About Mariah Mercier

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So far Mariah Mercier has created 31 blog entries.

Aluminum Named Most Sustainable Choice for Automakers

A new study has just confirmed that “aluminum is the most sustainable choice for the environment.” The study, conducted by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling and funded by the Aluminum Association, concluded a recycling rate of over 90 percent (91 percent to be exact) for automotive aluminum.

“As the United States and the rest of the world continue to strive for a more environmentally friendly future, aluminum is a big part of the solution and this new data confirms it,” states the report.

 

Icon_-_LLC_-_SustainabilityThis is welcome news for automakers throughout North America who face increasingly stringent energy efficiency demands. As the DOE advocates for these eco-friendly standards, automotive manufacturers are facing more pressure to comply with these standards while maintaining their revenue.

Aluminum seems to be the answer to these automakers’ new challenges. Aluminum extrusions are lighter than traditional steel, thus improving fuel efficiency. At the same time, the aforementioned recycling rate of aluminum cuts down on waste while also lessening sourcing costs – improving the sustainability of processes and products while saving money and meeting energy standards.

Taber Extrusions is uniquely positioned to engage the evolving aluminum extrusions needs of the automotive industry. With unmatched extrusion capabilities – including the production of North America’s widest, most complex, and heaviest shapes – Taber combines extensive experience with manufacturing flexibility. In-house aluminum machining and fabrication further expands Taber’s scope of capabilities through CNC machining, ultrasonic testing, sawing, welding, and more.

2017-01-26T23:37:27+00:00 August 8th, 2016|

Ford Automotive First to Make Move to Aluminum

Ford Motor Company announced on Monday that their 2017 F-series Super Duty coming to showrooms this fall, the F-450, will feature an unprecedented aluminum frame.

The move toward aluminum as the primary fabrication metal for the automotive body comes amidst the never-ending battle within the automotive industry for the highest towing capacity. Ford’s newest and beefiest truck to date, the F-450 tops out with a 32,500-pound towing capacity – adding 1,300 additional pounds to the current leader.

In order to incorporate heavier, more heavy-duty components to help with towing capacity, Ford decided to make the switch to an aluminum body in order to redistribute weight. The lightweight attributes of aluminum have long made it one of the best choices not only for strength and mobility, but also for durability and custom chemical and mechanical properties.

“The switch to aluminum was considered one of the boldest moves in the auto world in the past few years,” stated USA Today. Steel has been the dominant force in automotive fabrication for, well, forever. But the benefits of aluminum as a structural alternative are undeniable: it’s lighter, just as strong, durable, and more efficient. Not only do aluminum parts help with towing capacity – they also improve fuel efficiency, addressing a major concern among car buyers and manufacturers alike.

If aluminum is good enough for Ford’s newest F-series – America’s best-selling vehicle – we have a feeling it will be good enough for more major players in the automotive industry sooner than later.

2016-07-21T18:36:04+00:00 July 21st, 2016|

2015 Marks Six Consecutive Years of Growth for Domestic Aluminum Extrusion Market

The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) in partnership with the Aluminum Association announced promising industry estimates for aluminum major markets on Monday, July 11. Most notable of its findings was the increase in total domestic consumption of aluminum extrusions, which totaled over 5 billion pounds in 2015 – a growth of 4.6 percent compared to the 2014 total of 4.89 billion pounds.

This impressive result marks the sixth consecutive year of aluminum extrusion’s consistent growth, quickly approaching the peak growth realized in 2006.

graph 1

“What is most exciting about these results is the growth the industry is realizing overall, especially in automotive applications,” said Jeff Henderson, President of the Aluminum Extruders Council. Whereas in years past growth has been attributed to one or two major end use markets, this year showed a profound growth across the board. This is welcome news for us at Taber Extrusions, where we consistently diversify our extrusion products by supplying some of the most complex and unique extrusions to consumers in almost every industry imaginable.

graph 2While building and construction applications continue to make up the dominant industry consumer of aluminum extrusions at 37.4 percent, the transportation (automotive) industry is fast-approaching as the new dominant force, making up 31.8 percent of extrusion shipments and showing a total growth of 8.7 percent compared to last year. As demands grow for more sustainable, lighter cars Taber Extrusions is well-equipped to handle the increasing needs for automotive applications from casting custom alloys to extrusion and a wide array of aluminum fabrication services.

