Aluminum-Werke Wutöschingen (AWW) have successfully completed the first part of their multi-million dollar investment program AWW 2025. After the new system components in the logistics hall went into operation on schedule in spring 2020, the new 45 meganewtons (MN) extrusion line started up in mid-November 2020. With its more than 500 employees, AWW is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of high-quality, innovative aluminum solutions from a single source. "With the future-oriented investment in a modern, energy-efficient extrusion line and in the expansion of further processing and logistics capacities, we are minimizing our use of resources and opening up new opportunities for our customers to develop and manufacture lightweight construction solutions that are optimized for the use of materials," emphasizes CEO Frank Aehlen.
With the major AWW 2025 project, the company is taking its commitment to sustainable, resource-conserving production to the next level and, in difficult times - in line with sustainable business practices - makes another strong commitment to Germany and Wutöschingen as a location.
The family company has been developing and manufacturing innovative aluminum products for various customer industries at home and abroad for over a hundred years. In addition to the core markets of the construction industry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, medical technology and mobility applications, AWW primarily relies on solutions for future technologies that are used, for example, in electromobility.
According to CEO Frank Aehlen, the new press shop is the "new heart and pace" of the integrated plant network. With the new plant layout, AWW can promote synergies and optimize internal logistics processes. With the new press line, AWW meets the need for customer-specific lightweight construction solutions with the lowest possible use of materials - thanks to, among other things, a significantly higher specific pressing force and a further diversification of the in-house range of alloys.
With two foundries, a slug production, extrusion capacities as well as possibilities for mechanical processing and surface refinement, AWW covers the entire aluminum value chain; from highly efficient recycling to finished components.
The official commissioning of the extrusion line took place in a small group, as AWW has been following strict corona measures since March. The inauguration ceremony had to be postponed to the coming year. CEO Frank Aehlen paid tribute to the outstanding achievements of the workforce and project participants who, under the current conditions, made the project a success in a disciplined manner and on time. He also thanked the contractors involved. “In such a large project, the performance of each individual counts, as well as the smooth interaction of everyone. For this project, we almost exclusively relied on long-standing, proven partners. This has paid off over the entire course of the project, not least in the current crisis situation. We would therefore like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and reliability. "
Aehlen emphasizes that the new extrusion line is an essential component of the future AWW 2025 project: “We are looking forward to the interim success achieved - and to the next steps. We will develop the AWW 2025 project step by step in the coming years. "
The next milestone is now to be followed by another investment in the optimization of the stud foundry; the project includes a new casting plant and the improvement of operational processes in the company's own stud foundry. “We are investing in modern production of high-quality extrusion bolts, which are mainly made from recycled material. We are consequently continuing our sustainability and technology strategy and strengthening our core metallurgical competence, ”emphasizes Aehlen. Customers benefit from high quality and stable in-house value chains as well as the lowest possible CO2 emissions.
Sustainable management brings AWW, its customers and also the environment great advantages: Aluminum is an environmentally friendly material that can be endlessly recycled with almost no loss of quality. AWW has continuously expanded its recycling competence and achieves rates of 95 - 100 percent for its own extrusion billet production. “With the AWW 2025 investment program, we are closing material cycles on site and to our customers by the shortest possible route. In this way we achieve an even greater depth of added value and a broad range of applications, which pays off for our customers, among other things, through an even higher level of delivery reliability, ”says Aehlen.
The next quantum leap to an integrated, ultra-modern aluminum plant will be completed by 2025, says the CEO, explaining the future vision of the medium-sized family company in its 5th generation.