3 12, 2013

Aluminum Christmas Trees Return In Holiday Exhibit

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00December 3rd, 2013|

Since the holiday season seems to start in September these days, there’s no doubt you’ve started thinking about your decor for the season. And if you’re into things like ironic sweaters, hipster mustaches, and Mad Men, then you probably fancy picking up an aluminum Christmas tree — you know, those things first manufactured in the 1960s as a metal alternative to the traditional holiday twig.

While modern versions can be found on Amazon and other retailers (and vintage ones will break your wallet on Ebay), there’s nothing quite like the real thing — and a vintage exhibition in Wisconsin is bringing it all back together. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Tapping into nostalgia for a time when Christmas trees looked as silvery and shiny as an astronaut, the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum is opening an exhibit on Tuesday featuring 20 Wisconsin-made aluminum trees.

Billed as the largest public exhibition of Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees, the exhibit will include rare 2-foot tabletop trees, a selection of 4-, 6- and 8-foot aluminum trees, accessories such as rotating tree stands and multicolored light wheels as well as advertising and packaging. The exhibit also includes trees in gold, green and even pink — the holy grail of Evergleams. Because few people bought pink trees, few were made, which now makes them very rare and valuable.

“I’m pretty sure this is the largest collection of Evergleams since a 1960s Christmas tree show,” said curator Joe Kapler, who hasn’t seen a pink Evergleam come on the market since 2005.

If you live close by or are passing through Wisconsin, this exhibit is open until January 11. More information can be found at the official website.

31 07, 2013

Houses Use Aluminum To Withstand Hurricanes

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00July 31st, 2013|

Over the past few months, we’ve all seen shocking images on news broadcasts of homes devastated by hurricanes across the country. But for one South Carolina home builder, a change in materials has them feeling confidant in the face of hurricane season. Meet Ray and Geoff Hawes, the father-and-son team behind Cat Five Houses. The Cat Five difference? Their home frames don’t use wood beams; instead, they chose aluminum. From Charleston’s Post & Courier:

As the most dangerous months of the hurricane season arrive, Ray and Geoff Hawes of Mount Pleasant aren’t worrying much.

That’s because the father and son entrepreneurs may have the strongest homes in the Lowcountry.

Both were built with an aluminum skeleton bolted together and connected to a heavy concrete foundation.

Both also cost a lot of money, a reality they acknowledge means that their approach isn’t for everyone.

But for those interested in paying a premium for a sturdy structure, the Hawes’ business, known as Cat Five Houses of Charleston, certainly would be worth looking into.

The aluminum is lighter and more portable than steel, and the frames can be quickly assembled and taken apart. The frames also can be placed on wheels and moved. And there’s one other advantage, too, says Quince Cody of Cat Five Houses.

“Aluminum has memory, where steel does not,” he says.

In other words, an aluminum structure can bend, then pop back in place, much like a soda can.

Hawes says the company isn’t looking to design or build homes, but it is looking to give architects, builders and their clients another choice, one that might cost more but that will stand the test of time.

“ ‘Built to last’ is our slogan, that’s what we’re trying to promote,” he says. “It’s a good way forward, not for everybody but for those who want to live here long term, and they don’t want to worry about the contents of their house, or their house.”

With the automobile industry rapidly getting behind the strength and durability of aluminum, it’s no wonder the construction industry is taking a closer look. Yes, it does cost more to use an aluminum skeleton, but in hurricane-prone areas, that price may have a value well beyond a dollar amount.

29 05, 2013

Aluminum Pods Invade The Home

2017-01-26T23:37:30+00:00May 29th, 2013|

Classic science-fiction design gave us a lot of metallic pod-looking things in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, Belgian designers at Dethier Architectures used that look as inspiration for a unique loft, one that needed something to act as room divider, artwork, and hallway all in one. And it took one big piece of aluminum to get the job done. From GizMag.com:

“We were fortunate to have a committed and receptive client who was fascinated by precision engineering,” the company’s project description runs. So the company set about designing a visually striking yet useful aluminum pod to be placed smackedy-boo in the middle of the apartment (formerly an industrial-scale bakery).

 

The pod itself contains two bathrooms, a toilet, the heating and ventilation equipment as well as some storage space. It also acts as a break, with the living room on one side (with a TV built neatly into the pod), and the bedroom on the other.

 

Fans of industrial design will no doubt have spotted the inspiration behind the pod. Dethier Architectures says that the famous aluminum Airstream trailer, designed by William Hawley Bowlus, influenced the material, form and also the detailing of the pod, though its brushed finish is perhaps a little less lustrous (and easier to maintain).

 

Maybe it’s not the ideal aesthetic for every home, but for those that want future-retro in a Jetsons-style model, aluminum pods are the way to go. Aluminum has become so popular in cars, perhaps we’ll see it in home building next.

