highly popular safety publication – ‘Machinery Safebook 5 – A Guide to Machine Safety’. This free A5 document offers guidance on the principles of machine safety, relevant standards and methods of safety implementation and covers multiple subjects, including: � International and Regional Regulations � Relevant Standards for Machinery Safety � Safety Strategy � Risk Assessment � Protective Measures and Complementary Equipment � Safety Distance Calculation � Prevention of Unexpected Power-up � Structure of Safety Related Control Systems � Functional Safety of Control Systems � System Design According to (EN) IEC 62061 � System Design According to (EN) ISO 13849 1:2008 � Application Examples with Sistema Calculations Safety is no longer a discrete, bolt-on addition to the automation system. Modern companies now see it as a connected and intrinsic value-adding element of any contemporary industrial operation. To exploit a safety system’s potential it must be deployed effectively and correctly; and Rockwell Automation has the products, tools and experience to help you get the best out of your solutions… and make them an essential part of your journey towards true plantwide optimisation. �

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Dan Miller, Senior Process Consultant, Innoval Technology Ltd 1. How important is the Industry 4.0/digital concept to aluminium manufacturing and processing? The general ideas are important in that there’s certainly room for us to work smarter through better data gathering. Many other manufacturing industries appear to be adopting the approach of Industry 4.0, and it is certainly being advocated by several of the key equipment suppliers. 2. Do you expect the digital concept to be embraced by aluminium manufacturers? It is as yet unproven that full digitisation of a plant is cost-effective. Aluminium manufactures certainly can see the benefit of integrated databases and many have already embarked on data-mining approaches as a stepping stone into Industry 4.0. It will take a while for the complete stages of Industry 4.0 to be widely adopted in my opinion. 3. What does your company offer its customers in terms of the Industry 4.0/digital manufacturing concept? We hope Innoval will be seen as a critical partner in the implementation of Industry 4.0 within the aluminium industry. Amassing huge amounts of process data will never be a complete substitute for product and process knowledge or experience, which is where we come in. You’ve got to understand what the data is telling you and know how to act upon it. 4. Has digital manufacturing become an important concept at your company? Do you have an R&D team devoted to it, for example? Innoval’s parent company, Danieli, has fully embraced the Industry 4.0 concept. It has a dedicated division for Industry 4.0 with its own very impressive facilities, and a fully staffed support and development team. Furthermore, Danieli’s CEO expects all companies in the group to actively pursue

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Industry 4.0 with their clients. 5. How has your technology evolved to embrace the digital age? Danieli already has an automation company, Danieli Automation, which has facilities to develop and implement cutting edge technology. As aluminium specialists, we utilise the tool kits developed by Danieli Automation but we adapt their implementation. This is due to our extensive knowledge of the process and product requirements of our aluminium clients, and our understanding of the expectations of the end-users of their products. 6. Are there any negatives to the digital age? There needs to be a careful evaluation of the benefits (particularly the incremental benefits) of digitisation. Complete digitisation can be expensive and, in itself, is not a panacea for all production, productivity and economic issues. As I mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you’re collecting the right data in the first place, understand exactly what it is telling you and then act on it in an appropriate manner, whether this is an automatic or manual response.

This is something Innoval’s engineers can certainly help with. 7. What is your vision of an aluminium smelter or processing plant in five to 10 years time? I am sure that all leading aluminium companies will be taking advantage of increased data collection and evaluation as a tool for decision making and for efficiency in the plants. Some of the drivers will of course be the new technologies, but the need for ecologically sound approaches and the need to minimise costs will as always play a very important role in determining the penetration of digitisation and analytics within the aluminium industry.

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Intro text Author

Making smarter automation investments H ighlighted in the UK Government’s Made Smarter Review, industrial digitalisation technologies (IDTs) are transforming the manufacturing industry — that’s artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, intelligent software, virtual reality and cuttingedge robotics. Here, Nigel Smith, managing director at TM Robotics, explains why manufacturers shouldn’t blindly invest in IDTs and instead, should make smarter automation investments. The Made Smarter review, previously known as the Industrial Digitalisation review, answers Government calls to boost productivity in Britain’s manufacturing sector. The review was published in October 2017 and sets recommendations to help meet Britain’s goal to become a world leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by 2030. A key suggestion is to encourage investment in industrial technologies. The review found that a greater uptake of IDTs could represent as much as £455 billion growth for manufacturing in the next decade, creating 175,000 jobs and increasing productivity by 25%. However, the review has been met with some criticism. Despite leading the first industrial

