Shiloh Industries Inc. has started capital improvements at the former Contech/Metal Forge site in Clarksville, TN, acquired in 2013, in preparation for producing aluminum automotive diecastings. The overall project is estimated at over $20 million to upgrade the 125,000-sq.ft. plant. It will become Shiloh’s fifth high-pressure diecasting operation in the U.S.
Shiloh, which is expanding its automotive products capabilities in several manufacturing categories, indicated the improvements would be staged over five years, and would result in more than 150 employees at the once vacant site.
“Shiloh has received strong demand for our industry-leading portfolio of light-weighting solutions,” stated Ramzi Hermiz, president and CEO of Shiloh Industries. “We are investing and expanding our operations to meet customer demand, and are continually focused on leading with technology to develop products and solutions that address industry pinch points.”
The improvements at Clarksville have included modernization for the quality lab, diecasting cells, and x-ray systems, as well as new employee facilities.
Notably, the plant will have available a new 2,500-ton high-pressure diecasting machine, in addition to its several 1,600-ton diecasting machines.
The plant also will have “overall infrastructure improvements,” according to Shiloh, though these were not detailed.
“The continued investment and commitment to our Clarksville facility will allow us to add capacity for our high-pressure and structural, aluminum diecastings …technologies that help our customers reduce vehicle weight,” according to Hermiz. “Clarksville is strategically located near several automotive companies, and we have opened the facility with the launch of a commercial vehicle program.”
Shiloh purchased four former Contech aluminum diecasting operations from Revstone Industries in the course of that company’s bankruptcy reorganization. Three of those operations are in Alma, MI, and Auburn and Pierceton, IN; the fourth is nearby the Clarksville location, in Dickson, TN, supplying aluminum parts to Nissan Automotive in Smyrna, TN.
In addition to the Revstone assets, Shiloh recently acquired Finnveden Metal Structures, which includes a magnesium high-pressure diecasting plant in Poland and sheet metal stamping and joining operations in Poland and Sweden.
Previous to the Contech and Finnveden purchases, Shiloh owned Shiloh Die Cast Midwest LLC in Pleasant Prairie, WI, a producer of high-pressure diecastings for axle housings, gear cases, valve covers, and shock towers.
Shiloh also recently agreed to buy Radar Industries, a series of stamping and fabricating plants in Michigan and Mexico, in its continuing emphasis lightweight products for automotive manufacturing, including first operation blanks, engineered welded blanks, complex stampings, modular assemblies, and aluminum and magnesium diecastings and machined parts for body-in-white, emission, powertrain, structural and seating applications.
“In addition to structural diecastings, another example is our recently announced BlankLight™ family of products, which offer the lightest blank in the industry – the first formable aluminum laser welded blank for mass production,” Hermiz noted.