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ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks invests EUR7 million in a high technology welding line in Uckange

ArcelorMittal press release - 22 June 2018

ArcelorMittal is installing a new high-technology welding line at its ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Lorraine facility in Uckange, France. The new line follows a EUR7 million investment and will be the world’s first installation and application of a technology which enables two key processes in the production of laser welded blanks (LWB) – welding and partial ablation – to occur simultaneously. This will result in a 50% capacity increase when production begins - expected in September 2019.

The new welding line, named Souspeed-AB line, uses a new technology developed by Soutec-Andritz for an increased productivity (©ANDRITZ-Soutec AG)

Laser welded blanks are an innovative way for automakers to enhance crash and safety performance while improving the fuel economy of the vehicle. By welding together steel grades with different coatings and thicknesses, LWBs ensure strength can be concentrated where it is most needed for crash resistance while more ductile steels can be used in the same part to control deformation. With LWBs, overall material thickness is reduced, decreasing weight and emissions. Manufacturing, material, and transport costs are reduced significantly.

The decision to locate the new welding line in Uckange is based on the proximity to the supply of press hardenable steel, which is required in the production of tailored blanks, from ArcelorMittal’s plants in Florange and Mouzon. Uckange is also well located for supply and distribution to ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks’ key automotive customers.

ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Lorraine, located in Uckange (France)

The EUR7 million investment in the new welding line was made with the support of Tailored Blanks Lorraine’s local community and government stakeholders. The Grand Est region will provide 10% of the investment and 25% of the related R&D expenses, and the Val de Fensch community will also provide co-investment in the new installation. ArcelorMittal will employ local companies for specific parts aspects of the project.

Bertrand Jacquier, CEO ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Europe, said: “With this new line, ArcelorMittal will address the growing needs of car manufacturers to reach higher standards in terms of safety, light-weighting and emissions reduction."

For more information about this topic, please refer to the original press release

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