There is more warm news for the supply chain, although it is not all good news as such. detroit free press A fire broke out at Tier 1 automotive OEM supplier Diecastal North America’s factory in Greenville, Michigan, around 9:45 p.m. Friday. Discastel North America’s web site says it manufactures “lightweight aluminum alloy wheels” and that its customer list includes Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. The cause of Friday evening’s fire remains under investigation, with emergency personnel saying it appears to have originated around the blast furnace room where molten aluminum and magnesium are prepared for the wheel-making process. Whatever caused the burning was of sufficient force to blow past the northeast corner of the building, creating a pile of debris made of material inside the plant. Residents for miles around claimed their homes were shaking from the initial boom.
The North American arm of Chinese firm CITIC Dicastal Co. is a subsidiary of The Chinese head office calls itself “the world’s largest supplier of aluminum alloy wheels”. automotive news The company was ranked 58th among the top 100 global auto suppliers in 2020 by sales.
One employee was injured in the blast, the person with serious burns was taken to the district hospital. All the laborers have been accounted for. Emergency crews said they had the fire under control in four hours and was out in six hours.
Smelting aluminum and magnesium is dangerous work at the best of times. In China in 2014, an explosion at the Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products factory near Shanghai killed 75 workers and injured 185. The fire was caused by aluminum dust created during the process of polishing aluminum wheels; Kunshan Zhongrong not only polished aluminum wheels for GM vehicles, but also was a component supplier of Dicastal. One of the worst factory explosions in recent memory, it was a series of events at the time that persuaded the Chinese government to overhaul factory safety standards.
Diecastel spent a little time here when it comes to fire. Two months earlier there had been a small fire at the same location, also on the roof, said to have centered on machinery that collected metal dust from the industrial process. In July 2020, there were three simultaneous fires at the plant. Another dust-collecting area caught fire in October 2019, a report at the time noted that “the DNA plant has caught fire several times within three years.” And if we switch to legal fire, the FBI raided the plant last July, which still hasn’t been disclosed.
We do not yet know what potential disruptions could result from the event. Diecastel’s plant here normally runs 24 hours a day, and despite extensive structure damage in the area where the explosion occurred, other parts of the plant remain at work. Vehicle manufacturers among reported customers who responded freepIn the queries of the officials either said that there will be no impact or they are looking into the matter.