Hydro’s fully owned casthouse technology provider, Hycast, celebrates 25 years this week. “After some challenging years, the outlook now is promising,” says the managing director of Hycast, Helge Jansen.
Established in 1990, Hycast was set up to manage and assure that Hydro had a leading edge within melt refining and casting technologies.
Over the years, Hycast has developed several game-changing casting technologies for Hydro, including the SIR in-line melt refiner system, which purifies molten aluminium from hydrogen and inclusions, and the RAM station, which removes alkali metals.
On Thursday this week, the company marked its anniversary with a seminar on trends in the aluminium industry.
“Not only are we celebrating our 25-year-long history, we are also celebrating 25 years without any work-related injuries to our employees,” says Jansen.
Following the financial downturn that hit the aluminium industry in 2009, the company went through a period of tough restructuring.
As a response to the challenging times, Hycast started to market its products and solutions to external companies, and now more and more aluminium producers from around the world are aware of the technological edge offered by the company from Sunndal, Norway.
“Actually, 2014 turned out to be our best year yet,” says Jansen, adding that the outlook is promising.
He believes no casthouse technology supplier can offer the same extensive package as Hycast.
“With the technological competence we can draw upon from our experienced employees, Hydro’s Sunndal smelter right next door, and the metallurgical research cluster we have close by, I believe there is no other casthouse solutions provider that can offer the same range of products as we can,” says Jansen.
Hycast’s premises are located in Norway, next to Hydro Sunndal, with its Casthouse Support team, a dedicated R&D department and a full-scale Casthouse Reference Center.
“In addition to efficient exchange of know-how, Hycast therefore has unique opportunities of testing new technology and optimizing existing technology, which obviously gives Hycast a competitive advantage in the market,” says Jansen.