Luvata announces China expansion to meet auto industry demand
Luvata, a world leader in metal solutions manufacturing and engineering services, has announced it is to expand its resistance welding electrode manufacturing capacity in China to keep pace with country’s growing demand for automobiles.
Having taken the lead in 2010, China will make 50% more vehicles than Western Europe or North America by 2015. China’s production of automobiles is anticipated to grow by 10% per annum from 2010 to 2015, from almost 15 million units to over 24 million vehicles. Every global manufacturer now has at least one China operation and most have multiple. Many have partnered with local Chinese manufacturers who themselves have standalone operations.
As the world’s leading manufacturer of resistance welding electrodes supplying automotive manufacturing plants in over 25 countries, Luvata opened its third resistance welding manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China in 2006. “Our strategy is to grow in niche markets. This strategy combined with our industry experience in the manufacture of resistance welding electrodes is a perfect match,” says Luvata CEO John Peter Leesi. “Our success in China along with the market outlook for automobiles, provides us with an excellent opportunity to grow.”
High strength alloys, coated metals and varying metal thickness often call for a different type of electrode to ensure an optimal weld. Luvata manufactures internationally recognized electrode brands such as Nitrode®, Z-Trode® and Cupal®, each specifically designed for predictable weld performance. The unique blend of superior alloy composition and proprietary cold working properties enhances the welding performance of Luvata electrodes in adverse welding conditions, often found in automotive production.
“We see a significant opportunity in China to add value with a Luvata weld,” summarizes Leesi.
With the signing of a new long-term lease, Luvata’s current resistance welding manufacturing facility in Suzhou will be moved, ten minutes driving distance away, to a much larger building in the same industrial park. The finishing touches on the new building are currently underway with the move and new equipment installation expected to be complete by the end of the third quarter of 2011. There will be no interruption to customer deliveries.
Resistance welding uses the application of electric current and mechanical pressure to create a weld between two pieces of metal. The weld electrodes conduct the electric current to the two pieces of metal as they are forged together. One of the most common applications of this type of spot welding is in the automobile manufacturing industry, where it is used almost universally to weld sheet metal to form a car. Often completely automated, many of the industrial robots found on automobile assembly lines are spot welders.
Luvata is the leading international metals supplier of solutions, services, components and materials for manufacturing and construction. Luvata’s solutions are used in industries such as renewable energy, power generation, architecture, automotive, transport, medicine, air-conditioning, industrial refrigeration, consumer products and construction. The company’s continued success is attributed to its longevity, technological excellence and strategy of building partnerships beyond metals. Employing over 7,000 staff in 18 countries, Luvata works in partnership with customers such as Siemens, Toyota, CERN, Shaaz, and DWD International.