Wauconda, Illinois - The IMA has announced the winners of the 2011 Awards of Excellence in the winter 2012 issue of the Mg Showcase. Oreck and Porsche are winners of the IMA 2011 Awards of Excellence for the use of magnesium in the efficiency and design of their products. Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, also won the 2011 IMA Environmental Responsibility Award in the Magnesium Production and Processing category.
A vacuum cleaner may seem like a simple machine, but the implementation of a thin-walled, complex magnesium alloy cleaner head casting has made vast improvements to the Oreck Magnesium Vacuum Cleaner Combo, giving it a competitive edge over the competition. The prototype rubber plaster mold AZ91D magnesium alloy, created by Precise Cast of Commerce City, Colorado, protects critical components with the advantage of being one-third lighter in weight compared to aluminum. The vacuum head also exhibits higher dent resistance, greater vibration dampening ability, and a recyclable, strong, thin-walled casting that can be produced with custom contoured surfaces.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of the mold filling and solidification process followed by tooling design adjustments led to a design that encompasses multiple cross-sectional transitions. Numerous innovative process adaptations helped to maintain a sound metal structure throughout the complex casting. The magnesium cast has replaced the previous plastic structure because of its lower assembly cost, lighter weight and consisting of one solid part as opposed to numerous pieces.
Precise Cast’s original design and production choices led to a lower-cost demonstration product in a short lead time and inspired confidence to continue exploring production of magnesium die casting/thixoforming.
Porsche has improved vehicle performance with a new magnesium engine front cover, utilized on the G1 Panamera and the E2 Cayenne model automobiles. Georg Fischer GmbH & Co., KG, Altenmarkt, Austria, designed the cover part, formed on an 1,800-ton high pressure die casting machine (HPDC) from magnesium alloy AE44.
Placed over the engine’s belt drive, the part reduces engine weight while refining part production for both the V6 and V8 engine covers. The 2.14 kilogram (kg) engine cover weighs 45-percent less than the 3.89kg aluminum cover. The design incorporates various wall thicknesses, ribbing and reinforcement without sacrificing durability. Georg Fischer currently produces 64,000 covers each year, with testing proving that the magnesium cover compares favorably with aluminum in terms of durability. This innovative engine cover demonstrates how weight-savings potential can be achieved with systematic die casting of magnesium, allowing for vastly improved fuel economy and maximized performance.
Since 2008, Meridian Magnesium Products of America, Eaton Rapids, Michigan, has achieved outstanding success implementing programs that reduce or eliminate sulphur-hexafluoride (SF6) with Novec 612 and SO2 cover gases in its die casting and recycling operations, earning Meridian MPA the 2011 IMA Environmental Responsibility Award. The company has significantly lowered CO2 emissions per ton of metal produced by 72 percent at the Eaton Rapids site over the past decade. Meridian MPA is a full-service supplier of innovative magnesium die casting components and assemblies for the global automotive industry and a founding member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s magnesium group, which developed a Memorandum of Understanding committing its members to eliminating all SF6 cover gas use by 2010.
Since 2001 Meridian has implemented the ISO 14001 system to manage and improve environmental performance, and they now have 31 programs in place that have a direct impact on the plant’s carbon footprint. Since co-authoring the Clean Developments Mechanisms (CDM) methodology AM0065 with Quality Tonnes, they have demonstrated leadership in the field, making their methods available industry-wide to all die casters. By adopting these environmental standards, the consistent policy has enhanced the ability to achieve Quality-1 Certified Supplier status at Ford Motor Company.
Meridian hopes to continue to improve upon their own set standards, believing continued focus on the environmental effects to be an equal part of their business and the industry as a whole. The IMA applauds the company for its long-term and ongoing commitment to the environment and to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
To view the IMA 2011 Awards of Excellence, as well as past Mg Showcase issues, visit www.intlmag.org and choose Mg Showcase under “Magnesium Resources” from the side navigation bar.
As part of its ongoing mission to be the global voice of magnesium, the International Magnesium Association has created the graphically rich and vividly descriptive Mg Showcase, a quarterly online publication that is used to inform readers about the value that magnesium brings to various market applications. Mg Showcase clearly illustrates magnesium's superior material attributes, performance, and design advantages. Market applications that have been featured in previous Mg Showcase issues include transportation, consumer electronics, furniture, medical/healthcare equipment, and more.
Founded in 1943, the International Magnesium Association is an international trade organization representing the producers, processors, fabricators, and marketers of magnesium, along with suppliers to the industry. The IMA’s membership spans more than 30 countries on 5 continents. For more information contact IMA at 1000 N. Rand Road, Suite 214, Wauconda, IL 60084. Telephone: 847/526-2010; fax: 847/526-3993; email@example.com; www.intlmag.org.