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revolution, Britain has always had an unusual relationship with automation. Even today, much of the media coverage on the subject focuses on the threat that automation poses to jobs, as opposed to the productivity benefits. Studies suggest that automation could affect one in five jobs in the UK, but, that doesn’t necessarily mean the technology will replace human workers. There have been plenty of efforts to highlight the advantages of the technology, like the comments made by Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, in the Future of Work Commission. Despite this, negative headlines continue to roll off the press. As a distributor of industrial robots, and partner of Toshiba Machine, we have a vested interest in Britain’s manufacturers and their investment in industrial automation. However, that’s not the only reason we’re backing the Made Smarter review. Inside and outside the factory walls there are already around 6.4 billion datacommunicating objects — and this number is growing exponentially. Innovations in fields like AI, software and robotics are all individually significant to Britain’s productivity. However, it’s how manufacturers choose

to use these technologies that will really set Britain on the path to reaffirming itself as a worldwide industrial leader. We don’t believe that every manufacturer needs a fully automated factory, nor is it essential to invest in additive manufacturing, cutting-edge software or embark on an entire system overhaul to make a factory ‘smart’. According to TM Robotics’ Global Robotics Report, 55 per cent of distributors stated that the dawn of the so-called fourth industrial revolution is influencing how customers choose industrial robots. But should investments in automation be made according to an industry trend? There’s no denying that investments in automation can reap incredible rewards, but it is vital that manufacturers are investing in the right kind of technology, not just the shiniest toy at the trade show. TM Robotics’ network of distributors works directly with customers to provide the right automation for their individual application. There’s no one-size-fits-all smart factory, but there are ways for manufacturers to invest in industrial automation and robotics to build a more effective facility — not only for their own productivity, but for that of the country. �


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Serge Despinasse, Aluminium Technology and IT Director, Fives 1. How important is the Industry 4.0/digital concept to aluminium manufacturing and processing? Aluminium production involves a series of complex processes, each one being dependant of a variety of parameters, some of them being easy to follow-up, others being estimated only, and not always available at the time required to take a good decision. Clearly, the digitalisation of the industry will help people in charge of the process to improve the performance of their existing facilities. For example, energy consumption as well as gross materials will be tracked more closely, allowing more frugal operations; the reduction process will become more flexible, allowing a better adjustment with the electricity grid capability; process deviations will be easier to anticipate and corrective actions put in place sooner, for example to cope with raw materials variations. Aluminium manufacturing is also a heavy industry characterised by a lot of tasks dedicated to the transport of materials within the plant, carried out by trucks and by specialised cranes. For some of those activities with the intervention of a floor operator, there is exposure to harsh ambient conditions like heat, deleterious gas traces, and vehicle circulation, etc. New technologies like robotics, auto-guided vehicles, and precise localisation of mobile objects will reduce the health impact on the operators, while increasing the general level of safety; even if there is still a long way to go before fully operable solutions, especially in the field of the coactivity between operators and automated equipment, some of them are almost ready to be implemented and then developed further.

2. Do you expect the digital concept to be embraced by aluminium manufacturers? Yes, for the obvious reason that some of them, including leaders, have already

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embarked on real projects and are starting to reap some benefits. For the aluminium smelting domain, specialised literature presents papers explaining the benefits of anode tracking, of individual anode current follow-up on the pot; they are presently tests involving auto-guided vehicles, partially or fully automated cranes; advanced control systems are progressing in performance.

3. What does your company offer its customers in terms of the Industry 4.0/digital manufacturing concept? The Fives group offers a wide range of solutions towards the streamline of Indsutry 4.0, like Robotics/Cobotics in the machining and conveying industries; Advanced Process Control for the steel and aluminium (carbon) industries; Remote Equipment and Process Monitoring and associated services in maintenance businesses or 3D-Printers in the field of metal manufacturing. The group encourages the transfer of solutions and knowledge between its business lines. The Aluminium Division of the Fives group offers Advanced Process Control and Anode Tracking solutions for almost all the Carbon activities of a smelter – from the port to the reduction pot and then to the recycling shop. Some specific devices or solutions have been designed for that, for example the digital identification of the anode blocks based on vision, the systematic measuring of the electrical resistance of the anode blocks, the location of the process crane tools in the space. We hope we will be able soon to deliver simple solutions for determining some characteristics of the spent anodes. On the reduction side, we offer a “crane simulator” for training the operators who will drive the specialised crane generally named PTM (Pot Tending Machine), the PTM can have performances – in terms of set of safety locks and authorised speeds – adapted to each driver skills and progress; some phases of the anode change can be partially

automated in order to help the driver to reach a good quality level achieving his task, like breaking the anode cover. We also have as a project the automation of the pot hood handling using a robot embedded under the PTM crane. For Gas Treatment Centres, digitalisation and the utilisation of dust sensors allows a follow-up of the filter bags performance, it is indeed possible to offer an optimisation of the operating cost, by comparing the pressure drop (electrical power) and the cost of bag renewal.

4. Has digital manufacturing become an important concept at your company? Do you have an R&D team devoted to it, for example? The Fives group has recently formed a new company, Fives CortX, which is fully dedicated to digital developments. It delivers to the other companies of the group either generic solutions like a Dashboard suite, Data acquisition architectures, adapted Data Base solutions or more specific ones like Data mining techniques, which in our minds will always have to take into account the field expert knowledge to get the full benefits of such tools and that is the responsibility of our various product and service companies. At the Fives Aluminium Division level, two important companies – Fives ECL and Fives Solios – have now teams devoted to digital development within their R&D organisation.

