May 11, 2016

Kobe to Build Aluminum Extrusion Plant in Kentucky

Japan’s Kobe Steel plans to build a $46.7 million aluminum extrusion manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Ky. The new business, Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions, Inc., will supply material to the automotive industry.

KPEX will make materials for car bumpers and frames. The new company will have an integrated production facility, with operations ranging from melting to fabrication. Fabrication operations will begin in second-half 2017, while melting to extrusions will begin in second-half 2018.

North America is the world's second largest automotive market. Higher CAFE standards for 2025 are accelerating the need to lighten car bodies. As aluminum extrusions are an effective way to reduce the weight of vehicles, the company expects demand for bumper beams, car frame materials and other extruded products to greatly expand.

Kobe Steel has been supplying aluminum bumper materials to Japanese automakers since the 1990s. The establishment of KPEX will enable Kobe Steel to manufacture and supply aluminum extrusions and fabricated products available in Japan in the North American market. KPEX will also contribute to strengthening Kobe Steel's overall supply network, which covers Japan and the United States.

KPEX will be Kobe Steel's second manufacturing operation in Bowling Green after Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, which began production in 2005. KAAP makes aluminum forgings for automotive suspension systems and aluminum cast rods for compressors.


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Monday, October 23, 2017