CHICAGO With the help of
key acquisitions and the installation of new management, Shiloh
Industries Inc. is quickly evolving to meet the needs of North
American automakers, a company executive told AMM.
In September, the board of
directors of the Valley City, Ohio-based steel coil processor
and producer of engineered blanks appointed Ramzi Y. Hermiz
president and chief executive officer, succeeding Theodore
Zampetis, who retired from that post Dec. 31. Hermiz previously
served as senior vice president at automotive technology
company Federal-Mogul Corp.
In December, Shiloh made two
strategic acquisitions, purchasing Albany-Chicago Co. LLC (ACC)
for $55 million and buying a fully functioning stamping plant
in Anniston, Ala., from Atlantic Tool & Die-Alabama
The pair of acquisitions means
Shiloh "can offer a portfolio of lighter solutions"and
fast, Hermiz told AMM.
"Buying an existing stamper
allowed us a much more rapid way to get to the additional
capacity we sought and add a book of business," he said. "It
beats the long lead time buying a stamping press and satisfies
our customers more quickly."
The 300 employees at Pleasant
Prairie, Wis.-based ACCwhich supplies parts to BMW AG,
Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co.make automotive
body-in-white components from thin-wall die-cast and machined
aluminum. The companys allure was its ability to cast
thin-walled, highly ductile partsaluminum cast parts that
have the same flexibility as steel and can be placed in
high-pressure manufacturing processes on the assembly line, he
"Product performance is
extremely difficult, which is why (there are) so few people
doing (thin-wall casting) here in the United States," Hermiz
The company also focuses on the
production of precision blanks, both light- and heavy-gauge,
for use in the automotive and truck industries. By engineering
laser-welded steel blanks, Shiloh reduces net and gross weight,
Hermiz said, noting that the savings starts by purchasing less
steel. "We try to take a full-channel, holistic view, reducing
emissions in a supply chain," Hermiz said. "If you ship less
steel, you consume less energy, producing less greenhouse
include lightweighting vehicles and managing sound by making
welded blanks using high-strength steels as well as AcroStik, a
proprietary laminate material that helps reduce vehicle noise,
vibration and harshness, he said.
AcroStik also provides
lightweighting properties, he said. "Its on the Cadillac
ATS, the lightest vehicle in its class that competes with
higher-performance luxury cars," Hermiz said.
Shiloh gets involved in the
early planning stages of automakers designs, he added.
"We try to focus our improvements there."
"Its not about saving
money after you launch (a new model). We reduce the time it
takes for (original equipment manufacturers) to launch vehicles
and help them make a better product," Hermiz said.
For example, with Shilohs
blanks, an automaker can cast a unitized tower as one part,
instead of having to assemble 10 parts. It simplifies the
approval process, reduces the number of parts that have to be
designed, assembled and sourced, and allows the customer to buy
one tool instead of 10, he said.
"The value speaks for itself," Hermiz said.