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voestalpine celebrates 20 years of lightweight design know-how at the world’s largest site for automotive blanks in Linz

2018-08-01 | 

Lighter, stronger, faster. That has held true for 20 years of product innovations at voestalpine Automotive Components Linz GmbH. Today, this company in the Metal Forming Division of the voestalpine Group has 300 employees and generates revenue of EUR 170 million. It is the world’s largest production site and the global leader in the production of laser-welded high-tech blanks for the automotive industry. Demand for lightweight products from Linz is so high that EUR 16 million has recently been invested to expand the site.

The order from a German premium automobile manufacturer for the production of laser-welded inner door panels marked the start of blank production in Linz 20 years ago—the starting point of a remarkable success story. Since then, almost 190 million blanks have left the plants of Automotive Components Linz—formerly voestalpine Europlatinen GmbH—and made their way to international automobile manufacturers.

Wolfgang Eder

In just two decades, the combination of comprehensive product know-how, ongoing innovation, and a high degree of digitalization has made voestalpine Automotive Components Linz an international pioneer in the production of automotive blanks.

Wolfgang Eder, CEO of voestalpine AG

Ongoing research into new product and process solutions  

The most important milestones were the installation of the world’s fastest laser-welding system in 2015 and the construction of a second plant in 2016, which made Linz the leading production site for laser-welded automotive blanks. With the production of the first hot-forming blanks (phs technology) in 2006, the company set completely new standards in terms of weight reduction, corrosion protection, and crash performance for high-strength body parts.

Peter Schwab

Very early on, voestalpine Automotive Components Linz recognized the market potential and key trends in lightweight construction. It also demonstrated a great deal of courage and future orientation in the development of the latest technologies. Thanks to our employees’ innovative power, we will continue this success story in the future.

Peter Schwab, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Metal Forming Division

High-tech blanks from Linz are in demand worldwide

In addition to employee commitment, flexible reaction to changing market and customer requirements was a decisive factor in the company’s success. While initially large automotive parts such as side panels, doors, and flaps were in demand, today most of the high-strength blanks are further processed into smaller, weight-saving components such as side members and cross members, A/B/C pillars, inner door panel components, and floor components.

The strong growth in the lightweight construction sector also secures the future of the Linz automotive location. Thanks to the excellent order situation, EUR 16 million has been invested in a further expansion stage that was recently completed. In a 32,000 square meter production area, it will be possible to produce up to 30 million blanks a year on 14 welding and three punching lines. Revenue is expected to increase to EUR 200 million per year.

Metal Forming Division

The Metal Forming Division of the voestalpine Group achieved a total sales volume of EUR 2.7 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 325 million in the business year 2017/18. The division has a workforce of around 12,000 employees and does business with almost all European car manufacturers. Within the Group, it constitutes the center of competence for highly refined sections, tubes and precision strip steel products and ready-to-install system components made of pressed, stamped and roll-formed parts. Its combination of material expertise and processing competence, which is unparalleled throughout the industry, and its global presence make the division the preferred partner to customers looking for innovation and quality.

El Grupo voestalpine

voestalpine es, en sus áreas de negocio, líder mundial en la fabricación de productos industriales y tecnológicos, con competencia combinada en cuanto a materiales de trabajo y procesamiento. El grupo de empresas, que opera en todo el mundo, cuenta con alrededor de 500 sociedades y emplazamientos en más de 50 países en los cinco continentes. Cotiza en la Bolsa de Viena desde 1995. Con sus soluciones de productos y sistemas de máxima calidad de acero y otros metales, es uno de los socios de negocio más importantes de las industrias europeas del automóvil y de electrodomésticos, así como de la industria aeronáutica, de gas y petróleo en todo el mundo. voestalpine es, además, líder mundial en el mercado de la tecnología de desvíos y en el área de carriles especiales, así como en el del acero para herramientas y perfiles especiales. En el ejercicio 2017/18 el Grupo obtuvo, con un volumen de ventas de alrededor de 13.000 millones de euros, un beneficio operativo (EBITDA) de casi 2.000 millones de euros y contó con una plantilla de unas 51.600 personas en todo el mundo.