Hammerer Aluminium Industries (HAI) plans to invest €38 million in the expansion of its aluminum extrusion operations in Ranshofen, Austria. The company considers this to be a strategically important step forward, while at the same time representing a strong commitment to the location in Austria.
“With the new investment in Ranshofen, as well as the previous investments at both Romanian locations (casting and extrusion), we at HAI group are ideally positioned to keep on growing with our customers in transport, industry, and construction,” explained Rob van Gils, CEO of HAI.
The investment includes the purchase and installation of a highly automated 60 MN extrusion press, as well as upstream and downstream production plants in Ranshofen. The new press will aid the company in meeting demand for lightweight components in the automotive industry. HAI noted that it is seeing especially high demand for lightweight components for e-mobility. The new press will be able to manufacture highly complex aluminum profiles with outstanding crash properties for all well-known OEMs in Europe.
“For the production of high-end profiles, we can bring our competence in the development of high-strength aluminum crash-resistant alloys and establish our location as a technology leader,” said van Gils. “Thus, we [are creating] future-proof jobs in Upper Austria. Twenty new jobs will be created for the operation of the new plant.”
The new extrusion line is expected to go into operation in July 2022.
New Multi-Directional Forklifts
In a separate investment, HAI has purchased three multidirectional forklifts from Combilift. The new forklift trucks, which have replaced the previously used sideloaders, ensure the safer and more efficient handling of extrusion billets at the company’s Ranshofen site.
Two 14 T capacity C14000 models and an 8 T C8000 truck, all diesel-powered, were chosen as the best solutions for the tough operational requirements at HAI. The 7,500 mm long and 1,200 mm deep bundles of billets, which can weigh up to 7,000 kg, need safe and efficient handling in the production area and packing station indoors, as well as stable transportation to the interim storage area outside. They also need to be able to cope with an intensive four-shift schedule and clock up operational hours of around 3,000 a year per truck.
“These robust and powerful trucks from Combilift now ensure an efficient and more cost effective operation,” said Christian Ertl, HAI’s manager of transport logistics casting. “The advantages of the four-way concept that combines front and side loading technology are significant compared to conventional forklifts. The ability to turn the wheels with just the touch of a button to change the direction of travel is of great benefit, particularly in the packing station, where space is pretty limited.”
Space is not only at a premium in the packing station, but elsewhere on the premises, including the outdoor storage area, where the billets are stored on cantilever racking up to a height of 3 m, as well as the HGV loading zone. To maximize the available space, a guided-aisle system was implemented between the racking, enabling operational aisle widths to be narrowed down to just 3,620 mm. Telescopic forks, which can reach across the whole of the trailer bed, were fitted to the C14000 models to enable loading from just one side, once again providing best use of space.
As part of its growth strategy, HAI is focusing on the sustainability of its operations and products. The company uses 80% recycled material on average and primary aluminum from production certified to use 100% renewable energy. As a result, the company is able to offer sustainable alloys SustainAl 2.0 and SustainAl 4.0, which have a CO2 footprint below the European average.
“Our customers have ambitious emission targets,” noted van Gils. “Sustainable aluminum products are an important component to achieve them. HAI is a strong partner for sustainable performance in all three sales areas – transport, industry and construction.”