1 02, 2020

Aluminum Extrusion Leader Taber Extrusions Looks Ahead

2020-02-01T20:39:14+00:00February 1st, 2020|

“2020” written in shiny, silver-colored metal – with the inverted gold Taber Extrusions logo positioned underneath.

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.

Aluminum Casthouse

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.

A 3D rendering of a yellow aluminum billet crane suspending 3 freshly casted shiny silver billets. Beside the image it reads: “currently Taber offers 7″, 8″, 9″, 11″, 16″, 20″ & 10″x 20″ rectangular billet molds.”

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.

16 fresh aluminum billets atop Taber’s casting table engineered to fit the existing circular casting pit.

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.

A 3D rendering of am 8-inch ruler with a variety of micro extrusion shapes fitting elegantly inside roughly a 1-inch white square, and the words “The Shape of Endless Possibilities, Ultra Precision® Extrusions, Taber”

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.

2018 NMLP Safety Award

Taber Extrusions took home National Material L.P.’s 2018 Safety Excellence Award for exceptional safety management at their Russellville, Arkansas facility.

Russellville Plant Manager Gavin Butterworth, Taber President Eric Angermeier, and Gulfport Plant Manager Mike Keenan standing with the NMLP Safety Award trophy during the 2018 holiday party.

Taber’s safety management system includes:

  • Perpetual assessment & evaluation of existing safety policies
  • Process & workflow analysis
  • Establishment of safety work procedures
  • Safety training & meetings
  • Safety inspections
  • Maintenance regimens of plants, equipment, and processes
  • Identification of hazards & hazard analysis
  • Facilitation of occupational health programs
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Documentation control & management reviews

2019 Taber Extrusions Recognized by Russellville for Energy Savings Excellence

Taber Extrusions employees stand alongside Entergy and CLEAResult personnel in front of the Taber sign at their Russellville location. They are holding an extra-large check for $31,748 – representing Taber’s energy savings.

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.

“I couldn’t be happier to assist Arkansas businesses reduce their power consumption by energy efficient measures. Every project that CLEAResult assists a customer with is a positive step in their energy reduction,” says Taylor Dumas, West Regional Account Manager at Entergy Arkansas Energy Solutions Program. “The Taber Extrusions project is one that greatly reduced power consumption, increases machine efficiency, and makes Taber Extrusions a ‘greener’ business by completing this project.”

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.

The addition of friction stir welding illustrates how Taber has proven itself to be dedicated to the technological advances in the industry, economic development, and job production. The line enables the company to be a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies in North America, with capabilities including aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, and micro-extrusions.

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

Photographic portrait of Jeffrey Bladow, Director of New Business Development, Taber Extrusions

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.

About Taber:

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!

15 01, 2020

Joining Aluminum Extrusions Through Friction Stir Welding

2020-01-15T19:32:51+00:00January 15th, 2020|

Dramatic in-flight photo of two F-22 Raptor military aircraft speed through the sky on a clear day.

What is Friction Stir Welding?


Friction stir welding is the method of joining two pieces of metal with no extra filler or material by subjecting the components to heavy plastic deformation, at elevated temperatures, that are still lower than the melting point. A rotating tool is thrusted between the components and, as friction heat is generated, the tool produces a severe plastic deformation under high pressure, at which time the weld interfaces are stirred together, and a homogenous structure is formed, creating a defect-free bond.

Why Friction Stir Welding?

FSW is a method of welding that is being used as an alternative method to fusion welding and other types of arc welding.

FSW vs. Fusion Welding  –  FSW offers three key benefits over fusion welding: metallurgical, environmental, and energy. The metallurgical benefits include: low distortion of workpiece (fine      microstructure, absence of cracking), good dimensional stability, and no loss of alloying elements. The environmental benefits include: no shielding gas required, no surface cleaning required, elimination of solvents required for degreasing, and consumable materials savings.  The energy benefits include: improved material use (joining different thickness), only 2.5% of energy needed for a laser weld, and decreased fuel consumption in light     weight, automotive, and ship applications. FSW is then, specifically because of its environmental and energy benefits, a more cost-effective method of welding. It is also a more economical choice due to low set up and training costs.