We look forward to finishing up 2015 with another year of expansion, diversity, and innovation. Here’s to six more years of growth!

2017-01-26T23:37:27+00:00 July 18th, 2016|

Inside the Machines: OKK HMC-500

Taber is proud to stand apart as more than just an extruder. With the broadest capabilities and value-added offerings, Taber is your full-service partner from design to delivery.

After aluminum has been extruded, it is sent to the machining center to be cut, sawed, and processed. Our aluminum fabrication capabilities include precision sawing, horizontal machining and manufacturing, long length CNC machining, 5-axis CNC machining, as well as high speed vertical machining capability.

Our focus today is our HMC 500 horizontal machining center. Built for speed and faster cycle times, this machine features a 500mm pallet designed to accommodate some of the largest work pieces in its class.  The fully-loaded HMC 500 works with 50 horsepower and a lightweight column featuring a rigid stepped X axis rail design. This column enables a rapid feed rate of 63 meters per minute, 2480 inches per minute, with acceleration of 1G.

All in one set-up, the HP 500 can perform a variety of operations at an extremely rapid speed. 

Delivering added time & cost savings, the OKK HMC 500 Horizontal Machining Center helps Taber continue to provide customized, versatile, high-quality market-oriented products that can satisfy a wide range of applications.

 Taber: The broadest capabilities in the aluminum extrusion industry.

2017-01-27T01:06:51+00:00 June 16th, 2016|

Customer Spotlight: AeroGo

AeroGo has been revolutionizing load moving solutions for over 50 years, and Taber Extrusions has been a proud AeroGo partner for over 30 of those years. Located in Seattle, Washington AeroGo provides innovative solutions for moving extremely heavy materials through air bearing systems.

In 1967, AeroGo began engineering design and fabrication for specialized assembling and tooling fixtures for the aerospace industry. Over the years, the company has expanded to provide practical and efficient methods of rotation, alignment, transfer, location, and movement of materials weighing anywhere from 500 pounds to over 5,000 tons through air bearing systems (custom or standard air caster systems).

Over the years, AeroGo has transformed into a problem solving company by supplying customers with latest technology for any load moving challenges. In order to stay current with the latest fabrication and machining technology, AeroGo implements continuous development to integrate the latest technology into moving and assembling the heaviest and most cumbersome loads. Your moving problems are solved with wheel transporters, rails, air casters (bearings), or stationary manipulators.

Air casters are designed to float heavy loads on a virtually frictionless small film of air. Using air bearing systems to move heavy loads provides a clean, quiet, and safe alternative for handling heavy loads and has many benefits, including:

  • Reduced need for cranes and heavy machinery to move heavy and cumbersome loads.
  • Reduced friction and omni-directional transfer, allowing precise handling of heavy and awkward loads.
  • Provides operator with better ability to maneuver in a limited work space.
  • Air casters will not damage floors and have a low profile.
  • Due to the use of pneumatic components, air casters can operate in almost all environments unlike conventional methods of heavy load handling systems.

With applications in aerospace, energy, manufacturing, marine shipbuilding, on and offshore oil and gas, roll handling, military and defense, automotive, entertainment, and modular structures AeroGo is the preferred choice for those who work smarter, not harder.

 

 

2017-01-26T23:37:28+00:00 June 9th, 2016|

Aluminum Welded to Steel in New GM Automobiles

General Motors first came on the scene as an innovator of aluminum machining technology in 2008 when they employed spot-welding to weld small amounts of aluminum to aluminum on a lift gate vehicle – now a mainstream and widely used technique for welding aluminum. This year, GM has broken another fabrication barrier by welding steel and aluminum together.

