The International Magnesium Association (IMA) awarded innovative designers and engineers in the 45th Annual Awards of Excellence competition. The awards were announced at the 65th Annual World Magnesium Conference held in Warsaw, Poland in May. The Awards of Excellence competition 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 Cast Products Category was divided into two subcategories — Automotive and Commercial (Non-Automotive). 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 Georg Fischer GmbH in Altenmarkt, Austria for their Cross Beam for Instrument Panel Beam. First Place for Design Commercial Cast Product was awarded to Ortal Diecasting in Beit Shean, Israel for their Rudder Pedal Assembly for a passenger jet aircraft. Developed over the past two years, this magnesium die cast pedal would replace the heavier aluminum pedal currently being used in passenger aircrafts.
First Place for Design Wrought Product was awarded to Shanxi Yinguang Huasheng Magnesium Industry Group Co., in Yunchen, Shanxi, China for a continuous cast-rolling plate of magnesium alloy. This magnesium application is used for structural materials and for raw materials of punching.
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 Bayerische Motorenwerke AG in Landshut, Germany for their Machining of Aluminum-Magnesium Composite Crankcase for the BMW 7,5,3,1 Series Passenger Cars. This magnesium crankcase is significantly lighter than its aluminum counterpart and is by far the lightest high volume serial production six-cylinder crankcase worldwide. Being the largest single part of the engine, the lightweight of the crankcase significantly contributes to the weight reduction of the in-line six-cylinder power plant.
The Application Category recognizes significant advances resulting in a large volume potential for magnesium. The IMA awards demonstrate a high standard of excellence. In some cases, the products, processes, and technology must be in commercial practice and be successful. First Place in the Application Category was awarded to Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan for their Rear Frame design for motorcycles. This design, which replaced aluminum forged components, was made from AM60B magnesium alloy. The application of magnesium die-cast chassis parts achieves both sufficient strength and corrosion resistance for use in mass-production of motorcycles. These parts are the result of a newly developed vacuum-assisted die casting method for magnesium that makes it possible to successfully produce large, thin-walled magnesium chassis parts.
The 2009 Awards of Excellence will be held in conjunction with the 66th Annual World Magnesium Conference in San Francisco, California, USA on May 31 through June 2, 2009. A Call for Entries will be distributed in January. For more information visit IMA's website at www.intlmag.org.