To secure its production capacity and minimize the risk of unplanned downtime of its press hardening equipment, Voestalpine in Cartersville, Georgia (USA), opted for the comprehensive service agreement with AP&T – an investment in safety that has proven to be very valuable.
For Voestalpine in Cartersville, time is of the essence. Here, structural components are manufactured for some of the world’s leading original equipment manufacturers, whose production relies on a constant flow of parts and components. Unplanned downtime in any part of the supply chain can have serious consequences.
“We have a great responsibility to our customers. If something goes wrong for us, it also causes problems for them. About a year ago, we were under a lot of pressure in our plant. Production was running virtually around the clock and we were producing enormous quantities. If operational problems suddenly arise in such a situation, it can be very costly for us and our customers. To minimize this risk, we decided to sign a service agreement with AP&T,” explains Fredrik Stålberg, Managing Director and CTO of Voestalpine in Cartersville.
The agreement includes two press hardening lines from AP&T, which have been in operation since 2017 and are critical to the plant’s production capacity. In order to ensure high machine availability, Voestalpine had originally decided to conclude a basic service agreement for the two plants. However, the value of a more comprehensive arrangement was soon discovered.
“We had very good discussions and went through their needs and conditions in detail, after which we created a proposal for a much more comprehensive service commitment,” says Magnus Svenningsson, Director of Aftermarket Sales at AP&T.
The agreement, signed in spring 2022, includes regular preventive maintenance, 24/7 online support and on-site support with priority response time, all for a fixed monthly price.
“It works perfectly. We now have access to fast, qualified support, even in the evenings and on weekends, which has already helped us a lot in some cases. Although most problems can be solved remotely, it is good to know that an AP&T technician can be on site at short notice if needed,” says Stålberg.
Tobias Kronstedt, Aftermarket Service Manager at AP&T in the USA, is also positive about the new arrangement. “With this new agreement, we can offer Voestalpine exactly the support it needs to secure its production. Our cooperation has developed very well,” he emphasizes.
For the future, Voestalpine is considering using other aspects of AP&T’s service offering. “We are currently in discussions with AP&T about working out an agreement that will ensure our uptime. This could mean, for example, handing over the storage of spare machine parts to AP&T and having them guarantee that we will receive the parts within a certain period of time. This could free up warehouse space and reduce capital commitment, which we obviously see as very beneficial.”