Alcoa Inc. (from Aluminum Company of America) is an American public company best known for its work with lightweight metals and advanced manufacturing techniques. The world’s third largest producer of aluminum, behind Chinalco and Rusal, the company has corporate headquarters in New York City. From its operational base in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States, Alcoa conducts operations in 30 countries. It is one of the world’s largest lightweight metal manufacturers of products made of aluminum, titanium and nickel. Alcoa’s products are used worldwide in aircraft, automobiles, commercial transportation, packaging, building and construction, oil and gas, defense, and industrial applications. Alcoa’s products include fastening systems for the Airbus A380 jet, sheets for Ford’s F-150 truck, and the first aluminum fan blade for Pratt & Whitney jet engines. Alcoa also supplies aerospace-grade aluminum produced in South Korea to Samsung Electronics for its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 model line-up. Alcoa is a major producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined, through its participation in all major aspects of the industry: technology, mining, refining, smelting, fabricating, and recycling. As of 2015, the company has $36.7 billion in assets and 60000 employees.
Its operations are made up of three business groups: Engineered Products and Solutions (EPS); Global Rolled Products (GRP); and Global Primary Products (GPP). EPS consists of five businesses: aerospace, gas turbines, building and construction, and commercial transportation. EPS mainly concerns the manufacturing operations, such as production of airfoils, fasteners and architectural systems. The GRP segment possesses two units: Global Packaging (producing beverage containers, industrial packing and foil); and Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial, which manufactures aluminum plates and sheets for these markets. The GPP manages the commodity segment, wherein the mining, refining, smelting and energy operations are run. The company’s largest business unit, GRP, generated 31% of its revenue in 2014, while the EPS business made up 25%. The primary metals unit, or GPP, accounted for 28% of revenue, while the production of alumina contributed the remainder.
As of 2016, Alcoa will be split into two publicly traded entities, an aluminum commodity business and a higher-value manufacturing operations company. The former will keep the Alcoa name, while the latter’s name is Arconic. While the aluminum company will possess five business units including bauxite and aluminum, the second entity’s portfolio will comprise EPS, GRP and Transportation and Construction Solutions (TCS). The split is to be finalised by mid 2016. The “new Alcoa” consists of 64 facilities, a staff of roughly 17000 and a yearly revenue of $13.2 billion for 2014. The second company spans 157 sites and employs about 43000 workers, having a comparative revenue of $14.5 billion.
As of 2007, the company has undergone a divestment from primary aluminum, focusing on higher-profit value added metal products, such as aluminum sheets and titanium castings instead. Since that year, Alcoa has closed or sold 1.3 million tons of its smelting capacity (and will continue to do so), according to the Wall Street Journal. The change in strategy has produced a favourable turnaround, with the company seeing its best operating results since 2008, with a net profit of $368 million in 2014.[