Intermet Corp. plans to open a second plant dedicated to its proprietary PCPC process next June, in Jackson, TN. PCPC is the name given to the Pressure-Counter-Pressure Casting technology that Intermet unveiled two years ago at a plant in Stevensville, MI.
The first plant produces aluminum castings used by General Motors to assemble steering knuckles for its light vehicles. Intermet said it is operating at full capacity. The Tennessee plant will supply components for steering knuckles to DaimlerChrysler for the Dodge Durango pickups. The company produces automotive components for powertrain, chassis/suspension, and structural elements.
Gary F. Ruff, president and CEO of Intermet, said, “The expansion of our PCPC process to Jackson is further confirmation of Intermet’s leadership in providing innovative casting solutions that deliver competitive advantages for a growing base of customers.”
Intermet said the new plant will have PCPC “cells” designed to accommodate larger aluminum structural components, e.g., suspension control arms and light-truck steering knuckles. Lean manufacturing and one-piece workflow will be emphasized in the 75,000-ft+ plant, the company reports, with space for 20 casting cells and heat-treatment systems. Fully equipped metallurgical laboratories and real-time X-ray systems with automatic inspection will be on site, also. Some casting machinery has already been installed, and the initial castings were carried out last week.