Foundry Corporate News - Fairs and Congresses

The lightweight route to success

Larger, more international, more professionally accomplished: ALUMINIUM broke records again across disciplines. Six per cent more exhibitors, two percent more visitors and a 65 per cent increase in internationality make it abundantly clear that the potential of and outlook for lightweight solutions is still growing immensely. A total of 992 exhibitors from 58 nations and 24,748 trade visitors came to the world’s largest industry trade fair in Düsseldorf. “With that, ALUMINIUM is among a select group of industry shows that grow from event to event”, says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, the organiser of ALUMINIUM. Since the debut event in 1997, the number of exhibiting companies has jumped nearly fivefold; the number of visitors quadrupled.

The exhibition area with foundry-relevant products and castings has also continued to grow. This time, this covered almost a complete hall.

Light but also hard, corrosion-resistant and easy to recycle. Those are the four properties that promise such a bright future for “white gold”. Whether it’s in the automotive industry, aeronautics or construction, “Mobility, lightweight construction and resource efficiency – global megatrends are the forces that drive expanding demand for aluminium”, says Christian Wellner, managing member of the executive committee of GDA, the German Confederation of the Aluminium Industry.

Experts forecast worldwide demand to increase from just under 60 to 70 million tonnes by 2020. “This demand occurs mostly in the transport sector, where demand for aluminium will go up by six per cent in 2016. Low-CO2 mobility is an important component of Europe’s strategy for a sustainable economy – and aluminium is part of the solution”, says Gerd Götz, the director general of the European industry association EA. At 140 kg, the average amount of aluminium that goes into each car built in Europe has tripled since just 20 years ago. At 160 kg, that share is even higher in the US.

“Lightweight construction is a key technology of the future that’s making a critical contribution to the modernisation of industry. Electro-mobility, for example, is inconceivable without lightweight engineering”, says Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

This boost in demand was noticeable at ALUMINIUM, impacting both the overall mood and the deal-making. A representative survey on the economy conducted for the trade fair confirmed this point. More than 60 per cent of the over 500 responding companies expect demand to increase further; 27 per cent expect sales to remain flat; only 6 per cent fear a slightly weakening performance in the medium term.

Many companies list high trade barriers and access to markets and raw materials as the biggest challenges. The globalisation of markets has reached the aluminium industry, bringing new structures and a global division of labour into the international value chain – a development that was clearly reflected at ALUMINIUM.

The winners of the EUROPEAN ALUMINIUM AWARD 2016

From a 3D-printed motorcycle to a high-tech building facade designed by star architect Zaha Hadid: once again this year, the aluminium industry’s most creative and unusual new developments were honoured with the EUROPEAN ALUMINIUM AWARD. The award was presented on 29 November at ALUMINIUM 2016, the world’s largest industry trade fair taking place in Düsseldorf.

Altogether, five innovations were recognised in four categories. The jury went on to present four additional coveted awards: the Special Prize, the Young Talents Award 2016, the Overall Jury Prize and the ALUMINIUM Lifetime Achievement Award. The last one on that list, the lifetime achievement award, was bestowed for the first time to honour AUDI AG for its outstanding achievements as a pioneer and innovation driver in the aluminium-automotive sector.

The winner of the long-established audience award was once again determined by open voting in the “Design & Lifestyle” category. With 2,346 votes cast online, ViaLuce prevailed in the end.

The winners:

“Automotive & Transportation” category

REALCAR (Jaguar| Land Rover & NOVELIS, UK / Switzerland)

A big step into the future. That’s how the jury praised the submission by Land Rover & NOVELIS. Recycling is key in turning aluminium into an inexhaustible resource. To get closer to that goal, the new automotive aluminium alloy RC5754 was developed, which uses more reprocessed automotive aluminium scrap than ever before.

“Production Techniques, Tools & Machinery” category

ALUMASTER High Speed Disc (August Rüggeberg, Germany)

The ALUMASTER® High Speed Disc is a unique tool with an extremely high cutting performance developed specifically for angle grinders. The jury praised the milling carbide cutting inserts, which can be turned multiple times before being used up. With all that, this handheld tool is ideal for aluminium processing because no hazardous or explosive dust is generated. The tool’s special design ensures maximum safety.

Young Talents Award 2016

Light Rider 3D-printed motorcycle (Niels Grafen TU München / Airbus APWorks, Germany)

Recognised as a trailblazer: Light Rider, the world’s first 3D-printed motorcycle. Niels Grafen is the first designer to put an entire vehicle on the road that uses nothing but 3D-printed load-bearing components. Grafen’s design approach – namely topology optimisation combined with 3D printing – powers urban mobility.