5. How has your technology evolved to embrace the digital age? New specific sensors have been integrated in some of our equipment, like the vibrocompactors, which are used for forming the anodes, we are developing a multi-sensor board in order to get more information at a reasonable cost. We are involving more vision technologies - or laser related ones, in very different fields. It is important to note that technology offers new opportunities in the field of sensors for example, but their

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integration in the working environments of a smelter is still demanding a careful adaptation. As other examples, Self-learning algorithms are used for the advanced control of the Green Anode Plant; we introduced robotics on the PTM cranes and finally, we are developing architectures in order to be able to connect all our equipment in a secure way.

6. Are there any negatives to the digital age? Like every major change, it is difficult today to predict them. A certain level of human disorientation can be anticipated, the role of the next generation who will operate the plant is not well known presently. The change is this time nevertheless quite different compared with the former Industrial revolutions: During the former ones, difficult and harsh tasks were reduced and the remaining jobs were each time more focused on intellectual skills; meanwhile this time, all the existing skills in a smelter will be impacted by the 4.0 digital revolution, from the floor operator to the plant manager. Probably, the positive side is that people will be more focused and engaged on the performance and the quality of the service they offer to their client – on a more active mode, they would be also more concerned by the efficiency of their Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

supplier in the digital field should be focused on what really creates value for his client; that requires a good proximity with him, a very good knowledge of the way he is working, of the process he monitors. One can expect after a while a normalisation of the offer scheme, with a transparent integration in view of the final users.

7. What is your vision of an aluminium smelter or processing plant in five to ten year’s time? Within this time horizon, the process sequence and the flow of materials within an aluminium smelter will remain the same, involving the same departments. The industry will still

be a heavy one. The change will concern the way the activities are driven: Frequent, fast and relevant process and operation adjustments, permanently monitored, can be expected. There will probably be a concentration of the process and operation planning teams. Some equipment will be remotely monitored in order to implement efficient predictive maintenance. We can also expect that hazardous or hard repetitive tasks – like handling ones would be improved by the help of robotics meanwhile cobots will probably appear at a much further stage in our industry. People would be more client-focused, their organisations would be more agile and efficient, more concerned by a sustainable way of operating.

Another temporary drawback is related with the new and large variety of digital solutions, offered for example from sensor suppliers, from automation leading companies, from Equipment or Shop suppliers like ourselves, from managing software (MES, ERP) editors, from cloud suppliers, etc. All these solutions available, promising similar outputs from different sources are somewhat confusing. Our belief is that no company has the whole competency to cover all the matters of a plant digitalisation like a smelter, and that a

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Zhongfu Industrial adopts digital smelter solution T

he digital smelter solution for Zhongfu is the first of its kind to be implemented in China. GE and GEWAC, a joint-venture between GE’s Power Conversion business and Wuhan Iron & Steel Group Ltd. (WISCO), signed an 11-year agreement to implement GE’s digital smelter solution for Henan Zhongfu Industrial Co., Ltd’s (Zhongfu) aluminium plant to increase smelting efficiency and enhance productivity. This technology is the first of its kind to be implemented in China. “Aluminium smelting is a hard and challenging process, and any unplanned machinery breakdown hurts productivity and profitability. We see digitalisation as the next industrial transformation that will help us fight off competitions during the cost-challenged industry downturn and unleash faster growth in the upturn,” said Haitang Qin, VP, Zhongfu. “With GE’s digital solution, we are leading the next generation of smelting operations

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in China that is setting the new standard of operational efficiency.” “The world’s aluminium primary production reached more than 60 million metric tons last year, and China produced more than half of it. Entering the aluminium industry in China speaks volumes of our digital expertise and capability,” said Gagan Sood, Industry & Power segment leader, GE’s Power Conversion business. “GE’s digital solutions will have a strong impact in reviving the industry’s productivity - reducing downtime and lowering energy and raw material costs ultimately delivering unparalleled productivity and efficiency to support Zhongfu’s businessleading ambitions.” GE’s scope consists of the deployment of the smelter digital twin to both Zhongfu’s potlines. A digital twin is a virtual replica of the physical assets based on rich profiles, data and analytics. In smelting, it can provide key intelligence on variables such as temperature and chemical reactions within

the smelting pot not ordinarily monitored continuously. When compared against the real-time data, the digital twin can spot actual or potential abnormalities and failures before they occur and provide real-time feedback to the operator. The insights empower operators to anticipate the health and condition of the pot and result in faster specific interventions, characterised setpoints for optimum operation and reduced losses from unplanned downtime or even major failures. Electric power represents about 30 to 40 per cent of the cost of producing aluminium. Energy consumption and raw materials are two of the primary cost drivers in the aluminium industry, and they tend to go upward, especially when a process deviates from its optimum. Enabled by the digital smelter solution, operators can now deliver precise and more-efficient operations, which can translate into a reduced energy bill, more raw material economisation as well as a lesser environmental impact. �

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ALUMINIUM 2018 12th World Trade Fair & Conference

9 – 11 October 2018

Messe Düsseldorf, Germany

Organised by




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Future Aluminium Forum 2018  
Future Aluminium Forum 2018