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Company News, 2005-08-29, 07:31 AM

ThyssenKrupp Stahl expands presence in China:New tailored blank production opened in Changchun

ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Stahl, officially inaugurated a new tailored blank production facility in Changchun, northern China, at the beginning of August. The new company - TKAS (Changchun) Tailored Blanks Ltd. - is a joint venture between ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks GmbH and Angang New Steel Co. Ltd.

It has been producing tailored blanks for the auto industry since early 2005. Tailored blanks are customized sheets in which blanks of different thickness, grade and coating are joined together by laser welding. These are then used in the stamping plants of car manufacturers to produce parts such as side members and floor panels. Use of tailored blanks can not only reduce car weight by 20 to 40 percent, it also minimizes the parts count and thus helps save costs.

TKAS in Changchun currently has 20 employees and one laser welding line. A service center is to be added before the end of this year which will start operations in 2006, featuring a blanking line, a slitting line, a cut-to-length line and storage capacities.

"We are pleased to have received long-term supply contracts from local auto manufacturer FAW-VW, under which we will be supplying tailored blanks for the Golf, Audi C6 and Audi A4 models over the next eight years", says Rudolf Helldobler, Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks. ?Brilliance in Shenyang is another key customer ? they produce the Chevrolet Blazer and S-10 with General Motors and the 3 and 5 series with BMW.? TKAS currently produces around 70,000 tailored blanks per year; from the end of 2006, annual output is planned to rise to approximately 820,000 blanks.

ThyssenKrupp Stahl pioneered the development of tailored blanks and through its subsidiary is world market leader for this product. ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks operates production facilities in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Mexico and China.

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