Hydro Ceases Aluminium Tube Production in Michigan

Hydro has discontinued production and closed the doors at its aluminium tubing plant in Michigan, winding up the closure process that started last year and ending 70 years of manufacturing operations at the Adrian site.

COMPLETE: Production has ceased and the shop floor emptied at Hydro's former aluminium precision tubing plant in Adrian, Michigan. (Photos: Greg Hall)

Activities related to the closure, which Hydro announced last March, included the transfer of products and manufacturing equipment from the Adrian plant to Hydro's two other aluminium tubing sites in North America - in Florida and in Mexico. The Adrian plant made its final product deliveries last week.

Demolition work and clean-up operations will begin immediately, with as much of the waste as possible being recycled. Plant manager Greg Hall, who is leading the process, says he expects these activities to last through September 2010.

Hydro has donated the property to the local township for future development. "The township does not have anything planned at this time, but it has been our desire to be a good corporate citizen by removing the buildings and turning over the site in proper condition," he says.

Smooth transfer
In March 2009, Hydro announced its decision to close the Adrian plant and consolidate its aluminium tubing operations in North America as result of the challenging market situation, particularly in the automotive industry. The plant had around 120 employees at the time.

Salvador Biosca, who is responsible for Hydro's aluminium precision tubing business, says the closure process, including the transfer of equipment, has been handled in a good way.

"This has not affected our customer relationships," he says. "In fact, we continued operations in Adrian longer than planned as a safeguard for customers."

The Adrian plant was established by Bohn Aluminum & Brass in 1939 and began its operations by manufacturing magnesium parts for the aircraft in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's United States war effort. Hydro acquired the plant from Bohn in August 1990.

Hydro is a global leader in the development of aluminium solutions for automotive and non-automotive heat transfer applications, including air-conditioning systems. Its precision tubing unit has about 1,200 employees at manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

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