Cost-saving innovation earns DIB Ideas International Award.
United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium (“EGA”), one of the world’s five largest primary aluminium producers, has again received international recognition for its commitment to excellence through continual improvement and innovation. This time, the accolade took the form of the DeutscherIdeenPreis 2015 - Ideas International Award, which was awarded to one of the suggestions submitted by EGA employees in the recent Deutsches Institut fuer Betriebswirtschaft (“DIB”, which translates as ‘German Institute for Business Administration’).
The winning suggestion, ““Reduce riser voltage drop in new pot cells by welding aluminium strips”, was based on the fundamentals, i.e. the power loss in a bolted joint is much higher than in a welded one.
The basic unit of aluminium production is called a cell. Heavy aluminium bus-bars carry the high amperage that the cells operate. The bus-bars have a bolted joint to facilitate its’ removal at the end of the service life of the cell. The accumulation of alumina and other foreign particles between the joints increase the power loss across the joint. The award-winning suggestion was to weld an aluminium strip over the bolted joint on all of the newly started cells.The benefits derived from this out-of-the-box thinking include an energy saving of 6,552 MWh per annum. The power-saving is set to more than double in the coming years as more and more cells are restarted in this manner.
The EGA Suggestion Scheme also won second place in the DIB Best Idea Management in the Aluminium and Metal Processing Industry category, based on statistical information provided to DIB.
Established in 1954, DIB is the head organisation for Idea and Innovation Management in Germany. The institute conducts an annual benchmark-study and provides valuable insights for companies of all sizes and industries with regards to success factors, suggestion schemes, numbers and figures. DIB also acts as a consultant, partner and trendsetter in the interest of its more than 300 members; and lobbies for a positive political framework.
Many reputable German companies of all sizes and industries from all over Germany are members of DIB, such as Daimler AG, Porsche AG, Lufthansa AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen AG, Thyssen Krupp AG, SAP AG and Siemens AG, to name a few. EGA Jebel Ali was the first DIB member from the United Arab Emirates and outside German-speaking countries (Austria/Switzerland/Germany), and in 2011 became the first company to join the DIB-Forum Idea Management through signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with DIB, to share best practices and benchmarking information.
Abdulla Kalban (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of EGA) said, "This international acknowledgement from DIB, Germany is a feather in the cap for EGA. It could not have been possible without the technical expertise and the commitment of our employees. The untapped ideas, innovations, and creative thoughts of employees can make the difference between success and failure. We are proud of our employees who are furthering their role in EGA's success story."