AURORA, Ont.—Auto parts manufacturer Magna International Inc. is adding aluminum casting capabilities at its Kamtek facility in Birmingham, Alabama.
The company says the move is to address global demand for decreased carbon dioxide emissions and improved fuel economy through vehicle lightweighting.
Magna invested approximately $60 million to add the 150,000-square-foot aluminum casting facility, and says that at full capacity, the expansion has the potential to generate more than 100 jobs.
The company says the new facility will feature a manufacturing process that further enables Magna to provide vehicle lightweighting and part-reduction solutions for customers.
Magna says the new capabilities improve upon traditional steel multi-piece welded assemblies, which can take upwards of 12 stampings to produce one structural component.
High-pressure aluminum casting allows production of full structures in one piece, which Magna says reduces vehicle mass without compromising performance, structural integrity or safety.
“We remain focused on lightweighting to help improve fuel economy while decreasing vehicle emissions over time,” said John Farrell, president of Cosma International, Magna’s body and chassis operating unit. “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 Kamtek operation employs approximately 850 people and produces structural components for various customers including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan.
The new casting facility will initially produce lightweight aluminum front shock towers for a major global automaker, with additional customers and programs expected in the future.