Czechoslovakias Alba-Metal Spol s.r.o. is tooling up for
growth after buying the assets of a German company that left
the United States.
The family owned
company, which makes steel wire seat frames and formed wire
parts for European automakers, quietly entered the U.S. market
in late 2011 at the request of European automakers and their
Tier II and Tier III suppliers. Albaform Inc., its U.S.
subsidiary, relocated this year from a small Dallas shop to a
larger plant in Flowery Branch, Ga., where it has repaired and
upgraded existing machinery.
"We make reinforcement
wire for automotive car seats," Albaform chief executive
officer Lindsay Roseler told AMM. After a year in
Dallas, a competitor "wanted out of the U.S. There was a mutual
customer between us who asked us to take over that
Albaform took over the
lease and acquired some eight bending machines and six robotic
"We do pure bending of
2- to 6-millimeter wire" primarily, Roseler said. "We have up
to 60 parts running at any given time, some simple, some
The Georgia plant,
which makes roughly 1,000 seat frames per week for one program
alone, will service suppliers to German automakers that have
expanded capacity in the United States and are expected to
start assembly operations in Mexico soon.
Albaform is among many
European "suppliers moving into the U.S., following the
(original equipment manufacturers)," Roseler said. "Its
almost first-come, first-serve. A lot of our competitors are
not yet focused on North America, but rather on Russia or
China. Were perfectly positioned here."
Two more framing
accounts will ramp up in December and next June. By the end of
2014, with just three contract programs, "we will be making
about 100,000 units per year," she added.