Business View Magazine - October 2018

290 291 ALUMINUM EXTRUDERS COUNCIL wake of Section 232 trade enforce- ment issues. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation. BVM: Could you give us a basic tutorial on the aluminum extrusion process? Henderson: “We usually describe it like the old Playdoh machines, where you push Playdoh through the device and out come stars, and squares, and triangles.We essentially take alumi- num logs through a hydraulic press, push those logs through a heated steel die, and out come aluminum profiles - in theory, an infinite number of designs for an infinite number of applications. What makes the extrusion process so interesting in the supply chain is that our applications range everywhere from storm windows to the crash man- agement system in a brand new car. A typical extruder will have 30,000 dies, each with a unique profile, and new applications are developed every day. “We really are a bellwether for the manufacturing sector. About ten per- cent of what extruders produce are what we call standard shapes – rods, bars, squares – that can be used uni- versally. They are sold through metal warehouses and represent tens of thou- sands of customers.We get a good chance to see how the manufacturing sector is do- ing because our members are immediately impacted, whether it’s busy or slow.” BVM: Why was the AEC formed and what is its current mandate? Henderson: “The AEC was started in 1949 by leaders in the aluminum extrusion industry. Back then, the biggest issue for in- dividual extruders was access to aluminum. Metal was being rationed, and by forming a Council they were able to join forces to get the material they needed. It was really in the early stages of the industry. Pre-World War II, aluminum just came in rods, bars, and basic shapes. Other applications devel- oped through the war years, and when it ended, a myriad of applications were taking form, mostly in the building construction market, where window and door systems usually had aluminum extruded frames. “As time evolved, the Council has become a player in some of the most significant