NEW EXTRUSION PRESS FOR MAGNESIUM ELEKTRON
5 November 2010
Demand for Lightweight Magnesium Components Drives Investment in New Extrusion Facility
Manchester, UK, 5th November 2010
Magnesium Elektron, part of the Luxfer Group, has announced the installation of a new fully integrated magnesium extrusion facility at its site in Manchester, United Kingdom.
The facility, located within the organisation’s existing alloy manufacturing complex, utilises state of the art control systems to enable the company to offer extruded bar, section and profiles in a range of magnesium alloys, including its own proprietary Elektron alloys which offer high temperature capabilities superior to standard aluminium alloys.
The company has been involved in the development and production of magnesium extrusions since the early 1950’s when it developed the “Magnox” alloy that was used in the UK’s first generation nuclear power stations. Aerospace alloy developments quickly followed and the company established a global reputation for its technical capability and ability to provide innovative, lightweight materials.
This latest investment not only enhances the company’s offering to it’s existing client base, it establishes a European based production facility to support the growing interest in using Elektron magnesium in commercial aircraft applications.
Over the past 20 years, there have been significant advances in alloying technology to enable Elektron magnesium to compete with aluminium whilst offering a 20% - 30% weight saving potential. The automotive industry has seen a significant increase in the use of magnesium over the last fifteen years and now the world’s commercial airline industry is beginning to take note. Rising fuel costs and climate change pressures have led designers to consider alternative lightweight materials. Substitution of aluminium with the Elektron materials can generate significant fuel cost savings over the 25-year life of a commercial aircraft.
Commenting on the investment, Graham Wardlow, Managing Director of the UK operation, said, “This is a very exciting time for the Magnesium Elektron Group of companies.” “Building on the successes of these materials in military aerospace markets, we have been working closely with major organisations in the commercial aircraft industry to enable this sector to exploit the lightweight benefits of the Elektron materials. As applications move forward in the commercial sector, it is important that we provide a first class manufacturing infrastructure and this investment directly supports that objective.”
In basing the operation in the UK, the new extrusion facility has the significant advantage that it will have its own integrated magnesium billet casting facility. This, along with the latest state of the art ultrasonic equipment, means product will go from alloy manufacture to finished extrusion in one operation.
In considering location, Wardlow commented, “The chosen location of the new facility was based on where we believed we could best service our European, Japanese and North American client base. With an existing skilled workforce and an extensive R&D capability, the fully integrated UK option means that we will be able to maximise our manufacturing efficiencies and maintain the highest levels of quality control throughout the manufacturing process.”
The new facility was part funded by the UK’s Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) in April 2010 and will begin production in January 2011, offering the widest range of magnesium alloy extrusions worldwide.
For further information from Magnesium Elektron, contact Max Bugliosi: Tel: +44 (0)161 911 1164 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Notes for Editors:
Magnesium Elektron is a world leader in the production of high performance magnesium alloys and products. Magnesium Elektron UK began production of magnesium in 1936 at its Manchester, UK plant and subsequently developed a wide range of magnesium alloy systems and products. The company is part of the Luxfer Group, an international manufacturer of high performance engineering materials including magnesium alloys, zirconium products and high pressure lightweight gas cylinders.
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of its businesses, people and places. Utilising our technical expertise and strategic influence, we help the region’s 250,000+ businesses to develop and grow, as well as supporting international trade and encouraging inward investment.
Following the coalition government’s decision to abolish regional development agencies by April 2012, the NWDA will not be accepting any new grant applications, or processing existing ones. Further information is available at www.nwda.co.uk