The Light Metal Casting division of the Handtmann Group of Companies is increasing its production capacity with a new building in Kechnec (Slovakia), approximately 20 kilometres from the existing Handtmann plant in Košice. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new factory for aluminium high-pressure die-casting and mechanical machining was held on 23rd August, 2019. The building, designed to allow for expansion at a later date, is scheduled to begin a trial period as early as 2020 and start production in 2021. Handtmann will invest a total of € 90 million in the new building.
The first development stage will see the construction of a 210-metre long hall with a floorspace of 18,000 square metres divided into three sections. The casting hall will house six die casting machines, each with a closing force of 3,200 tons. Machines for the mechanical machining of the cast parts will be installed in the second building section. The third section is reserved for logistics and support provisions, such as quality inspection, maintenance and media and energy supply. A great deal of experience gained by internal and external specialists has been tapped into for the design of the modular floor plan. In addition, Handtmann is also building an office and community building where the canteen, social rooms and changing rooms will be located. Approximately 160 people will be employed in Kechnec in the first development stage.
The new building was necessitated by a major contract from an international automotive supplier. In the future, Handtmann aims to cast and machine up to 800,000 clutch housings for a new generation of front-wheel drive vehicles in Kechnec. At the request of the customer, the new plant is located in the direct vicinity of their production facility. Handtmann had already bought the plot in 2006 in order to have an appropriate space in reserve.
The Handtmann project team is working to a tight schedule, which is usually the case with this type of contract. As early as one year after the groundbreaking ceremony, the hall is scheduled to be completed to such an extent that plant installation can begin. The first casting at the new location is also planned for 2020 so that the customer can be supplied with appropriate trial parts at an early stage. Normal production is then set to start in 2021.