3 04, 2013

About That Aluminum Car Battery…

2015-06-18T15:33:36+00:00April 3rd, 2013|

Last week, we told you about the new Citroen vehicles powered by an aluminum-air battery made by Phinergy. We’ve done some digging around and have further details about how this works. In theory, it is indeed a sustainable process that utilizes recycled aluminum and swapping stations. From Phinergy’s website:

Widely available, aluminum contains high amounts of energy (8kWh/kg). It is also easily recyclable, making it an attractive material for energy systems.

Thanks to its revolutionary components, Phinergy’s aluminum-air energy systems use the energy released by the reaction of aluminum with oxygen to generate electric power. Our proprietary air electrodes transform Phinergy’s aluminum-air energy systems into highly effective, robust, and reliable clean energy sources.

Our proprietary process of anode production results in increased use of aluminum energy, while reducing unwanted chemical reactions to minimum.

Phinergy also utilizes an advanced battery management system for ever so increasing the energetic utilization of the battery.

Our aluminum-air energy systems are superior to conventional batteries in terms of energy density and specific energy. Our systems are mechanically reloaded, avoiding long charging time.

The life cycle of aluminum enables to maintain global energetic balance. Phinergy’s aluminum is produced in places where energy is clean and cheap, such as electricity from waterfalls. It then serves as a means for transporting this energy to places where it is required.

When used in an aluminum-air battery, aluminum turns into aluminum hydroxide. Aluminum hydroxide can then be recycled in the aluminum factory, enabling a closed and sustainable life cycle.

Green Energy News quickly noted the phrase “mechanically reloaded,” which is a fancy way of saying swapped out. One California start-up called BetterPlace has a similar idea floating around. Using a switchable battery model, BetterPlace envisions a world where battery switch stations have replaced gas stations.

While there isn’t a clear leader in the electric vehicle landscape (unless you can afford an award-winning Tesla), it’s great to see these competing technologies push metals like aluminum into new innovations — all while committing to a greener world. No matter which system wins the marketplace, in the end, we all win.

23 01, 2013

Farewell Bill Wetmore, Welcome Allan Annis

2015-06-18T15:33:37+00:00January 23rd, 2013|

It’s the end of an era for Taber Extrusions, as the company is seeing a shift in leadership. Bill Wetmore arrived at Taber in 2008 following nearly 30 years in the aluminum industry. He guided Taber until his recent retirement at the end of 2012. With more than three decades of service in the aluminum industry under his belt, Mr. Wetmore has more than earned his retirement — which he’s currently enjoying in the northern Georgia countryside.

Of course, the show must go on, and Taber Extrusions is proud to announce Allan Annis as its new President. From our official press release:

Taber Extrusions LLC is pleased to announce that Allan Annis has joined our team as Taber’s President. Annis succeeds Bill Wetmore who retired from Taber at the end of 2012. Annis will oversee both of Taber’s manufacturing facilities which are located in Russellville, Arkansas and Gulfport, Mississippi.

Annis comes to Taber from Hydro Aluminum where he was the Vice President of their Southeast Region. In this role, Annis was responsible for the Hydro plants located in St. Augustine, FL and in Belton, SC.

Prior to Hydro, Annis was previously with Rockwell Automation where he served as Director of Lean Enterprise and also as Plant Manager in two of Rockwell’s Power Systems facilities.

Please join us in wishing Bill Wetmore well in his retirement, along with a hearty welcome to Allan Annis. Here’s to a bright future for them both.

17 01, 2013

More Car Manufacturers Using Aluminum For Key Components

2015-06-18T15:33:37+00:00January 17th, 2013|

While it’s true that aluminum made a splash in the automotive industry with Tesla’s Model-S, the material’s integration into other manufacturer’s design and production lines is more subtle — however, it’s still significant. With federal goals for MPG pressuring car companies to innovate for materials and engineering, it shouldn’t be a surprise that aluminum is becoming the go-to choice for design.

From commuter sedans to trucks to performance sports cars, FenderBender reports that upcoming aluminum integration includes:

  • 2013 Honda Accord (hood, sub-frame, rear bumper)
  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado (hood, suspension, engine components)
  • 2014 GMC Sierra (hood, suspension)
  • 2013 Cadillac ATS (hood)
  • 2014 Maserati Quattroporte (body panels)
  • 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 (hood)
  • 2013 Scion FR-S (hood)

This increase in aluminum use on the show floor echoes findings from the latest survey of automakers by Ducker Worldwide that asserts automakers are accelerating their shift away from steel to aluminum to help meet consumer and federal fuel economy demands. The survey indicated that aluminum is not only the leading material in the engine and wheel markets, but fast-gaining market share in hoods, trunks and doors.

Automakers have said they plan to increase their use of aluminum from 327 pounds in 2009 to 550 pounds in 2025.

With weight being one of the driving factors in MPG, it’s likely that aluminum materials will have become part of the norm due to properties such as strength and weight. The Model-S’ Car Of The Year award was a first, but chances are it won’t be the last vehicle with aluminum to win such a prize.

