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Extrusion Manufacturers Increase Capacity

Post Time:Dec 21,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:480

Two extrusion manufacturers-Bonnell Aluminum of Newnan, Ga., and Keymark Corp. of Fonda, N.Y-have announced plans for expanded capacity.

Bonnell yesterday announced the startup of its long-planned extrusion press, which was engineered specifically to produce architectural-quality profiles for prominent exposed applications up to 16 inches wide.

This 5,500-ton aluminum extrusion press was installed at the company's manufacturing facility in Carthage, Tenn., in a new building covering 70,000 square feet.

Built by the Italian manufacturer PRESEZZI, and using the latest technologies in handling systems from OMAV, this press enables many new design opportunities for those who are seeking larger extruded profiles and more design freedom.

"This capability for commercial architectural applications in this large size range is not available anywhere else in North America and will enhance Bonnell Aluminum's recognition as the premier supplier of products to curtain wall, walkway cover, storefront and automatic entry door manufacturers," said Ira Endres, director of sales and marketing, in a company news release. "It is a very exciting time for the company and our customers."

When USGNN.com™ spoke with Bonnell president Duncan Crowdis during a company event in October, he noted, "The large press is going to be the only one of its kind in North America that is focused on that [nonresidential] market. It will be capable of up to 16-inch-wide shapes, shapes that many architects are looking for to be more innovative in their designs." He explained that as architects push for increasingly large spans of glass, larger-than-ever extrusions will be needed to support these ambitious designs.

Crowdis added, "It's also going to add a lot more medium press capacity to our facility, which tends to, in strong times, be a very limiting factor for us and for our customers. So it's an exciting opportunity."

Meanwhile, Keymark yesterday announced its plans to install a large aluminum extrusion press as part of a multi-million dollar expansion project at its plant in Lakeland, Fla.

The new UBE, 3,000 ton hydraulic press, capable of producing aluminum extrusions up to 14 inches in circle size, will be installed adjacent to Keymark's existing 140,000-square-foot facility. The new facility will incorporate an additional 104,000 square feet of floor space and will leave room for additional future expansion.

"It will probably increase our capacity over 30 million pounds," Brent Slaton, Keymark's national sales coordinator, told USGNN.com™.

Slaton noted that the press, as of yesterday, had been delivered to the facility with the installation soon to follow. "We already have the facility to put it in," he said. "A lot of the groundwork has already been done."

Keymark of Florida currently houses two 7-inch aluminum extrusion presses and a 40-foot horizontal paint line. The new press comes complete with ancillary equipment (Edward's Kevlar belt driven handling system, water quench system, automatic stacking equipment and line-stenciling capabilities).

Keymark's expansion project will create 63 new jobs in the Lakeland area over the next two years. The planned startup of the new press will be second quarter of 2010. "Hopefully we will catch the market on the upswing," Slaton said.

According to Slaton, that "upswing" may be sooner rather than later. In fact, both extrusion producers noted that these openings have been well-timed to help these companies grow despite a recovering construction market.

When USGNN.com™ spoke with Endres in October, he noted, "The recession that we're currently in for the aluminum extrusion industry really started in mid-2006. We started to see the downturn in the residential markets and, just to give you an idea of how deep it is, industry shipments through 2009 as compared to 2006 are projected to be down about 45 percent. Year-over-year through August industry shipments are going to be down about 32 percent. As far as Bonnell Aluminum is concerned, we're doing a little bit better than the industry-not much, we're all in the same situation-and our view is going forward that the nonresidential segments still have some softness ahead well into 2010 and hopefully the support of stimulus funding and the return of private investment will help us on the recovery side of the cycle."

Slaton added, "It's slow to come, there's no doubt. We've been through some tough times the last two years. But we are starting to see significant amount of quotes, and we've secured a couple of nice projects recently. It does look like things are improving in our industry, which is certainly encouraging for everyone."

Source: usgnnAuthor: shangyi

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