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June 16, 2004
Alcoa Automotive Receives 2004 Casting of the Year Award
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 16, 2004--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Alcoa Automotive Castings business has been recognized by the American Foundry Society with the 2004 Casting of the Year award for development of the hollow rear lower control arm, an aluminum suspension component, used on the BMW X5 SUV, 5- and 7-Series sedans, 5-Series Touring Wagon and Rolls Royce. Control arms essentially hold the rear wheels on a vehicle and impact ride and handling performance.
"This is a great honor for Alcoa Automotive Castings and demonstrates how Alcoa Automotive is capable of adding value to our customer's products when we are involved early in the product development cycle," according to Allen Zwierzchowski, president of Alcoa Automotive Castings. "We thank BMW for this opportunity to work with them to help produce some of the finest vehicles in the world."
Alcoa Automotive Castings is headquartered at the Alcoa Automotive Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, with design offices in Frickenhausen, Germany, Alcoa Center, PA, as well as at Automotive Center. It has production facilities in Farsund, Norway, where the award winning casting is produced, as well as in Michigan and Kentucky.
The hollow rear control arm is cast using Alcoa's vacuum riserless casting/pressure riserless casting permanent mold process which produces thin-walled castings with the necessary properties. This aluminum design yields a 40% mass reduction when compared with a fabricated steel control arm and up to a 30% reduction compared to a solid aluminum one. In application, the component improves vehicle ride and handling by reducing un-sprung mass. The part yields an efficient transfer of load from the vehicle wheels to the subframe due to its exceptional high stiffness characteristic. It also improves corrosion resistance, as it has no pockets to hold salt, dirt or water.
Alcoa currently produces 360,000 hollow rear lower control arms a year for BMW across five of its vehicle platforms.
Alcoa accepted the award during the 2004 AFS Metalcasting Congress held in Rosemont, Illinois on June 15, 2004. The fourth annual AFS Casting Competition attracted more than 40 components from every metal type and casting process and industries such as automotive, military, construction, and agriculture, medical and electrical. The American Foundry Society provides and promotes knowledge and services that strengthen the metal casting industry. It was founded in 1896 and has grown to an international organization of approximately 10,000 members in 47 countries.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com