Sapa looks to innovate in slow market

Oct 30, 2013 | 01:08 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Sapa, Charlie Straface, MSCI, Norsk Hydro, joint venture, extrusion, press, new capacity automotive

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Sapa Group aims to speed material substitution and boost its participation in the growing automotive sector as it grapples with lackluster demand in other industries, a company executive said Oct. 29 on the sidelines of the Metals Service Center Institute’s aluminum products division conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

"You hear a lot of predictions about what next year is going to be like, but none of them would be in the high-growth category—it’s just a matter of how sluggish the economy is going to be," Charlie Straface, vice president and general manager of industrial at Sapa Extrusions North America, part of the Sapa Extrusions-Americas business, said in an interview.

Given that difficult backdrop, Sapa’s Americas business, based in Rosemont, Ill., is looking to create new applications for aluminum extrusions by converting applications in the power transmission sector to less expensive aluminum from copper and by replacing automotive steel with lighter-weight aluminum, Straface said.....

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