Meltable Performance Program Description

Posted: 01/24/2014


By far the two most important sheet ingot variables controlled by Logan Remelt are chemistry and metal cleanliness. The chemistry and cleanliness of inputs, which we commonly call meltables, have a direct effect on these variables. By working with suppliers and producing plants we hope to improve the quality of meltables used at Logan. Often we have found that suppliers and producing plants do not know our expectations. This has made it difficult for them to meet those expectations. The Meltable Program helps to communicate those expectations and provide feedback for improvement.

Logan has developed the (MPRS) Meltable Performance Rating System for the manufacturers and suppliers of some meltables. The purpose of the MPRS is to provide Logan, Logan's Owners, Manufacturers and Suppliers with data on the performance of manufacturers, suppliers and their products. When issues with manufacturers and/or suppliers occur, Logan can assist in solving some issues.

Components:

  • MPRS
  • Rating Criteria (the appendix to the MPRS which describes what is being rated and how points are allocated)
  • Meltable Specification Manual
  • Shipping requirements and delivery appointment information
  • Summary of and link to purchase ASTM E716-94 (1998) Standard Practices for Sampling Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys for Spectrochemical Analysis.  See the Supplier Resources tab.
  • Check Analysis Program for some producers
  • Logan data audits to ensure data integrity
  • Limited Technical Assistance
  • Best practices and training reference materials (Supplier Resource tab)
  • Reciprocal plant visits (time and schedule permitting)
  • Best Suppliers and Producers Award (Tri-Arrows Aluminum Corporation)
  • Communication channels to have questions answered
  • Feed back when issues arise including photos if available

Recommended Texts:

  • Modern Spectrochemical Analysis of Metals, An Introduction for Users of Arc/Spark Instrumentation. The author is Volker B. E. Thomsen. This ASM publication is great for helping to understand the equipment we use for aluminum analysis.
  • Understanding Statistical Process Control. The authors are Donald J. Wheeler and David S. Chambers. This book is a cookbook for control charts and capability histograms. Control charts are necessary for monitoring spectrometer calibration stability and trends.
  • Statistics for Analytical Chemistry. The authors are J. C. Miller and J. N. Miller. This text is the most complicated of the three mentioned here.

Useful Safety Publications:

  • Guidelines for Aluminum Sow Casting and Charging. The Aluminum Association.
  • Guidelines for Handling Molten Aluminum. The Aluminum Association.
  • Guidelines for Aluminum Scrap Receiving and Inspection Based on Safety and Health Considerations.

    The Aluminum Association www.aluminum.org

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How are points calculated?

  • Every receipt is evaluated for some factors of the rating. Chemical sample evaluation occurs on a specific frequency depending on producing plant issues and other factors. The Rating Criteria outlines point allocations. These allocations are subject to change.

What will TAA and Logan will do with the Rating score?

  • Logan will use the scores in determining where to allocate resources to assist suppliers and producing plants to improve.
  • TAA will use the rating system to target future meltable purchases toward the better performing suppliers and producing plants.
  • Safety is utmost importance to Logan Aluminum, TAA and Novelis. There is zero tolerance for safety related issues such as double pours.

How does the check analysis program help?

  • This program uses an independent laboratory to evaluate the analytical accuracy and stability of a spectrometer (quantometer). Equipment malfunction, chemistry bias and trends along with operator error can also be detected. 

What if I perform poorly on the check analysis program? Will this affect my point standing?

  • A producing plant must put into action an improvement plan when a check analysis report indicates inadequate performance.

Supplier(s) and Producer(s) of the Year Awards, how do we win?

  • TAA / Logan will recognize the "Supplier of the Year" in various vendor and producer categories.

Does Logan inspect every sow entering the plant?

  • Yes, we inspect each sow for any safety or quality concerns (double pours, surface contamination, flux salts, excess mold release agent, etc.). Producing plants and suppliers are expected to follow a path of continual improvement.

Does Logan analyze every chemical sample?

  • Yes, We analyze every chemical sample coming to Logan. Remember that "The quality of an analysis is never better than the quality of the sample".

In the ASTM E-716 standard there is reference to a type A and B mold. Which is better?

  • The type B mold is better because it can be sparked all around the analytical surface. The MPRS will award points to users of the Type B mold (see drawing below) described in the ASTM E-716 standard.

How often will reports be generated?

  • MPRS reports are typically issued quarterly.

What kind of technical assistance is available?

  • We can give non-proprietary suggestions, comments such as "At Logan we perform the job this way and it has worked well for us so far" or "We have tried something similar in the past with the following results".
  • Names of equipment suppliers that we are satisfied with.
  • Informal process audits at producing plants if time and scheduling permits.
  • Some statistical advice.

    Note: It is the responsibility of the producing plant to make the its own process and equipment decisions.

If I have questions who do I call?

Manual Updates

Periodically this program and website will be updated without notice. This is a living document so expect changes. Please ensure that any information you have printed and use as reference is up to date. The latest revisions of this information will be posted on this site. If you have questions about any information in the Manual please contact the appropriate person on the contact page.