Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies LLCs two
extrusion presses are up and running as the company builds a
new casthouse and mulls further U.S. expansion, company
600,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette, Ind., has roughly
150,000 square feet available for fabrication equipment or more
presses, they said.
"Well let the
market determine what we do there, whether its presses or
value-added fabrication," general manager Eric Angermeier told
AMM during a recent plant visit.
Nanshan America, which
can make extrusions up to 85 feet long, currently sports a
5,000-tonne press from Milan, Italy-based Presezzi Extrusion
SpA and a 9,200-tonne press from Mönchengladbach,
Germany-based SMS Meer GmbH, company executives said.
The smaller press
pushed its first billet in January and the larger one in May,
Angermeier said. "We broke ground in May of 2011, completed the
building in May of 2012. ... And basically in a years
time we had all the equipment installed and running besides the
casthouse," he said.
Once completed, the
casthouse should have an annual capacity of about 300 million
pounds, with roughly half of that production slated for
Nanshans presses and the rest sold on the open market,
company executives said.
"We decided about this
time last year that we would fast-track the casthouse. We saw a
market out there and decided to move ahead," Angermeier
In about a year, the
company expects to have about 200 employees working on three
shifts24/7 at the casthouse and five to six days a week
on the pressesinstead of the current 100 workers on one
shift. Nanshan America makes custom extrusions, standard
extrusions and seamless tubing for the automotive, hydraulic
and high-pressure piping sectors.
The company also has
high hopes for the rail market in North America, Angermeier
said. "(Rail) is not growing as fast as it is in Europe or in
Asia," he said. "But we expect it to continue to grow here,
especially with the millennials coming up and tending to prefer
On the procurement
side, Nanshan will recycle its own scrap and buy metal on the
open market once the casthouse is built, Tim Donnelly,
Nanshans director of sales and marketing, said. "Hundreds
of millions of pounds. We will be a significant buyer of scrap
One thing Nanshan
isnt doing is importing extrusions from China, he said.
"Weve heard that in the marketplace. But thats just
not the case. Were manufacturing, packing and shipping
Nanshan is a
subsidiary of Chinas Nanshan Group Co. Ltd. but operates
as an American business, Angermeier said, noting that the
companys president, Lijun Du, graduated from Purdue
University. "Were like the Japanese transplants, except
that were managed by Americans," he said.
located in Lafayette because roughly 60 percent of the market
for its products is within 300 miles of Chicago. Lafayette is
also close to a good interstate highway system, Angermeier
said. Other locations the company considered were out of date
and didnt fit its business model, "which is really the
fully automated low-cost producer and offering a lot of
niche-type products," he said.
The Lafayette location
is Nanshans first in the United States, with possibly
more to come, company executives said. "They are looking at
strategic acquisitions all the time ... in all industries. But
they are looking hard at the aluminum industry," Angermeier