Our manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and China produce rolled aluminum sheet, plate and fabricated products for various industries.
In North America we primarily serve the automotive, building and construction, transportation and consumer durables industries through both direct relationships with manufacturers and as a supplier to metal distributors. In the European market, we produce a variety of alloys and products for a number of technically sophisticated applications ‐ in aerospace plate and sheet, automotive sheet and heat-treated plate for other industries. In China, we produce aluminum plate for the aerospace industry as well as a variety of technically demanding industrial uses.
Aleris manufactures many different plates in various standard and customer-specified alloys using some of the world’s most advanced hot and cold rolling mills. With a 160-inch (4.064 m) hot rolling mill and a 148-inch (3.760 m) cold rolling mill, we can produce very wide and ultra-thick plates, either heat treated or non-heat treated. High-quality aluminum plates from Aleris meet the most demanding standards, plus many individual customer specifications.
We have continued to expand our production capabilities to better serve global customers. Most recently, we opened a hot rolling mill in Zhenjiang, China designed to meet fast-growing regional and global demand for technically advanced aluminum plate products for aerospace and commercial plate customers. The state-of-the-art plant, one of only a handful in the world, was modeled after our facility in Koblenz, Germany. It is equipped to produce the most advanced value-added aluminum material for aerospace and leading manufacturers in a variety of fast-growing industries in China and worldwide. This latest facility is ISO certified and Nadcap accredited for the production of aircraft aluminum plate.
Our investment in a full-scale direct-chill (DC) pilot caster at our facility in Koblenz, Germany, illustrates our commitment to increasing our technical leadership in highly demanding market segments. The specialized facility is able to cast full-scale ingots for trials as well as for serial production of aluminum-lithium products.
Sheet & Coil
Aleris is a leading producer of flat rolled aluminum sheet. We have continued to expand our capacity, geographic footprint and supply chain flexibility for this product segment – all of which enhances our level of service to customers.
We also have world-class automotive aluminum manufacturing capability in Duffel, Belgium, that produces the widest automotive body sheet available. Aleris expanded its Duffel facility to deliver state-of-the-art light-weight solutions that meet the tolerance and width needs of automotive applications. Through the installation of our new wide cold rolling mill, we better equipped to provide our customers with state-of-the-art lightweight solutions as tighter fuel efficiency requirements drive auto manufacturers to expand their application of aluminum to include hoods, door panels, and trunks. The company is investing $350 million in its Lewisport, Kentucky facility to bring these capabilities to North America. We expect to begin shipping to customers from this facility by 2017.
Our state-of-the-art equipment for sheet and coil production uses the Continuous Annealing Line with Pre-Treatment (CALP), which enables us to produce sheet and coil in various alloys and tempers, for many industries and a wide variety of applications.
Aleris is also a leading supplier of common-alloy, mill-finish (bare) sheet made from recycled aluminum via two different methods: direct-chill and continuous-cast. In direct-chill casting, molten metal is solidified in a water-cooled, open-ended mold and water is applied directly to the emerging ingot. Continuous casting rapidly solidifies molten metal in a cooled mold. The metal is continuously withdrawn and hot rolled while the mold is simultaneously replenished with liquid metal.