As manufacturers face increasingly strict fuel efficiency standards and as consumers demand higher fuel economy the race is on to find lighter (and cost-effective) ways to produce automobiles. GM saw this challenge early and invested over one million dollars into developing a never before used technique for welding steel to aluminum. By welding the two metals directly together, the use for traditional riveting is eliminated – saving materials, weight, cost, and time. 

The different melting points of steel and aluminum created a major challenge for developers, as well as oxides that are present in aluminum and can cause weld failures. The research and development, however, has paid off – with a new successful technique in place that welds steel directly to aluminum and can be used in limitless applications.

Manufacturers aren’t stopping at aluminum machining innovation, though. GM has expressed interest in also using magnesium – a metal lighter than both aluminum and steel – in their production. Aluminum is much more cost effective than magnesium, however, so it remains a favorite for mass production and fabrication. 

As a partner of the National Material Company steel group, we work closely with NMC to deliver high quality aluminum and steel products to our customers in a wide array of applications. With GM’s new aluminum-to-steel welding technology emerging, who knows just how close the aluminum and steel fields will become in the near future.

2016-05-26T14:57:51+00:00 May 26th, 2016|

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: Aluminum Trains of the Future

A futuristic, levitating train is in the works by Hyperloop One. Their secret to making it possible? Aluminum.

This levitation train travels at a low-pressure speed of 760 mph, but don’t let that figure blow your hair back. Inventor of the train Elon Musk says that the train will be a “a mix between Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table that could take you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes.”

levitation_rigIn order to cut costs and keep the train lighter, designers opted for an aluminum “Hyperloop Levitation System” instead of traditional copper coils that make up other Maglev train systems, such as the one in Shanghai, China. Turning to aluminum as a less expensive material alternative increases the chances for levitation trains to be considered feasible transportation alternatives in the future by keeping them more affordable.

Although critics have doubted whether Hyperloop’s ultra-fast train will ever come to fruition, a major step in that dream becoming a reality was taken yesterday. In the middle of the Nevada desert, just outside of Las Vegas, Hyperloop’s first ever real-life demo took place (video).

Read more about how the demo went and watch some cool footage of the testing here. Or, read what USA Today had to say about the mean, lean, aluminum machine.

We here at Taber are interested to know what kind of extrusion shapes would go into this levitation system, and just how big those extruded aluminum parts might be. We would assume that for longevity and performance purposes, the extrusions would be heat treated, anodized, and machined. Aluminum fabrication and machining would be standard on parts like these.

Taber has provided machining and fabrication services for extruded aluminum parts in the past within the transportation and infrastructure industries. A levitation system, however, would be a first; and something that we would love to set our CNC machining team loose on!

Maybe one day Taber will be working on machining aluminum parts for levitating trains, planes, and automobiles. For now, though, we’re happy to stay grounded

2017-01-26T23:37:28+00:00 May 12th, 2016|

AEC Announces Industry Wide EPD to Promote Sustainability

A recent article published by U.S. Glass Mag talks about the increased effort towards “product transparency” in the aluminum extrusion industry via an industry-wide EPD for aluminum extruders. This urge for environmental accountability comes amidst a global push for more sustainable practices among large producers worldwide.

An industry-standard Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) document is in the works by the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC). These documents will help to track the environmental footprint made by extruders throughout North America, and will detail the sustainability of conventional aluminum extrusions as well as heat-treated extrusions, painted extrusions, and anodized extrusions.

This push toward greater transparency is cohesive with other sectors in the building and manufacturing industries, as global markets strive for greater accountability in production. Guy Charpentier, an AEC Chairman, says of the effort “Providing transparency regarding our environmental performance with extensive, third-party verified data is a key element of aluminum extrusions’ great sustainability story.”