Close angle of a shiny drill-like instrument, also known as a friction stir welder cone.

FSW vs. Other Types of Arc Welding  –  The joining of aluminum extrusions in friction stir welding is a process that can be easily automated, making it an ideal solution for industrial use in manufacturing services such as the marine, aerospace, automotive, transportation, and rail industries. FSW welds have effectively been used in the marine industries in the fish freezer panels of ships, on the deck panels of helicopter landing platforms on ships, and it has been used in various amphibious assault ships. In aerospace, FSW has been used for structures such as the fuselage, fins, and wings that require high-strength aluminum alloys. In the automotive industries, FSW is used for aluminum engine cradles and suspension struts, as well as rear seats and exhaust gas recirculation coolers. The railway industry has utilized FSW to make roof and floor panels, as well as heat sinks for cooling the high-power electronics of locomotives.

An aerial view of an amphibious assault ship with a landing and launchpad for fighter jets on the ocean.

In military and defense, aluminum alloys are used as armor due to the combination of high ballistic performance and static strength that traditionally use MIG, gas metal arc, and tungsten arc welding. The reasons for the transition to FSW over the aforementioned arc welds are many — MIG welds cause stress corrosion at the weld toe, exfoliation occurring in the solution treatment, low ductility in butt welds, and liquidation due to the formation of low-melting point grain boundary. FSW welds are also more likely to pass the ballistic shock test.

Why FSW at Taber? New Aluminum Joining Techniques at Taber


In April of 2019, Taber Extrusions of Russellville, AR and Gulfport, MS announced the addition of Friction Stir Welding, “FSW,” capabilities to our existing portfolio which currently includes aluminum extrusions, fabrication, billet casting, and micro-extrusions. With the addition of in-house FSW capabilities, Taber is now a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies.

Taber’s engineering and manufacturing teams collaborated with Bond Technologies to create a custom Linear Seam machine. Taber’s new FSW machine is capable of welding large, double-sided thick profiles with minimal cycles of the machine; less cycles means greater efficiency and more precise results.


Taber offers quality custom extrusion design and advanced microextrusion capabilities and we are committed to providing our clients durable products that are both ecologically sound and cost effective. We chose FSW as a high-tech, alternative method to ensure a fast turn-around time, thereby reducing time to market.

About Taber:

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.

15 05, 2017

Extruded Aluminum in High Demand, Expected to Grow, Says Market Reports

2017-07-26T17:48:05+00:00May 15th, 2017|

extruded aluminum

According to a recent compilation from Research and Markets supported by a variety of other reports, extruded aluminum are on the upswing, which is great news for the aluminum industry. The primary force behind the projected growth is the automotive sector – in which aluminum –extruded products are desirable in the manufacturing of light-weight, high-strength products.

“The global market for extruded aluminum is projected to grow from USD 34.48 billion in 2016 to reach USD 47.61 billion by 2021, at an estimated CAGR of 6.67%.” Says the recent report. In addition to the auto industry, “the market for aluminum-extruded products is also being driven by the growing demand in industries such as construction, aerospace & defense, and mass transport in both, developed and developing countries.”

However, the quickest growing segment of extruded aluminum products are the mill-finished products. Their high performance in extreme conditions makes mill-finished products favorable in machinery and equipment, construction, and automotive.

For more aluminum extrusion news, interesting stories, and Taber culture, visit the blog section of our website – or if you are interested in contacting us directly please e-mail info@taberextrusions.com or call us at 888-985-4913.

