The factory in Detroit, Michigan, will produce laser-welded steel blanks. These will be stamped and assembled into a variety of auto parts, such as structural rails, door rings, door pillars, door inners and cowl sides.
By combining previously separate steel sheet parts, usually of differing thicknesses, a hot-stamped laser-welded blank is lighter and stronger than conventional parts. ArcelorMittal says this helps to improve vehicle crash performance while reducing weight, fuel consumption and emissions.
The new factory will initially operate with substantial open floor space to accommodate anticipated market growth during the coming five years. The initial payroll of more than 80 will increase to around 120 by 2023, the company said.
Among the products to be manufactured at the site is what ArcelorMittal describes as the industry’s first inner and outer door ring system, which will be installed in the all-new 2019 Honda Acura RDX. The innovation is the result of co-engineering efforts between ArcelorMittal and Honda Research and Development Americas, a partnership dating back to 2003.
ArcelorMittal’s nine tailored blank operations in the Americas currently produce more than 15m welded blanks a year.