Through its subsidiary Becker Stahl-Service GmbH, Klöckner & Co is building a new service centre at its operating location in Bönen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to process aluminium flat products for the automotive and manufacturing industries in Europe. About 40 jobs will be created at the new Bönen service centre, which is scheduled for completion in 2017.

"The launch of Becker Aluminium Service is a further step in implementing our strategy of increasing the percentage of sales generated with higher value-added products and services. At the same time, we are supplementing Becker's product portfolio with one of the key growth materials for the automotive industry and can build on long-standing customer relationships in marketing," said Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co SE1.

Becker consequently opts for high technology from Germany. After oiling the strip via an electrostatic oiling machine, and before the strip is fragmented into as many as 50 individual sections in a slitting line (both supplied by Heinrich Georg), the oil layer that is present on the various aluminium strip surfaces will be determined online here in the future via EMG's SOLID® system in a safe and continuous manner.

The EMG SOLID® system, which is based on infrared spectroscopy, is suitable for use on a multitude of metal surfaces. It is used in the aluminium processing sector for a wide variety of lubricants (such as mineral oils, thixotropic mineral oils, prelubes, dry-film lubricants, etc.) in combination with uncoated and pre-treated aluminium strip material. This high degree of flexibility in terms of surface qualities and oil types is a fundamental prerequisite for use in an aluminium service centre. The traversing measuring heads on both sides use a measuring frequency of 60 Hz to determine the surface weight of the oil layer in g/m2 within a measuring range of 0.1 - 6 g/m² (measurements are also possible from 0.05 g/m² with special calibration).

A specific and reliable oiling process offers a significant potential for added value with regard to subsequent processing of the material, not just for the automotive industry. EMG SOLID® plays a crucial role in this field of application by ensuring the oil layer specified by the end user is maintained. Due to the process involved, this is simply unattainable with the hand-held instruments that are frequently used today.

The SOLID® system is scheduled for installation during the first quarter of 2017. This project represents another important milestone for EMG in terms of the wide-ranging application of the company's quality assurance systems within the aluminium industry and it is the first project in an aluminium service centre.

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