Portraits of the 500: How Alcoa makes high-tech metal


The 125-year-old aluminum giant (No. 130 on the Fortune 500) is seeking to capture more market share in the aerospace and automotive industries by developing new high-tech, lightweight metals. Much of the company’s innovation is happening at the Davenport Works plant in Riverdale, Iowa, pictured here. Home to Alcoa’s 220-feet-wide aluminum rolling mill–the widest such mill in the world–the factory is at the center of Alcoa’s $4 billion aerospace operations, producing metal used in the Airbus A380, the Boeing 777, and other major aircraft. Alcoa [fortune-stock symbol=”AA”] recently invested $300 million in Davenport over two years to expand its automotive capacity. The company estimates that greater use of aluminum sheet metal by the automotive industry will drive $1.3 billion in revenues for Alcoa by 2018.

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Watch Alcoa discuss their techniques in the video above.

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