State-of-the-art aluminium extrusion facility due online by end of the year

Altus national operations manager Mark Kennedy.

Rapidly expanding company is adding a new 6500sq m plant to its Hamilton site to accommodate the installation of another extrusion press line by the end of 2022.

Aluminium extrusion specialist Altus is on track to have the most state-of-the-art facilities for extrusion and powder coating in New Zealand.

The company is rapidly expanding its Hamilton site with a new 6500sq m plant to accommodate the installation of another extrusion press line by the end of 2022.

Altus national operations manager Mark Kennedy says the expansion is in direct response to the increasing demand for Altus products, which are sold to Window and Door Joinery Franchisees and industrial customers, as well as being part of a strategic plan to revolutionise the way Altus does things.

Once complete, staff numbers are tipped to increase by 25% to more than 230, with developments set to double the extrusion output at the Altus site by July 2023.

“The business has invested in the most advanced technology to maximise the extrusion output,” Kennedy says.

$25 million-plus investment

“With a total investment of over $25 million, it includes a solar power installation to supply approximately 20% of the new factory’s power requirements.

“As a building industry example, the increased capacity is the equivalent to producing aluminium windows and doors for approximately 25,000 houses.”

Alongside this, Altus supplies aluminium to many other different industries, made specifically to order to suit many different wide and varied innovations coming from Altus’ industrial customers.

“The capabilities we will have developed by the end of 2022 will put Altus at the forefront of the aluminium extrusion and finishing industry in New Zealand,” Kennedy says.

“The investment in the Te Rapa site started in 2015 with a new 8in Turla Extrusion Line, followed closely in 2018 with a SAT vertical powdercoat line and, finally this year, with this second extrusion line.

80 new jobs added

“We believe that success is better shared, and so we see this as a real win for our customers and the Altus team,” he says.

With a larger footprint due to this recent business investment, team growth is required, with Altus adding 50 new full-time roles in the past 12 months. There will be a further 30 positions to be filled by the end of the year.

“We have a range of employment opportunities available, from machine operators to technical and process specialists. We’re really looking forward to growing our team,” Kennedy says.

“We strongly believe in growing and developing our people, as well as providing support for staff to advance within the organisation. We’re also proud of the long service many of our staff have dedicated to Altus.

“With 199 staff having worked more than 10 years or more, and with 57 of those having been employed by Altus for more than 25 years, we have a reputation for care of our people and providing a great work environment.”

The Pukete site in Hamilton has been producing aluminium products since the very early 1980s when it traded as South Pacific Aluminium.

It has been through various changes of ownership since then, including being known as Fletcher Aluminium, COMALCO and National Aluminium Limited (NALCO).

In 2016, the joint venture between NALCO and Fletcher Aluminium formed Altus.

Key facts about the new extrusion press being imported from Italy:

• Installation is expected to take three months, with teams working around the clock.

• Extrudes aluminium at over 500° Celsius and over 50 metres in length.

• All aluminium for extrusion is sourced locally from NZ Aluminium Smelters at Tiwai Point in Invercargill.

• All scrap is recovered and recycled via third parties (aluminium can be recycled indefinitely with no impact on its material properties).

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