NEW YORK--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that it has once again been named to InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. It is the second year in a row Alcoa has been included in the ranking, which spotlights the power of innovation in information technology.
Alcoa was recognized for its Smart Manufacturing initiative, which involves leveraging IT technology to drive profitability and efficiencies in a manufacturing setting.
"A critical part of Alcoa's IT strategy is to draw upon our current set of technologies, as well as focus on new opportunities to provide higher business value to the corporation and to help the company drive further profitability and efficiencies through innovative solutions," explains Alcoa Chief Information Officer Nancy Wolk. "Smart manufacturing within Alcoa includes efforts that range from large-scale business-wide solutions to smaller-scale targeted projects."
Examples of Alcoa's smart manufacturing projects include a comprehensive system that encompasses process control, shop floor manufacturing information systems and support services that enables Alcoa's seven widely dispersed alumina refineries to operate as an integrated global system.
"The system has been responsible for significant benefits through process optimization as well as reductions in emissions and raw materials usage," Wolk says.
An example of a smaller-scale smart manufacturing project is Electronic Daily Management Boards, which couples real-time information distribution with easy-to-read production updates. At one Alcoa site, the boards boosted process efficiency by 28 percent and contributed to productivity savings.
“The InformationWeek 500 has recognized the most innovative users of business technology for 24 years, and this year’s innovations were particularly impressive,” said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. “What the editors looked for are unconventional approaches—new technologies, new models, new ways of grabbing business opportunities and solving complex business problems with IT.”
The InformationWeek 500 rankings are unique among corporate rankings as it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 10 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.