Aluminum is everywhere. Many of the conveniences of modern life would not be possible without it. It is a crucial element for modern innovative applications, for sustainability, and also for the progress of the economy. Its strong and lightweight features and ability to be infinitely recycled propelled the U.S. aluminum industry to become the backbone of the nation’s manufacturing base. With the findings of research conducted by John Dunham & Associates and released by the Aluminum Association, this blog will delve deeper into the impact of aluminum on the United States’ economy.
The Aluminum Industry Generates Jobs
Several challenges have been presented to the industry in recent years, still, the aluminum market has shown a great deal of resilience. Even though the aluminum industry faced several challenges, including many job losses, growth in downstream segments like flat-rolled products and extrusions provided a way to compensate.
Today, the American aluminum industry directly employs over 166,000 people that generate more than 170 billion dollars in economic output. In addition, over 494,000 workers are indirectly employed, which contributes another 102 billion dollars to economic activity. As a whole, over 660,000 U.S. jobs are supported by the production, processing, and use of aluminum. Those employed in the aluminum industry earn an average yearly salary that is above the national average. Indirect employees contribute 44 billion dollars in wages and benefits to the economy. When all employment supported by the industry is considered, these jobs generate nearly 16 billion dollars in federal, state, and local taxes.
Aside from being strong and lightweight, aluminum also has the advantage of retaining its properties, making it one of the most recyclable materials. Having said that, the aluminum industry has recycled more than 70 percent of its output since it was established.
Aluminum recycling conserves more than 90 percent of the energy costs required in primary production. Recycling a pound of aluminum saves about 7 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Also, it is the only material in the consumer disposal stream that generates a greater return than the cost of its collection. Every minute, an average of 113,000 aluminum cans are recycled. The aluminum industry pays a tremendous amount of money to replace empty aluminum cans. With the recycling of aluminum, specifically aluminum cans, charitable organizations have been developed and supported for decades and more decades to come.
Aluminum is a major contributor to the nation’s manufacturing base and economy, supporting thousands of jobs in many communities and regions. Over 660,000 workers are employed by the industry, which generates 170 billion dollars in economic output each year. Moreover, aluminum is considered to be a sustainable metal. This means it can be recycled multiple times without the risk of degrading breaking. Taber Extrusions understands the important role that aluminum plays in the nation’s economy and contributes to that role by providing various processing services related to aluminum. A few of these services include aluminum extrusions, micro extrusions, billet casting, aluminum fabrication, and friction stir welding.
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions is the pioneer of extruding rectangular billet, allowing the company to manufacture solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollow profiles up to 29 inches wide. With the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS, Taber expanded its capabilities with a state-of-the-art cast house, two additional presses, micro extrusion capability, and numerous fabrication expansions.
Taber continues to extrude billets in an array of alloys and sizes. Its markets have expanded beyond the military to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in various soft and hard alloys.
Today, Taber Extrusions is a vertically integrated supplier of friction stir welding panels and assemblies in North America not previously seen – offering extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw materials.
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude extra-large aluminum extrusion profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1995 which houses a state-of-the-art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area and has been expanded multiple times – most recently with the addition of their new Haas VF-12/40 CNC machining line.
Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes and has diversified its market beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. Today, Taber Extrusions is proud of its recently added friction stir welding capabilities, a full offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services, and raw material supply to the North American market.
As Taber Extrusions launches into 2020, we thought we’d take a look back at the last several years and the many ways Taber has progressed within the aluminum extrusion industry. Among many changes, Taber added an upgraded casthouse, expanded into micro extrusions; received various awards, began friction stir welding, and brought on a new business director. This has been a very exciting time, and we invite you to learn more about the innovations that are shaping endless possibilities in 2020 and beyond.
Not long ago in 2017, Taber upgraded to their aluminum casthouse in Gulfport, MS. which integrates casting, extrusion, and in-house fabrication services. With this upgrade, Taber opened up opportunities in a variety of markets, with the sale of cast billet to outside extruders. With this casthouse, Taber is targeting aerospace, automotive, and defense industries, all of which utilize aluminum at an accelerated rate. Taber’s new products are suitable for current and future U.S. infrastructure projects, such as the construction and improvement of bridges, decking, flooring, and railing for mass transportation projects.
