Aluminum extruder Sapa Group announced a $34 million capital investment aimed at installing a state-of-the-art, 14-inch indirect press for rod and bar production at its Cressona, Pa., plant. The investment will result in a major upgrade of Sapa North America’s industrial extrusion capabilities and will raise the standard for rod and bar production and distribution industry-wide.
The addition of a new indirect press will increase production speed per unit by up to 50%, resulting in better grain structure and overall quality of product, and recover more scrap material than was previously possible at the Cressona plant, resulting in a lower operating cost to produce current rod and bar offerings. Combined, these improvements will create greater efficiency and increased control capabilities for Cressona’s largest market.
The indirect extrusion process allows for a more consistent grain structure and better dimensional tolerances, which improves the machinability and finishing of Sapa rod and bar products.
Along with the new indirect press, Sapa plans to add automatic packing and aging to the process, enabling a fully integrated line for customers that will result in better quality, lower cost and faster delivery than competitors.
Currently, the Cressona plant includes a range of direct and indirect presses used to produce a variety of rod, bar and tube products for the commercial transportation, automotive, defense, industrial-consumer and thermal management markets as well as its network of distribution service centers.
Combined with Sapa’s Spanish Fork (Utah) plant, which has also been the recent recipient of an investment to improve its indirect press handling system, both plants are now equipped to produce the highest, most consistent quality of rod and bar products in the marketplace.
In addition, Sapa’s Connersville, Ind. and Elkhart, Ind. plants specialize in aluminum extrusion for industrial markets, resulting in a broad coverage area for Sapa to supply and distribute throughout North America.