You're Invited to the 3rd Annual Community Meeting

Alcoa is a values-based business committed to sustainability - in the environment, in our business, and in our community. We invite you to learn more about all of our initiatives, and give us your feedback, at the 3rd Annual Alcoa Community Meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 24th at Castle High School in the Auditorium. A Reception starts at 5:00 p.m. as an opportunity to network with our business leaders and members of our Community Advisory Board. Presentations will start at 6:00 p.m., followed by Community Q&A. Please feel free to bring others from your organization, your neighborhood, or your family to the meeting. Please RSVP to Becky Richardson at 812-853-4202 or becky.richardson@alcoa.com so that we can adequately plan for refreshments, etc.

return to top


Alain Belda Visit

Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda visited Warrick Operations on Friday, Feb. 29, with the corporation's two newest board members, Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and CEO of American Electric Power Co., and Stan O'Neal, former chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch. Belda and the board members started their tour at the Warrick Power Plant, now undergoing more than a half billion dollars in capital improvements, and finished the day reviewing the new Lithographic Cleaning Line installed in Warrick's Finishing department. During the visit they spoke with employees working in control rooms, on the plant floor, and maintaining production systems throughout the entire facility.

This was Belda's second visit to Warrick Operations in less than a year after just touring the facility in March 2006. The visit gives the new board members a personal glimpse of our business at Warrick, a small portion of Alcoa's global business with more 97,000 employees in 34 countries.

"We were excited to demonstrate, once again, to Alcoa's senior management how our employees make the difference," said Ann Whitty, RPD's vice president and general manager. "With a company as large as Alcoa, these key leaders cannot visit every plant. The visit is recognition of our good, overall performance, and was a great opportunity to demonstrate how we plan to keep improving."


return to top


Accepting Alcoa Foundation Applications

Organizations interested in applying for 2008 Alcoa Foundation funds have until April 25th to submit a proposal letter and budget form.

return to top


Warrick's New Rotary Furnace Taking Shape

The Ingot Department's new $7 Million furnace will begin operating in April processing dross and coated scrap, both of which are currently sent to outside processors to recover aluminum. Describing the furnace in terms that any of us can understand, Chuck Bargeloh, Warrick engineer in charge of the installation, said "Some of us describe it as a massive cement mixer on steroids. Certainly, however, this is much different. And it's unique to the Ingot Department - unlike any other furnace we have."

The furnace's ability to rotate about a horizontal axis in addition to swiveling on a vertical axis gives great flexibility and allows molten metal to be poured from various stations along its perimeter. It is designed to process coated scrap created during our production process and dross, the material that is skimmed off the surface of molten metal before it can be cast into ingots. Composed of impurities and oxides, dross is currently sent to outside processors to recover aluminum. With the new furnace, however, Warrick will be able to save money, conserve significant energy and reduce environmental effects by handling that material internally.

When dross is sent to outside processors, it must first cool. Then, after it's cooled, the secondary processor must remelt it to extract the aluminum. They also have to heat it higher than necessary so the metal will remain molten for its drive back to Warrick - this overheating causes additional melt loss and uses energy. With this furnace, we'll be able to process dross while it is still hot, rather than letting that energy be wasted.

In addition to the furnace, the project also includes a lime-injected bag house, a salt silo, a liquid oxygen tank, and a weighing system. The Warrick County Council gave support to the project in August 2006 when they approved a tax phase-in of the assets over the coming years.

As part of the project, Bargeloh consulted with engineers at Tennessee Operations, which has its own rotary furnace in operation. By that knowledge sharing process, Warrick will be able to have a shorter learning curve with the new asset.

