Issue: Oct 2010


Alcan Extrusions and Automotive Structures Expands Manufacturing Capacity



by Steve Barclay

Alcan Extrusions and Automotive Structures (EAS), part of Alcan Engineered Products - a business unit of Rio Tinto - has completed a major expansion of its production site in Gottmadingen, Germany, after having recorded an impressive level of performance in new business in 2009 for greener car components made of aluminium both for premium and mass production markets.

"The fast growing need of aluminium parts and components in modern vehicles made it necessary to build a new manufacturing hall integrating new production lines for crash management systems as well as an advanced prototyping area to offer tailored solutions to our customers permanently searching for lightweight concepts", explains Paul Warton, President Alcan Extrusions and Automotive Structures (EAS).

The new hall includes state of the art, highly automated and productive bending and machining equipment serving major European car manufacturers. It expands the production area of the Gottmadingen site to approximately 20 000 square meters, enabling a significant increase in manufacturing capacity fully dedicated to the production of Crash Management Systems (CMS) for up to one million additional vehicles.

After several month of construction work, the production in the new hall started with the manufacturing of Crash Management Systems (CMS) for the Mercedes E-Class, and the GLK. Safety components for other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are to follow soon.

"We expect an increasing demand of greener cars in the future", adds Christel Bories, President and CEO of Alcan Engineered Products. "Indeed, global car manufacturers, supported by regulations, tax incentives, and volatile fuel prices consider that the low CO2 emission car is a key success factor for tomorrow. Offering advanced aluminium lightweight solutions, our company is well positioned to benefit from this growing demand."

Alcan Extrusions is a key player in the European market, focusing on specialty products. It supplies a variety of hard and soft alloy extrusions, including technically advanced products, to the automotive, industrial, energy, electrical and building industries, and to manufacturers of mass transport vehicles and shipbuilders It has production facilities in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Automotive Structures serves major automotive and transportation manufacturers with advanced technology, develops and manufactures aluminum crash management systems, front-end components, cockpit carriers and body-in-white structural components. It serves customers in Europe, North America and China with innovative and cost-effective aluminum solutions.

Alcan Engineered Products is a global sector-leader strongly committed to developing innovative, value-added aluminium products for a broad scope of markets and applications, including aerospace, mass transportation, automotive, packaging, energy and building. With around 10,000 employees located in 26 countries and a commercial presence in more than 60 markets across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region, Alcan Engineered Products is organised around businesses dedicated to performance materials in the areas of aluminium rolled products, extrusions and automotive structures, and international trade.

About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.


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