AMAG Austria Metall AG in Ranshofen, Austria, held a grand opening for its new aluminium cold rolling mill, which the company says is Europe’s state-of-the-art. Around 700 guests attended the June 22nd event.
“With the plant expansion, we are increasing our production capacity and at the same time our quality, flexibility, productivity, as well as our competitiveness in the global market,” said Helmut Wieser, CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG. “With the expanded product dimensions and 60 years of experience with aluminium, new sales potentials open up especially in the areas of automotive, aerospace, commercial vehicles, packaging and engineering.”
Cold Rolling Mill
The new cold rolling mill was completed in a record construction time of just 16 months. The mill doubles production capacity in Ranshofen to more than 300,000 tonnes, as well as enabling the company to producer wider sheet and strip (up to 2,300 mm). The plant contributes to further strengthening AMAG’s position as a leader in technology for the supply of special sheet both for automotive bodies (panels and structural parts) and modern passenger aircraft.
“With this expansion project, AMAG is sending a clear signal in the market for rolled aluminium products, a market seeing strong growth of over 6% per year worldwide,” said Wieser in an interview. “In particular the transportation sector, dominated by the automotive and aircraft industries, far exceeds the average, with about 11% annual growth having been forecast in the medium term. There is also increasing demand for AMAG‘s new products from the sporting equipment, electronic goods, construction, mechanical engineering and packaging industries.”
With the construction of the new plant, AMAG commits itself to Upper Austria as an industrial location — a site where orders worth EUR 350 million have been realized between 2013 and 2017. A total of 450 new jobs will also be created. With its 1,750 employees AMAG is one of the flagship companies in the region playing an important role in encouraging growth and innovation. “As a regional state, we are in competition with the best regions,” said Thomas Stelzer, state governor of Upper Austria. “For this reason, we as a government need a partnership with the strongest – with the leading companies in our country such as AMAG and its employees. Through its most recent investments, AMAG makes a clear commitment to Upper Austria and its future as an industrial and business location.”
The completion of the cold rolling mill is part of the AMAG 2020 project, which began in November 2014 following the commissioning a new hot rolling mill. As part of AMAG 2020, the company is investing over EUR 300 million to increase capacity of aluminum strips and sheets. The project includes a 55,000 sq m manufacturing area and the installation of 10,000 tons of new equipment from more than 40 equipment and service suppliers. In addition to the cold rolling mill, the project will include heat treatment and surface treatment facilities. In addition, the casthouse is to be extended to increase recycling capacity and ensure the supply of rolling slabs.
“In the coming years we will be experiencing a massive increase in global demand for aluminium as a high-tech material” said Wieser when the project launched in 2015. “We are taking this opportunity to expand our headquarters in Ranshofen into one of the most cutting-edge facilities in the whole of the European aluminium industry. AMAG has achieved continuous growth over the past 20 years, tripling our shipments of rolled products since 1994. The AMAG 2020 project is the logical next step on the course we are charting in an expanding market.”
Overall, AMAG has continuously invested around EUR 1 billion (of which around 90% is in Austria) over a ten year period to make itself Europe’s most state-of-the-art aluminium manufacturer. An impressive aspect of this enterprise is that most of the investments were financed from the company’s own cash flow.