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Manufacturing moves

Arconic-Köfém starts work on new wheel plant

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Alcoa truck wheelArconic-Köfém has broken ground on a €105m ($130m) truck wheel factory in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. Operations are scheduled to begin at the end of 2019 and the new factory should create around 200 jobs.

The new plant will allow parent company Arconic to double its production capacity, over time, of European-made forged aluminium Alcoa Wheels for sale in Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia. The company declined to provide capacity numbers.

Arconic describes Alcoa Wheels as the world’s lightest heavy-duty truck and bus wheels. Made from one piece of fully forged aluminium, they are 47% lighter but five times stronger than steel wheels of the same size, according to Arconic.

“Our truck wheels help customers increase payload while saving fuel and reducing maintenance,” said Tim Myers, president of Arconic’s transportation and construction solutions and global rolled products businesses. The Hungarian expansion will help the company capture growing demand for such products, he added.

Arconic, through its wheel and transportation products unit, has three primary manufacturing plants in Cleveland (US), Monterrey (Mexico) and Székesfehérvár, where it produces the initial forgings as well as further machining and finishing. The company also carries out machining and finishing at secondary plants in China, Japan and Brazil.

Arconic-Köfém’s ground-breaking in Székesfehérvár is the third automotive industry-related development in Hungary in recent days. Automotive components manufacturer Thyssenkrupp of Germany has opened a €100m factory in Jászfényszaru to make electric power steering and valve train systems, while compatriot Continental is to build a new plant in Debrecen at a cost of €100m to produce sensors, actuators and transmission control units.