Research, development and innovation
At Aurubis, research, development and innovation are primarily oriented towards developing sustainable solutions for our internal company processes and therefore increasing our competitive edge. We also work on developments in the product business, often in collaboration with customers.
A key focus of our activities is the metal production sector. We require sustainable processes and excellent multi-metal generation rates to ensure the economic efficiency of our methods.
A total of 56 employees work in research and development at Aurubis, collaborating first and foremost with the production sector, Production Planning and Supply Chain Management.
We primarily worked on the following topics during the fiscal year:
- One work area was creating models of process operations. We achieved crucial improvements in material flow optimization, laying important foundations for quicker and better supply chain decisions with complex mathematical processes.
- We continued to address the topic of digitalization/Industry 4.0 in order to identify future areas of action for Aurubis.
- Increasingly complex raw materials, combined with the demand for higher and faster metal gains, require ongoing optimization of the metallurgical processes. We continued to work on process enhancements and new developments.
- An improved metal gain and stricter environmental regulations in the future demand development work on sustainable processes related to primary metallurgical slags. We worked intensively on this issue as well.
- In Business Line Flat Rolled Products, we continued to focus on developing BlueBrass, our lead-free machinable alloy family. Together with customers, we were able to enhance performance, especially with regards to machinability. Two other topics were the alloys’ good formability and relaxation resistance.The progress achieved with BlueBrass was transferred to strip products as well.
- We developed new products related to electric cars. In particular, high-conductivity and relaxation-resistant materials were successfully implemented in the connector sector.
- Moreover, a new copper strip product was developed for power electronics.
- We achieved further quality and performance optimizations in the Alloyed Wire project.
- Likewise, the long-term performance of tin-plated connectors for the automotive industry was also improved.
The Aurubis Group’s R&D expenditures in fiscal year 2015/16 amounted to € 13 million, compared to € 11 million in reporting year 2014/15.