Bargeloh is also working to make sure we get the new equipment installed safely and in a quality manner. "We're spending the time to make sure it's done right," he said, "because this is certainly much more important than just any old cement mixer, no matter how beefed-up it looks."


return to top


Jasper Engines Brings NASCAR to Rolling Training Center

When Rolling Department leaders were ready to dedicate their new Alcoa Business System (ABS) Training Center, they found a great partner in nearby Jasper Engines and Transmissions. Not only was the area company willing to share their lean manufacturing philosophy (similar to ABS), they volunteered to bring the #12 Alltell NASCAR vehicle. During the round-the-clock dedication, employees could challenge each other in a tire-changing experience, meant to demonstrate the importance of problem solving and standardized work practices.


return to top



Warrick recognizes Employees for Technical Achievement

Three teams and one individual were honored in February with Warrick Technical Achievement Awards, which recognize employees for successful improvements implemented in the plant last year. Winners received plaques and gift cards at the Warrick Clubhouse during the annual engineering luncheon. Ray Kilmer, vice president of engineering and technology for Global Rolled Products, Hard Alloy Extrusions and Asia Group (GREA), addressed the group before the award presentations.


return to top



Safety School reinforces day-to-day commitment of safety

Hundreds participated in the day-long Alcoa Safety School held March 11th at The Centre in downtown Evansville. The annual event is organized by the Plant Safety & Health Steering Committee, a joint committee between Alcoa and the United Steelworkers of America Local 104 that has existed since employees cast Warrick's first metal. Safety School is designed to reinforce the everyday importance of our safety culture at Warrick Operations by providing an opportunity to share best practices with employees from across the location and with other Evansville-based businesses and Alcoa locations from around the world, including from the new smelter in Fjarðaál, Iceland.

A highlight of the day was the presentation from NASA aerospace engineer Matthew Melis, who is a technical leader at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio where he and his team test Space Shuttle parts for their ability to withstand impact from debris. He placed a key role in determining the cause of the 2003 Columbia disaster and assisted with getting the program back into space.

Melis and his team used ballistics testing to determine the effects of foam on the shuttle's reinforced carbon-carbon material. During takeoff, a piece of insulating foam broke off and damaged the heat-protecting tiles locating on the orbiter's leading edge. That damage compromised the craft, causing it to break apart during the intense heat of reentry.

"All the great engineering designs and structures will not tell us nearly as much as a design failure," Melis shared. "When we find a failure, we relentlessly search for the root cause. The ideas is to make sure that it never, ever happens again. And that's a huge message for a safety conference: Learn from the lessons of the past."

"It's been an excellent day," said Helgi Einarsson, the safety manager in Iceland. "I always receive excellent hospitality here in Warrick. Everyone has been so very supportive by helping us obtain the same safety culture we need with this new facility. With continuous effort and with the help of people like we've met in Warrick, this new smelter is now getting to be a reality."

Steve Borkowski, Safety Manager for Warrick Primary Metals and co-chairman of the event, said "Safety School gets better each year due mainly to the great team of employees who identify speakers to meet the training needs of participants."

Jeff Shockey, Alcoa's Director of Safety and Regional EHS Services, was a presenter at the safety conference. "I'm always impressed with Warrick's Joint Safety & Health committee and the effort its members put forth in creating an excellent event for Warrick, other Alcoa facilities and outside industries," he said. "There's clear engagement in the area of health and safety in the organization, and this gives us an opportunity, both as a discipline and a function, to lead the way with engagement in other areas of our business."

The day ended with Brendon Burchard, best-selling author, leadership speaker, business consultant and life coach. Burchard shared tips from his book, Life's Golden Ticket, a story of second chances and his style of giving back to the community.

Joining the employees from Alcoa Warrick operations at the training session were representatives from the City of Evansville, Flanders Electric, Fluor Global, Guardian Automotive, Indiana Tube Corporation, Indiana State University, Logan Aluminum, Marshal Safety, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Murray State University, PPMI Construction, The State Group, and Vigo Coal. Other Alcoa locations sending employees included: Knoxville, Tenn.; Cleveland, Ohio; Fjarðaál, Iceland; Davenport, Iowa; Hutchinson, Kan.; Louisville, Ky., and Rockdale, Texas.


return to top