Partnering with Almex USA, Taber developed a customized solution to meet Taber’s unique requirements and specifications. Almex supplied new equipment, including a casting line with a degassing and melt purification system, billet and slab tooling, automation technology, and a complete homogenizing line, as well as a new cooling water system.
Benefits to Taber’s aluminum casthouse upgrade:
Increased Production. The CASTRIGHT II™ casting machine and new billet and slab tooling stations were adapted to fit the circular pit, and the casting tables were modified to have an oval shape with unique headbase configurations. Excel™ and Optima™ billet mold systems were installed for various sized billets. The quantity of billet produced with each cast has been enlarged, allowing increased production per drop.
Quality Control. A large part of Taber’s consideration during this upgrade was quality control. Taber now has a level pour (or, hot-top) mold table distribution system and a way to optimize mold lengths for consistent billet quality. Taber’s goal was safety and alloy versatility for high performance and yield, from conventional to the most demanding alloys. For the larger diameter aerospace grade products, Almex installed specialized water wiping technology in order to manufacture difficult to cast materials without the formation of stresses or cracks. With the new casting line, Taber increased monitoring and automation, and now has computer control of all critical casting and degassing parameters. Operators now interact with the system through an integrated SCADA control panel installed on the plant floor in order to monitor the correct mixture of several ingredients that make up the casting recipe. At the end of each cast, the system automatically generates a complete report of the heat number for reference and archival by quality control personnel. With this new system, Taber has not only achieved a greater level of quality control, but process transparency and product traceability.
Accuracy and Precision. An internally guided and double acting platen cylinder was installed, which has more loading capacity, guiding accuracy, and precision speed control (needed for hard alloys).
Consistency and Strength. The new casting line also includes a LARS® in-line degassing and purification system that refines and cleans the melt prior to casting. The LARS system mixes inert argon gas and a halogen gas into the molten aluminum through Almex’s patented in-situ gas preheating disperser system. This significantly reduces hydrogen and other impurities commonly found in liquid aluminum, including inclusions, nitrides, oxides, and alkali metals and also increases recovery through a minimal amount of dross creation. This high quality of the molten metal is, thus, dependably strong and consistent.
Environmentally Friendly. Taber rebuilt and integrated its water management system, which provides increased visibility of the water flow, temperature, quality, and maintenance. Water is discharged in a safe and controlled manner.
Ultra Precision® Extrusions
In 2018, Taber added micro extrusion capabilities into their portfolio. Micro-extrusions are used in a number of industries, such as electronics, aerospace, medical, industrial, and military. The addition of small precision profiles will allow Taber to better serve existing customers and future partners such as – defense contractors, commercial aerospace engineers, and electronics designers.
The micro-extrusion manufacturing lines have a production envelope with a circle size of 3 inches or less and a weight per foot of 1 lb. or less. Unlike traditional extrusion presses, these micro-extrusion presses are built in such a way to allow for the production of extrusions with wall thicknesses of 0.010 inches and tolerance capabilities of +/- 0.001 inches. This allows designers and engineers the freedom to engineer profiles that are impossible to extrude through conventional presses.
The addition of ultra precision® extrusions allows the company to enhance its business to provide a wider range of profile sizes and competencies which blend beautifully with the various sectors already being served by Taber.
Perpetual assessment & evaluation of existing safety policies
Process & workflow analysis
Establishment of safety work procedures
Safety training & meetings
Maintenance regimens of plants, equipment, and processes
Identification of hazards & hazard analysis
Facilitation of occupational health programs
Documentation control & management reviews
2019 Taber Extrusions Recognized by Russellville for Energy Savings Excellence
Taber Extrusions created a plan to reduce power consumption by implementing energy efficient measures while participating in the Entergy Arkansas Energy Solutions Program assisted by CLEAResult consulting company.
Taber’s commitment to energy savings still holds strong as they push forward into the future, making environmental accountability part of their company culture.
