One of the world's primary aluminum producers, Century Aluminium, has placed an order with Hertwich Engineering GmbH, a company of the SMS group, for a fully automatic sawing line for aluminum billets. The plant will be used at the Sebree, Kentucky, site, where a Hertwich saw has already been operating successfully since 2000. It will additionally include systems for stacking and packing the billets. The Sebree aluminum smelter has a production capacity of approximately 220,000 tons per year, which is roughly more than a quarter of the company's total production.
"Century Aluminum has relied on Hertwich sawing lines for more than 20 years. We are pleased to deliver another latest generation line to Century Aluminium," said Gerold Keune, Managing Director of Hertwich Engineering.
The plant's operational efficiency will be significantly increased with the help of the investment in the second sawing line. The new saw from Hertwich impresses Century Aluminum with its higher productivity and lower manpower requirements, while operating with a very good energy yield. Current U.S. efficiency regulations are met by the high efficiency of its modern electric motors with a premium requirement. The sawing line is scheduled to go into operation in 2024, replacing an existing old line.
Work area of the sawing plant
The plant will process aluminum billets with a diameter of seven to twelve inches. Its capacity per hour includes up to 225 short billets with a maximum length of 1.60 meters or 60 long billets with a maximum length of 6.10 meters. After sawing, the aluminum billets are weighed for calibration and stacked next to and on top of each other with the help of so-called transfer cars. Subsequent strapping of the billets with PET straps onto wooden supports ensures damage-free transport by forklift trucks. The billets produced in this way are further processed in press shops into profiles for the automotive or aerospace industries.