Improving Our Products
Within Europe, we refine bauxite ore into alumina and transform alumina into aluminum through smelting. We manufacture aluminum sheet, plate, forgings, extrusions, truck wheels, and architectural products. We also produce industrial gas turbine and turbine engine components, as well as fastening systems for the transportation and industrial markets.
Our commercial and technical teams are actively working with our European customers to further improve their products and services through innovative designs, material reductions, lightweighting, and highly efficient production technologies. Many of our products—and the products of our customers—contribute to a more sustainable society.
For example, our line of forged truck wheels that we introduced in Europe in 2012 is improving the fuel efficiency of commercial fleets. These wheels are up to 44% lighter than steel equivalents and support the move to higher-load-capacity tires. Of the four wheel lines, two offer maximum loads per wheel currently unavailable in steel.
In 2013 through early 2014, we committed to various investments to further increase the manufacturing of sustainable transportation and building and construction products.
In Hungary, we are currently implementing a US$13 million (€10 million) expansion at our forged truck wheels facility that will double our Dura-Bright® wheels production by early 2015. In France and The Netherlands, we are investing approximately US$68 million (€51 million) to build two central service centers with warehousing, research and development, engineering, and testing and training facilities for the building and construction market.