Aluminum giant Alcoa has opened a new facility in Modena specifically to provide aluminum space frames and components to Ferrari.
The two companies began collaborating in 1994, when Ferrari determined that the lightweight metal was the way to go to reduce weight and improve the dynamics of its road cars, and began producing the space frames for the 360 Modena in 1998. Today Alcoa is Ferrari's development and construction partner, with the aluminum conglomerate providing the frames for the F430, 612 Scaglietti and the new 599 GTB Fiorano.
Until now, Alcoa produced the components at their own plants in Hungary, Germany and the Netherlands and sent them to the Ferrari factory in Italy where Alcoa personnel assembled them into full space frames at Scaglietti Works, Ferrari's body panel facility. With the new state-of-the-art 5,000-square-meter, million-euro facility, Alcoa will produce the space frames on site. The factory includes two high-speed robotic machining centers, two robotic joining centers and 12 space-frame assembly cells.
Alcoa's overall investment in Italy totals nearly $300 million, having taken over Alumix in 1996 and incorporating six facilities: three extrusion plants, two smelters and one rolling mill, employing 1,900 workers directly and 4,000 indirectly. While we're not likely to see any direct results from the new facility, it should help Ferrari produce its cars more efficiently, which is good all around.
[Source: FerrariWorld via Motorpasion]