It’s true; the aluminum extrusion industry continues to gain traction across multiple markets not only for its high-quality product performance, but for its eco-friendly benefits. Aluminum alloy products have revolutionized traditional manufacturing and construction; cutting down on resources that lower the overall environmental footprint of traditional projects.

Taber is proud to offer environmentally sound extrusion products to customers for years to come; building not only a stronger future, but a more sustainable one.

 

2017-01-26T23:37:28+00:00 May 3rd, 2016|

Aluminum Extrusion Oddities: What’s The Weirdest Custom Aluminum Shape Ever Extruded?

image002-1

Snapshot taken from one of Taber’s company board rooms at their Russellville, Arkansas plant.

After searching the aluminum extrusion world near and far, tall and wide, flat and hollow, rectangular and round… well, we looked all over the place. Allow us to toot our own horn in saying that it seems Taber Extrusions has at least one corner on the market of speciality custom shape aluminum extrusions – or in other words, some of the weirdest shapes ever extruded.

 

Besides having the only rectangular container in North America, Taber is uniquely positioned to extrude super wide shapes – wider than is capable with traditional round containers. This exclusive rectangular container allows Taber to supply our customers with some of the widest, most complex multi-void hollows in the industry. But what about the really weird stuff? Things people use “for fun?” Is Taber Extrusions able to create anything our imagination creates? Absolutely. There’s a reason Taber claims the title of “ Broadest Capabilities in the Aluminum Extrusion Industry.”

We found some other interesting non-standard aluminum shapes for you to enjoy; like a limited edition chess set created by the Columbia Aluminum Extrusion Group. This extruded aluminum chess set was created for promotional purposes in the mid-1990s.image003-1

 

image005Extruded Aluminum bicycle, anyone? “Mind Bikes” get mailed straight to their customers in a box. As you can see from the image below, these “one-piece” bikes can grow along with the kid! They fit both children and adults, since the entire body can be taken apart and reassembled using only bolts, since the aluminum extrusion frame only has joint structures. The inventors from Osaka, Japan say it’s a perfect eco-product reducing environmental burden. No argument there… the whole family can use the same bike (as long as everyone doesn’t have to be at the same place at the same time. Then we’d have to start inquiring to Taber about tandems.)

2017-01-26T23:37:28+00:00 April 19th, 2016|

Global Aluminum Extrusion Market Predicted to Surpass 24 Million Tons by 2019

technavioA new research study by leading global tech research and advisory company Technavio has projected the global aluminum extrusion market to to surpass 22 million metric tons (that’s well over 24 million tons for us Americans) by the year 2019.

You read that right: Over 24 million tons of extrusion in three years.

This extrusion demand, according to Technavio’s lead metals analyst, stems primarily from the building and construction industry where a demand for materials that help them achieve “green status” is at an all-time high.

This is no surprise to Taber, who provides aluminum extrusions for a wide array of architectural and construction extrusion needs. Taber has also noticed a trend of higher extrusion demand in the marine and automotive industries, where engineers turn to aluminum extrusions for stronger, lighter, and more durable extrusions which support eco-friendlier and cost-effective manufacturing.

Technavio’s report, Global Aluminum Extrusion Market 2015-2019, is broken down into three aluminum extrusion categories, including mill-finished aluminum extrusion, anodized aluminum extrusion, and powder-coated or painted aluminum extrusion. All three categories are expected to grow at a CAGR rate of at least 6-7% which is promising news for Taber Extrusions, who has plenty of experience working with suppliers in all three types of extrusions including anodizing, painting, and other finishing services.

As the global market continues to shift to more sustainable building materials, it appears that aluminum extrusion will continue to gain speed as a major player in the building industry. We’re rolling up our sleeves, and look forward to a promising future for aluminum extrusion.

2017-01-26T23:37:28+00:00 March 29th, 2016|