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2007 IMA Awards of Excellence
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The International Magnesium Association (IMA) awarded innovative designers and engineers in the 2007 Awards of Excellence competition. The awards were announced at the 64th Annual World Magnesium Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in May. The Awards of Excellence was open to all companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium's use and recognized outstanding examples of magnesium products and manufacturing technologies in three categories, Design, Process, and Application.

The Design Class encompassed two categories: Cast Products and Wrought Products. The two design categories recognize unique, novel, and creative design and development of magnesium applications, and demonstrated a significant advance over current practice. First Place for Design Automotive Cast Product was awarded to Laukoetter Dessau GmbH in Dessau, Germany for their inner tonneau cover for a Bentley convertible. Karl-Heinz Laukoetter, Dipl. Ing., accepted the award at a ceremony during the Closing Banquet at the 2007 World Magnesium Conference.

First Place for Design Wrought Product was awarded to Timminco Corporation in Aurora, Colorado and Kikusui Forging Company in Tottori, Japan for forged bicycle cranks. The parts, which replaced aluminum forged components, were made from AZ80 magnesium alloy. The magnesium parts utilize a unique mesh design, which makes the cranks 30 percent lighter than the previous aluminum design. Genkoh Natatsu of Kikusui Forging Company and Tim Pretzer of Timminco Corporation accepted the award at the 2007 World Magnesium Conference.

The Process Category recognizes innovation in manufacturing or processing technology leading to higher quality and reduced costs. First Place in the Process Category was awarded to Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan and G-Mag International, Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario for Ultra Large Casting "Shotgun". The Thixomolding® process, which combines conventional die-casting and plastic injection molding into a one-step process for a net or near-net shape, was used to create the inner front fender, or shotgun, with a single casting on each side. The process was used in the Ultra-Light Castings for Lightweight Vehicles Structures project for the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) under the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) with funding by the U.S. Department of Energy. "The 'Shotgun' opens up the potential to have significant portions of an automobile's basic structure consist of a few large magnesium castings" rather than the conventional stamped steel or aluminum components the auto industry currently employs, according to Michael Maj of Ford Motor Company. Maj was on hand at the 2007 World Magnesium Conference to accept the award.

The 2007 Awards of Excellence will be held in conjunction with the 65th Annual World Magnesium Conference in Warsaw, Poland May 18 through 20, 2008. A Call for Entries will be distributed in January. For more information visit IMA's website at

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