Overall Jury Prize

Solar Fingerplate (Philipp Griesacker / Austria Druckguss, Austria)

The jury spoke particularly highly of the clever use of aluminium, which optimally leverages every benefit, including the material’s light weight and castability. Solar Fingerplate’s cast piece demonstrates the potential of die casting as a source for the structural components required for alternative-energy generation. It’s used in ground-mounted photovoltaics installations exposed to high winds.

ALUMINIUM Lifetime Achievement Award


A very special prize was awarded for the first time at the tenth ALUMINIUM AWARD: the ALUMINIUM Lifetime Achievement Award. The jury bestowed this particular award to recognise AUDI AG for its outstanding achievements as a pioneer and innovation driver in the aluminium-automotive sector. AUDI AG had already won the EUROPEAN ALUMINIUM AWARD in the Automotive category back in 1994 and 2000, for its A2 and A8 models. Having broken new ground with the introduction of the first aluminium car, the A8, Audi has been setting standards for over 20 years.

Two thirds of exhibitors – 649 altogether – travelled to ALUMINIUM in Düsseldorf from outside Germany. Germany (354) tops the list of 58 represented nations, followed by the second-strongest exhibitor nation Italy (116), China (90), Turkey (67) and Spain (29); the Netherlands and the UK tied for 6th (28 each). Strong contingents also hailed from the US (23) and Canada (22), which edged out France, Austria and Switzerland (all with 21 companies).

“ALUMINIUM underscored its role as a global marketplace and recorded gains, especially from abroad”, said Olaf Freier, the event director of ALUMINIUM, at the end of the three-day event. The same is true for visitors, where ALUMINIUM achieved a top internationality score of 54 per cent. At 20 per cent, the share of foreign visitors from overseas was remarkably high. “A benchmark for the worldwide relevance of ALUMINIUM”, says Olaf Freier.

The next ALUMINIUM, 12th World Trade Fair and Congress, will take place in Düsseldorf from 9 to 11 October 2018.

Statements on ALUMINIUM:

“Now in its 11th edition, the ALUMINIUM trade fair plays a strategic role in raising the visibility of the aluminium industry. We see it as much more than a networking event: it is a way to create and build links between different parts of the value chain. This edition demonstrated once again that aluminium is clearly the preferred material for applications with strategic value for a sustainable economy, such as transport, packaging and mobility. We have a bright future ahead of us but it will require continued commitment from the industry in Europe to innovative applications and sustainable business models.”
Gerd Götz, Director General, European Aluminium

“ALUMINIUM is excellent this year. It is a good show and a great opportunity to engage with our stakeholders. We are very pleased with the fair.”
Anne Jahr, Communications Manager Europe / Norway and Government Affairs, Alcoa Norway ANS

“Compared to what we had expected because of the late trade fair dates, the event was stunning. Our stand was full the entire time. We had more visitor traffic than ever before, which must have had something to do with the change of location in the hall and the creative stand concept. We saw lots of existing customers, but also prospects who hadn’t known us before. We’re confident regarding the analyses we’ll conduct after the trade fair. We’re particularly delighted by the positive feedback we received for our new plant in Ranshofen. ALUMINIUM is a great platform to introduce our plans. We couldn’t have imagined better encouragement and affirmation. In general, we’re optimistic about the development of the market and future growth. The mood is excellent.”
Dipl.-Ing. Leopold Pöcksteiner, Area Manager Strategy, Communication and Marketing, AMAG Austria Metall AG, Austria

“It’s always great to be back at ALUMINIUM. We engage in great talks about innovative developments and products here. Here at the trade fair, we even shape part of the future. A good example is e-mobility, which has emerged as an innovation driver in our industry.”
Dr. Martin Iffert, Chairman of the Board, TRIMET Aluminium SE

“It was a great trade fair for us. We’ve been exhibiting since the inaugural ALUMINIUM, and we’re once again very pleased this year. We saw many of our long-time partners and customers as well as plenty of potential new customers. ALUMINIUM is a very important trade fair for us, because Western Europe is our main market. We’ll be back again in two years.”
Derin Akersoy, Marketing Manager, Assan Alüminyum, Turkey

“We were quite sceptical, actually, because of ALUMINIUM’s late date this year. But even in the run-up to the event, it became clear that neither the quantity nor the quality of customer talks would suffer as a result. Over the three days, we managed to talk to 95 per cent of our key accounts. That speaks to ALUMINIUM’s quality and efficiency. We’re once again very satisfied.”
Frank Busenbecker, Managing Director, Erbslöh Aluminium GmbH

Company Info

Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH

Völklinger Straße 4
40219 Düsseldorf

Telephone: +49 211 90191-0
Telefax: +49 211 90191-123

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