Norwegian-based Hydro, a supplier of aluminum and aluminum products, added 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its Phoenix, Arizona production facility to relocate its fabrication division to the southwestern US.
While Hydro did not release details about expansion costs, the firm said it had to make "adjustments to the structure of its aluminum extrusion network in the United States.Hydro is expanding its aluminum fabrication services in the U.S. with new operations, technical competence and increased customer support."
The firm expanded manufacturing space dedicated to fabrication, including CNC machining and product assembly, and doubled its number of engineers for customer and operational support. Hydro employs over 200 people in Phoenix, handling extrusion, drawn tube and aluminum remelt activities.
While details about government incentives offered to help the firm with job creation or facility expansion was not immediately available, Matthew Dionne, president of the firm's North American extrusion facilities, said; "The move will help secure the jobs at the plant and add new jobs, but the number is unclear at this point. Our intention is to create an integrated fabrication center of excellence in Phoenix for the years to come."
The company employs 23,000 people in 40 countries. In North America, Hydro provides extruded aluminum, including supply sourcing, extrusion, finishing, and fabrication of components, along with contract manufacturing services for a variety of industries.
Dionne said "Customers should benefit from cost savings by obtaining their extrusions and fabrication in one place." The firm said it will keep its aluminum cast house in Missouri while eliminating its extrusion division.
On its website the company said it added technical specialists to further enhance competence in engineering, fabrication, and process management across its nationwide network, at its facilities in Phoenix, as well as St. Augustine, Florida, and Guaymas, Mexico.
"Using a single source for these services will condense design and production times, and improve product quality, " he said. "There are obvious efficiencies gained from doing the extrusion and the fabrication together. It saves transportation and handling costs because the job no longer needs to be shipped to a fab shop. It also reduces administrative load by eliminating a vendor. But bigger efficiencies can come from designing the item more holistically."
"If the extrusion design is considered with the fabrication processes in mind, you can reduce the amount of aluminum billet purchased, reduce waste, shorten extruding times and minimize the number of fabrication steps needed. Usually the outcome is cost savings and shortened turnaround time, and it's common that the final product is better, stronger, lighter or longer lasting, Dionne explained.