Challenge/Solution Case Study:

Improving Process Efficiency at Primary Aluminum Manufacturer


EFI Group managed the engineering design and implementation of a multi-year, multi-million dollar process improvement project for a primary aluminum supplier. EFI Group provided project administration and developed process flows, operating plans and cost estimates. In coordination with partner firms, EFI Group also developed bid documents, detailed construction drawings and PLC integration. The process is installed and operating as planned.


The Hall-Héroult process of converting alumina into aluminum requires the use of carbon anodes to supply large amounts of electrical current to the molten aluminum. Process efficiencies can be increased by cutting grooves into each anode, forming a more efficient path for exhaust gasses and creating more surface area for the process reactions to take place.

The client felt this process change was worth investing in, and EFI Group began working with the client’s staff in the early stages of project development. EFI Group was responsible for the detailed engineering effort and served in a project management capacity through procurement, construction, installation and commissioning.


Because of the long lead time, the client had already ordered the primary process equipment prior to EFI Group’s involvement. Working with the client’s engineering and operations team, EFI Group:

  • Developed process flows.
  • Identified supporting equipment requirements.
  • Developed contractor bid, construction and as-built documents.
  • Developed detailed layouts for equipment installation.


  • Operating plans and functional descriptions for various processes.
  • Plan and elevation general arrangement drawings.
  • Equipment and utility layout.
  • Controls integration between grooving equipment, automatic overhead cranes and roller conveyors.
  • Construction drawings.
  • Total project cost estimate spreadsheet.

Read more about EFI Group’s Core Competencies
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We hired EFI Group to help us figure out a project and scope it, and I felt confident they would keep a keen eye on it. They had to deliver quickly and they did it well. They are especially good at project management when you don’t have the resources to do it internally. Reliability is the word I would use to describe EFI Group.
— Coatings Industry Professional
EFI Group is timely. We’ve had a lot of situations when we’ve been in a time crunch and they’ve responded very quickly. They are detail oriented and efficient. They’re a good group of people who also have a lot of strength in pre-engineering — the thought process to get to preliminary design and making sure we’ve investigated all the potential asks of a project to ensure we didn’t miss anything. They have great attention to detail up front which is very important to any project because having that detail-oriented deep dive into the pre-engineering phase sets the stage for the success of the rest of the project, making the process smoother and making it much easier to keep the project on schedule and on budget.
— Mike Quigley, Engineering & Maintenance Manager, Food Industry
I’ve worked with EFI Group for a while, so I know they have a good, knowledgeable staff. We know we’re going to get the results from them we expect. From my interactions with all the different EFI team members I’ve worked with, I know they have knowledge across many industries. Equally, I never have to follow up with EFI Group and, in some cases, they keep me on track.
— Ryan Fredsall, General Manager, Pacer Minerals LLC
We view EFI Group as a team that can dimensionalize our capability to execute projects. We can articulate what it is we want to do and they can take that input and run with it without much intervention from us. They’re able to move a project along independently and only engage us when it’s time to bring us up to speed or get more input to drive a project to conclusion. That’s one of the reasons I view them as an excellent contractor.
— Environmental Engineering Industry Professional
EFI Group has good engineers and good customer service. We know when we get an EFI engineer on a project, we’re going to a get a good job from them and it’s been a productive relationship for both of us — I genuinely like the people.
— Corporate Director, Project Management in Food & Flavors Industry
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