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Sapa Opens Automotive-Focused R&D Lab in Troy, Michigan

Norway-based Sapa Technology Americas established a North American facility dedicated to the research and development of extruded aluminum solutions for the automotive industry in the Detroit suburb of Troy, Michigan.

"In total, we have around 1,000 engineers working in research and with application development throughout the world. This is a new step forward in our work to provide customers with the solutions that improve their products," says President/CEO Egil Hogna.

Oslo, Norway-based Sapa delivers solutions to all industries, from automotive and mass transportation to building and construction, electronics, offshore and maritime. Sapa is a 50/50 joint venture owned equally by the Norwegian companies Orkla and Hydro.

Sapa Technology is Sapa's corporate research and development hub. Established in 1963 and with its base in Sweden, the R&D unit has expertise in material, physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering. Sapa Technology Americas, located near the "motor city" of Detroit, represents an extension with an automotive focus.

Executive vice president Tolga Egrilmezer, who is responsible for Strategy & Business Development for Sapa, said the company "is committed to developing innovative and sustainable aluminum solutions, and the Troy facility brings us even closer to the automotive industry, which is focused on building lighter and safer cars. We want to stimulate the use of aluminum in automotive applications and build on our role as the preferred development partner in automotive extrusion-based solutions"

Sapa Technology Americas has five engineers on staff and expects to further increase manning before the end of the year, says lab manager Nathan Nickolopoulos, who adds that Sapa has invested more than $3 million in new equipment at the Troy site. Sapa Technology Americas provides service to the business areas within the company, specifically on projects requested by Sapa's North America Technical Center , its plant network and corporate R&D. In addition to its current portfolio, Sapa Technology Americas is working toward ISO 9001 and 17025 certification, which it expects to achieve this summer.

Sapa's automotive customers include OEMs like Ford, General Motors, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Tesla, as well as Tier 1 suppliers such as MAHLE, Benteler, Panasonic and TI Automotive.

In addition to Sapa Technology and its new satellite in Troy, the company has technical expertise working around the world in market-specific or industry-related centers. In the United States, these include the NATC in Michigan, Oregon and other locations, and the Corrosion Test Center in Florida.

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