27 01, 2017

2016 Was A Great Year for Aluminum Markets

2017-07-26T17:50:06+00:00January 27th, 2017|

2016 was certainly an interesting year; between Brexit and the enormously capricious U.S Presidential election, a lot of folks in many industries of the world found it hard to shake uncertainty in their trust in market stability.

Despite the overall negativity that seems to be extra pervasive as of late, the aluminum market has reason to remain optimistic- as 2016 showed consistent positive growth in all areas of the aluminum sector with aluminum prices rising by 15% over the course of the year, with 2017 showing no sign of slowing progress.

Since Donald Trump’s win in the American presidential election, a variety of commodities have experienced a surge in price and overall positive market sentiment, aluminum included, with prices nearly breaching the $1,800 price level.

There are a few key factors here that have effected aluminum prices. First, following Chinese curtailments in the 3rd quarter of the year, alumina appears to be inching towards a supply deficit. In addition, higher coal prices have also propped up aluminum’s market price. The cost curve for global aluminum shifted upward steadily after the 1st quarter, when China’s aluminum production slowed.

And the overall positive trends are showing no signs of stopping going into 2017.

Back in December 2016 the U.S Federal Reserve hiked the interest rate by 0.25%- a move which would seem to indicate that they believe in the overall world economy strengthening, with anticipation for more rate hikes in 2017. US aluminum demand could potentially be impacted by this hike. As the U.S dollar becomes a stronger currency, commodities tend to drop in price; but a stronger dollar also makes American aluminum costlier in foreign countries.

Furthermore, President Donald Trump’s proposed infrastructure investments could mean a lot of business for industries like steel and aluminum- as investments in bridges, highways, and power grids could boost the demand for extruded aluminum. Of course, it’s hard to tell whether or not all or any of these projects will pass through.

Taber Extrusions is looking forward to another year and another opportunity to prove that we have the broadest capabilities in the aluminum extrusion industry and aluminum fabrications services that are second to none. Are you ready to make 2017 another great success?

For more information or to request a quote, please call us today ay (800) 563-6853 or e-mail us at info@taberextrusions.com

12 01, 2017

How Extruded Aluminum Saved the Canoe

2017-01-26T23:37:27+00:00January 12th, 2017|

canoe-1668538_960_720The canoe is one of the oldest seafaring vessels in human history, but did you know that its history is inextricably linked with that of the American aluminum industry? Without innovations in extruded aluminum shapes, we might not have the modern canoe we know and love today. It all started after World War II, when the U.S. had been producing record amounts of extruded aluminum for the war effort. After the need for automotive and aerospace parts began to lessen, manufacturers and extruders needed to come up with a new use for the material. Enter: the humble canoe.

Nowadays we think of aluminum as a common metal with many household and recreation applications, including but not limited to water sports. However, because aluminum is not a naturally occurring resource but an alloy made up of multiple elements, there was time before the 1940s when finding the right applications and demand for aluminum shapes was a tricky proposition. World War II changed the U.S. economy and workforce forever by employing millions of recession-stricken Americans for primarily manufacturing-based jobs to aid in the war effort. One such employer was called Grunman, a major supplier of aluminum aircraft for allied forces. After the war, Grunman needed to find a way to stay in business while providing extruded aluminum shapes for the public at large. One of Grunman’s employees, an avid outdoorsman, first came up with the idea of an aluminum canoe after struggling with his traditional canvas and wood constructed model. Aluminum, he proposed, would be significantly lighter, watertight, and easy to manufacture using Grunman’s advance techniques gleaned from extruding military aircraft parts. The gamble paid off, and the canoes quickly became Grunman’s most popular product.

Today aluminum is still one of the most commonly found materials for personal watercraft, and Taber is proud to contribute to this legacy of innovation, ingenuity, and American manufacturing. Visit our site here to learn about some of the other industries we serve besides marine; including automotive, aerospace, and agricultural markets. No matter how unique your idea, Taber’s team of metallurgists and engineers are ready to make it a reality. Get in touch today!

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