Top prize: see aluminium production

14-years old Leon Andrews won the top prize in the UK´s Aluminium Design & Technology Challenge: a visit to Hydro´s Grevenbroich plant.

July 14, 2016
Image of Engineers looking a aluminium printing plates
Engineer Kai Runkel showed Leon the tiny details in quality control of Hydro´s world-leading aluminium strip for offset printing plates, actually serving about every third newspaper page on the planet.
The challenge for pupils all over the United Kingdom was to find a smart aluminium solution. Leon, within few hours only, created a protective aluminium carry case for a ukulele – thin and shiny, light and robust, easily decorated with a choice of designs and, above all, easy to recycle at the end of its useful life. His entry was among several from St. Ives School in Cornwall. Leon won the packaging category and his design was voted by the judges to be the very best of all 32 finalists, out of 286 entries overall.
Image of group of people in front of the upcoming, huge automotive line 3 in Grevenbroich
The group in front of the upcoming, huge automotive line 3 in Grevenbroich: (from left) Top prize winner Leon Andrews, AluPro´s Diana Caldwell, Janet Andrews, Hydro´s UK Sales Director Nigel Gibbon and teacher Gizela Rashidi from St. Ives school in Cornwall. (Photos: Anja Tinter)

Hydro sponsored Alupro, organizing the Alu D&T Challenge in its 3rd year, with a journey to Hydro’s Grevenbroich rolling plant in Germany as the special top prize for 2016. So Leon took his teacher and  mother and followed Hydro´s UK Sales Director Nigel Gibbon and Alupro´s Diana Caldwell – on a memorable Rhineland trip.

The group started at AluNorf, the world´s largest plant for rolling and remelting of aluminium – and was amazed by the dimensions of furnaces and mills, of the 60 cm thick slabs being hot rolled to jumbo coils of 2-5 mm, interim step for millions of beverage cans or billions of yoghurt lids – all fully recyclable, again and again.

At Hydro´s Grevenbroich plant, Leon Andrews and his group met plant manager Christoph Budde who lauded Alu D+T Challenge winner Leon for his curious mindset and creative skills: “We will be pleased to have smart young ones like you here, as future engineers.”

Image of Grevenbroich Plant Manager Christoph Budde with Leon Andrews
Grevenbroich Plant Manager Christoph Budde with Leon Andrews – and the CanMan, symbol of infinite recycling for aluminium after use.

The following plant tour first led to finishing production of material for offset printing plates. Leon learned that every third newspaper worldwide is using such material from Grevenbroich. He also saw rolling of ultra-thin foil which keeps juice or h-milk fresh for months in compound carton packages; ultimately, final installation work for the world´s most modern line to produce aluminium car body strip, in a 200m long, 26m high production hall, due to start production in October 2016.

Alupro´s Marketing Communications Manager Diana Caldwell said: “The competition gives children aged 11-14 the opportunity to learn about aluminium by designing a building, a vehicle or a packaging solution. In doing so they learn about the invaluable contribution this versatile metal makes to our modern life."




Updated: September 8, 2016