Friction Stir Welding Technology
In 2019, Taber installed a new friction stir welding (FSW) line at its Russellville, Arkansas, manufacturing facility. Sometimes described as more of a forging process than actual welding – FSWis a solid-state joining technique used to join metals not easily fused with traditional welding. It is used in the aerospace, rail, automotive, marine, transportation, and other industries that use metals such as aluminum, copper and other metal alloys. The new FSW line that welds large, double-sided thick profiles, uses minimal cycles of the machine, which make it both efficient and precise. FSW also makes possible very high-quality welds with minimal distortion.
Already known for their wide range of capabilities, both broad and unique, the mayor of Russellville, Richard Harris, thanked Taber for choosing Russellville as their location, “The fact that you chose to expand and add new technology here is the highest compliment you can give the city and citizens where you live and work. Economic development and job creation is one of our top priorities. We congratulate Taber on this advancement.”
Jeffrey Bladow: Director of New Business Development
Taber’s rapid growth initiated the presence of Jeffrey Bladow, the company’s recently appointed Director of New Business Development. Hired to help lead business growth and assist in building strategy, Bladow has spent over 25 years in automotive design and manufacturing. He also has experience in structure design, high strength steel applications, and the launch of large capital projects. Like Taber, Bladow is comfortable solving multi-faceted problems. In his management style, Bladow encourages “critical thinking, continuous improvement, and a no-fear approach to growing and entering new markets.” Taber feels lucky to have Jeffrey Bladow ushering us into a new decade.
At Taber we believe the possibilities are endless. We believe in the future.
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS., in 1995 which houses a cast house and two additional presses, and multiple expansions of value added fabrication services. Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, including 7″billet molds, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. In 2018, Taber added ultra-precision extrusions to their capabilities allowing them to further serve customers in electronics, computer, and medical industries. Today Taber is proud to announce yet another exciting launch into friction stir welding. Call us at (888) 984-9866, or request a quote today!
Taber Extrusions was founded in 1973, when the Taber family acquired an aluminum extrusion plant in Russellville, Arkansas from Dow Chemical (which had originally built the plant in 1970). National Material Company L.P. (NMLP) later purchased the company in 1976. The Arkansas facility was originally dedicated to the production of specific military- related, large, wide, and long extrusions for the U.S. Government.
The Russellville location serves as Taber’s corporate headquarters, and in 2014, fabrication capabilities were added to the Russellville facility.
Helping shape our community
At Taber, we care about our employees. We care about the communities in which our employees live and work. Our goal is to provide our employees with a safe and secure workplace with an emphasis on personal and professional development, as well as cultivating an attitude focused on delivering genuine and reliable service. Excellent customer service will always stand out, and Taber enjoys the many long-term relationships we’ve developed over the years as a result of the personal accountability that our employees give to our customers.
Forming and shaping the identity of a community is one of the greatest things about Taber’s position. Not only are local businesses like Taber a crucial element in creating a culture for the community, but they also build connections and relationships with the people.
Congressman Steve Womack visit
At our ground-breaking ceremony, in Russellville, Arkansas that announced our friction stir-welding capabilities to the community, Congressman Steve Womack described how he sees Taber’s role from both a local and national perspective,
“The expansion of an existing company such as Taber Extrusions means a lot more than the location of a new company. It means that Taber is in the right place and has what it needs to succeed. Taber plays an important role in the defense of our nation with products that are an asset to our defense capabilities.” It is important to note that Taber historically provides for many industries, including aerospace, shipbuilding, infrastructure, automotive, as well as military and defense.
Work at Taber Extrusions
Our people are the reason that Taber has been so successful for so many years. As an extruder with extremely broad and unique capabilities there is no question that our employees have been the foundation of our success. We have developed an atmosphere where our people are respected and appreciated. The Taber family plans to continue to foster careers that are right for our people, and right for our business. There is no question: our employees power our success.
Taber is growing fast and we are seeking talent in engineering, operations, sales, and more! You may be exactly what we’re looking for in our vision for future growth. Feel free to apply and place your resume in our database. We have an extensive community of career opportunities, and we are always on the hunt for great talent and professionals. You can also apply to an open position which will either match you to your next career move or place you in our network to receive job updates.
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billets which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS in 1995 which houses a casthouse and two additional presses, with a fabrication area that has been expanded multiple times. Besides their recently expanded capabilities to include microextrusions and 7” billet molds, Taber Extrusions is proud to announce friction stir-welding technology. The addition of in-house FSW capabilities creates a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.