Kobe Steel has decided to enhance the manufacturing capacity of its Chinese subsidiary, which fabricates aluminum forgings that are used in automotive suspensions.
An additional forging press and a newly developed casting and melting equipment will be installed by the company at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (China). Operations are scheduled to commence in March 2013 and the investment is expected to be approximately 4.5 billion yen.
Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (China) (or KAAP China) was founded in September 2010 in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. The initial phase of the facility is presently under construction and is expected to commence bulk manufacture in August 2012.
In the last few years, Chinese automotive companies have enhanced production and there is a high demand for light-weight vehicles to satisfy the stringent laws of fuel consumption resulting in the increased need for aluminum suspensions in China, which is increasing at a quicker rate than estimated originally and orders are also expected to increase at KAAP China.
However, Owing to these conditions, Kobe Steel will deploy a supplementary heat treatment equipment and a 6,300 t mechanical forging press at KAAP China. Progressive operations such as a casting line and a melting furnace will also be added by the company. The capital funds will offer KAAP China with a manufacturing system that is well integrated and enhance the manufacturing efficiency of the company.
With the help of this capital investment, KAAP China will be able to extend its marketing network in China. In case of increasing demand, the company will consider the addition of more capacity.