It was only in July 2016 that the world's first phs-directform facility went into operation at voestalpine Automotive Components Schwäbisch Gmünd. Now the site is being expanded to enable it to fulfil a major order using this unique production process.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a new production hall, required to execute the EUR 250 million order placed by a European premium automobile manufacturer, was held on March 6, 2017. The go-ahead for the EUR 13 million investment at the voestalpine Automotive Components Schwäbisch Gmünd GmbH & Co. KG site was given in the presence of suppliers, regional business and political representatives, the management, and employees from the project team. In the coming months the current production area of around 52,000 m² will be additionally extended by almost 6,000 m². The newly acquired plot of land will be the site of a new production hall housing production facilities for manufacturing press-hardened, ultra high-strength and corrosion-resistant body-in-white parts in galvanized steel strip, the majority produced using the direct process (phs-directform®).
Space for new skilled workforce
Around 40 new skilled workers will be taken on before the scheduled start of production in summer 2017. The voestalpine plant in Schwäbisch Gmünd, the Group’s competence center for hot forming, currently has a workforce of 650 employees.