Italians use more aluminium because they understand its advantages

Tom Shelley reports on a seminar on the findings of a DTI organised mission to discover why the Italian extrusion industry is doing so much better than ours

Italians use twice as many tonnes of aluminium extrusions per capita than British, mainly because much greater efforts have been made to educate users about the advantages posed by aluminium's light weight, ease of fabrication, corrosion resistance and recyclability.

This was the main conclusion to come out of the DTI Global Watch Mission, "Aluminium extrusion in Italy - leading through innovation", as reported to a seminar held at the Institute of Electrical Engineers in London.

Dr Mario Conserva, of Al-fin and Edimet, gave a brief account of aluminium extrusion production and consumption across Europe, from which it was evident that the UK came bottom among the major European countries in terms of both aluminium extrusion production and consumption. He told the seminar that his organisation produced publications and held significantly large exhibitions such as "Alumotive", to be held in Modena from October 22nd to 25th. Alumotive is dedicated to usage of aluminium in the automotive sector and the METEF Aluminium Expo to be held in Montichiari from May 17th to 20th 2006, will be held alongside a conference on, "Aluminium Extrusion Technology: a look into the future of processes and products."

Other factors mentioned were the use of interesting wood effect decorative coatings for window frames as an alternative to white uPVC, capital investment in automated manufacturing facilities, and an ability to respond very quickly to customer enquiries and orders. Cost, was apparently not a driving factor - prices are apparently higher than those offered by UK companies and the main export market is seen as Germany. Users of aluminium in Italy include Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, plus motorcycle companies such as Piagio and to a lesser extent, Ferrari. The mission to Italy was led by David Beale, Vice President of ALFED, the Aluminium Federation.

Aluminium Federation
DTI Global Watch Service

Tom Shelley

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