3 01, 2012

Nuggets of Truth: One Manufacturer Highlights the Management of her Extrusions Business

2017-01-26T23:37:31+00:00January 3rd, 2012|

At Taber, we pride ourselves on being American made. As a recent article states, competition in foreign markets (China and Mexico) is always a constant consideration and choosing to remain an American made extrusion company is mark of our resilience and dedication to American innovation.

As we kick of 2012 we wanted to touch upon a recent article which features fellow American made manufacturer, Stacy Wilson of MillworX Precision Machining, who was recently interviewed regarding the ebb and flow of her company. Her responses resonated with our American made message and as such we wanted to share some nuggets of that piece that are in line with our mission at Taber.

Like MillworX Precision Machining, Taber believes that the best days are “when the customer is satisfied” and as such, we strive to offer products that go above and beyond traditional extrusion offerings. Another great point shared by Wilson is that, “To be a top-graded manufacturer you have to have a 100 percent performance record.” At Taber we pride ourselves on excellent customer service and internal performance- giving each and every client the best product possible. Lastly, we take the utmost pride in the fact that we “make complicated parts every day, that have to be touched by a lot of people.” Our teams of skilled experts are the integral facets of our business and our products celebrate their talent and skill everyday in the marketplace.

CLICK HERE to read the original article and learn more about American made extrusion companies.

30 12, 2011

Positive Predictions for Q1 2012 US Aluminum Extrusion Market

2017-01-26T23:37:31+00:00December 30th, 2011|

According to a recent article, the aluminum extrusion industry is in a growth period as “many remelters are sold out through January

[2012].”  Forecasters furthermore claim that “pent-up demand [for] next year’s [product]” will yield anywhere between a 10-15% increase in comparison to last year’s Q1 results.

Spikes in sales started in November and are scheduled to last into Q2. Despite this fact some business owners are weary of a potential backslide within the market but overall the majority of industry professionals do not believe this will happen. “Assuming no significant economic setback,” extrusion demand next year will be up 2-3% on the low side and 6-7%” on the high, one professional claimed.

Overall manufacturers believe “demand in 2012 [will be] even better than 2011” because “indications in the economy” are “trending in the right direction.” Especially when you look at the housing and car manufacturing industries.

CLICK HERE to read the original article and learn more about the positive predictions for Q1 2012.

20 12, 2011

Industry News: New Aluminum Smartphone & Tablet Cases Inspired by Aerospace Designs

2017-01-26T23:37:31+00:00December 20th, 2011|

Are you in the market for a new smartphone or tablet this Christmas? Then you’ll want to know about a new line of innovative accessories debuting this Winter by San Francisco based startup, EDGE, featuring aluminum construction.  The company is launching their “introductory line of premium accessories,” i.e. smartphone and tablet cases made out of “high-strength aluminum,” that is guaranteed to protect your tech device.

What makes these accessories innovative?

“EDGE Design’s case boasts a unique patented chassis design with a polymer band that suspends the phone or tablet inside the case, preventing the metal from shortcutting the antennas and providing shock absorption if the device is dropped.” In addition to the design- “a unique serial number is engraved in each EDGE™ case to guarantee authenticity and streamline the process of product registration, which extends the owner’s warranty from 12 to 24 months.”

While the device’s concept was devised to fill an need in the marketplace- the physical design was inspired by the classic Pininfarina car company known for “modernizing” many of “today’s

[European] cars.” The accessories will be made in the US “to ensure quality,” as the company prides itself on both the aesthetic of their products as well as their functionality. Aluminum serves as the showpiece for this new line, which is sure to be a hit in the states and abroad.

CLICK HERE to read the original article introducing these products and to learn more about EDGE’s exciting new line of tech accessories.

23 11, 2011

There’s More to America Recycles Day than Meets the Eye

2015-06-18T15:33:40+00:00November 23rd, 2011|

The results are in from America Recycles Day! As a following up to last week’s post announcing the yearly event, an article was released this week detailing the success of this year’s campaign, which garnered nearly 3 million aluminum cans for the benefit of local charities.

Since its inception in 2003, the Industry challenge has collected and recycled over 295 million cans nationwide. The competition, which asks 68 manufacturing facilities to partner with local schools and organizations for 108 days, exclusively benefits non-profit charities and community groups like the Boy and Girls Club and Habit for Humanity.

“Our contest provides an opportunity for can manufacturers and their employees to give something back—not only to the environment, but to their local communities,” said Robert Budway, president of CMI. “Our industry is proud of its efforts to optimize aluminum beverage can recycling while re-energizing the recycling ethic among consumers. We are even prouder of our efforts to reach out and help individuals that are really struggling in this tough economy.”

Awards were given to the top earning manufacturing plants this year, reflecting “the highest per-capita collection rates based on the number of pounds of aluminum collected per plant employee.” Winning branches were located across the nation’s Midwestern region in Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. The results of which were as follows: “Rexam manufacturing plant won first place…with 614,261 cans collected and recycled. [And] second and third place went to two Ball Corporation plants [who] collected 723,360 and 249,249 cans, respectively.”

CLICK HERE to read more about the impact of America Recycles Day and those who made the campaign such a success this year.

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