Expanding Alabama’s local manufacturing capacity, Magna-owned Kamtek recently opened a 150,000-square foot manufacturing facility in Birmingham. Area Development reports that this $60 million facility will focus on aluminium casting and potentially create more than 100 jobs.
According to Area Development, the creation of this facility is in direct response to changing automaker demand. As the industry prioritizes lower carbon emissions and improved fuel economy, companies will need materials for lighter vehicles.
“We remain focused on lightweighting to help improve fuel economy while decreasing vehicle emissions over time,” John Farrell, President of Cosma International, Magna’s body and chassis operating unit, said in a statement, according to Area Development. “The Kamtek expansion demonstrates our dedication to meeting these challenges head-on through leading-edge manufacturing processes that streamline vehicle weight reduction for our customers.”
The United States exported around $41.7 billion worth of industrial machines in 2010, and the importance of locally sourced materials has remained a priority over the course of the decade. The Kamtek facility in particular is designed to improve upon previous material production, opting for lightweight aluminum casting rather than multi-piece steel casting. The aluminum pieces can be passed on to car manufacturers in one piece, increasing efficiency without compromising performance and safety.
“There’s a revolution going on in the business of new cars and trucks,” John Hackett, general manager of Magna, Kamtek’s parent company said in a statement, according to Al.com. “And a key player is aluminum disc castings.”
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Birmingham, Governor Kay Ivey praised the facility for its contribution to Alabama’s local economy, Al.com reports.
“To attract new business and to encourage existing ones to expand, we must have a solid business climate so our businesses have a positive environment in which to operate,” she said.
According to Al.com, Kamtek serves Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Nissan. The company is a Top Tier One supplier in the NAFTA zone and number three in the world. This new facility has the potential to add more automakers in the future, expanding its role in the international market.