Steel News

voestalpine Commences Operations at Visionary Cold Rolling Center in Kematen

10/28/2013 - The voestalpine Group is opening one of the world’s most modern cold rolling centers for the production of high quality strip steel in Kematen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria.
With an investment of € 113 million over the last five years, the new 70,000 m² facility is Böhler-Uddeholm Precision Strip GmbH’s largest production site to date. The company is part of the voestalpine Metal Forming Division which generated revenue of € 2.3 billion in the business year 2012/13. The new plant will immediately employ a staff of 160 and will produce 60,000 tons of strip steel annually for use in the manufacture of saws in 70 countries around the world. Over the past decade, the voestalpine Group has invested around € 450 million in its nine companies in Lower Austria, securing their future over the long-term.
Yet again the voestalpine Group positions itself as a technology leader in its segment, using the world’s most innovative production technologies at its new plant in Kematen. “The ultramodern cold rolling center in Kematen marks a milestone in the development of the Metal Forming Division. It not only strengthens our global leadership position in strip steel products but also contributes to securing our site in Lower Austria,” says Herbert Eibensteiner, member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and head of the Metal Forming Division. Although in future voestalpine will primarily grow in non-European future markets, such as Asia, North and South America, at the same time the long-term Group strategy is designed to secure our technological leadership at Austrian sites.
The ground was broken in 2008 at the Kematen business park for construction of the largest production site of the Böhler-Uddeholm Precision Strip Group which, with its production and sales companies in Austria and Sweden, sales subsidiaries worldwide and its 1,100 employees, generates annual revenue of € 250 million. Now the plant is moving from part to full operation. At the heart of the production site is the new cold rolling mill which achieves the finest thickness and flatness tolerances together with the largest possible material output. This will lead, amongst others, to a 30% increase in annual rolling capacity to around 60,000 tons. As a result of this major investment, from this point onwards voestalpine will concentrate its entire strip steel and saw band steel production in Kematen. “We have brought all production to a central location in order to create synergies and, in doing so, to secure our quality and cost leadership worldwide over the long-term,” explains Eibensteiner. Former production in Traismauer in Lower Austria and in Sweden has also been transferred to the new site.
The cold-rolled precision strip steels produced in Kematen are primarily used in the production of saws for the metal, forestry, quarrying, and food processing industries. They are exported to 70 countries around the world including Germany, China, the USA, and Switzerland. You’ll find Böhler-Uddeholm precision strip steel, for example, in the Swiss particle accelerators at CERN or in top brands of Swiss watch. Eibensteiner is convinced that, “The high-tech plant in Kematen will allow us to fulfil the high demands of our customers worldwide even better in the future.”
In Lower Austria, voestalpine has nine companies from across all four voestalpine divisions (Steel, Special Steel, Metal Engineering, and Metal Forming) located in Krems, Waidhofen an der Ybbs, and St. Pölten. During the business year 2012/13, over 2,200 employees in the region generated total revenue of almost € 533 million. Over the past decade voestalpine has invested around € 450 million in the region and the average export quota amounts to 74%. Currently, 125 apprentices are undergoing training in 15 skilled trades at voestalpine Group companies in Lower Austria, offering them excellent career opportunities.
The voestalpine Group’s Metal Forming Division is active worldwide; in 2012/13, it generated revenue of € 2.3 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of € 258 million. The division has round 11,000 employees and produces on behalf of almost all of Europe’s automotive manufacturers. The Metal Forming Division is a leading global provider of high-quality metal processing solutions, in particular special tubes and sections, special strip steel as well as complex components for the automotive industry. It has five business areas: Tubes & Sections is a leading global manufacturer of highest quality tubes, profiles, and precision parts; Automotive Body Parts is a direct supplier of innovative, high quality pressed parts in the body-in-white segment to the automotive industry; Precision Strip manufactures cold-rolled special steel strip with a high degree of dimensional stability and excellent surface qualities; Material Handling offers sophisticated product solutions in the high-bay warehouses and system racks segments, and Flamco produces high quality components for heating and portable water installations with a focus on the Benelux market.

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, the Group has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2012/13, the voestalpine Group reported revenue of € 11.5 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of € 1.45 billion; it had around 46,400 employees worldwide.