Aalberts Surface Technologies Shifts Austempering to Ohio, Closes Arkansas Plant

AFS Corporate Member Aalberts surface technologies, a global provider of specialized thermal processing, surface treatment, and material coating solutions, has made investments in its Canton, Ohio facility to add austempering capabilities that will provide a logistically favorable option to customers located in the Midwest, Eastern, and Northeastern U.S. markets. To balance the capacity available in the market with demand, the company will be closing its plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“The expansion of our austempering capabilities in Canton provides current and prospective customers in the area with an opportunity to take advantage of our best-in-class value proposition while not having to absorb added logistical costs to do so,” said Steve Wyatt, president of Aalberts surface technologies – HIP | braze | heat treatment. “The decision to exit the austempering market in the South was a difficult one, but the market for austempering in the addressable market for our Arkansas plant simply is not sufficient to sustain the operation. We recognize the hardships that this difficult decision may create and will be working with our Fort Smith Team to minimize the impact as much as possible, including exploring opportunities at one of the many other Aalberts locations.” 

The austempering capabilities in Canton were scheduled to begin mid-February and are expected to be fully production ready by the end of March. The decommissioning of the Fort Smith plant began in mid-February 2024, with production expected to cease no later than April 2024. 

“We are focused on optimizing our portfolio around the globe; this initiative is about responding to what the market needs and where it is needed,” said Oliver Jaeger, CEO of Aalberts surface technologies. “In our business, logistics is a significant percentage of the total cost of our services, therefore, we must constantly be seeking ways to minimize that cost for our customers. We are committed to growing in the U.S. and look forward to partnering with our customers to develop solutions that contribute to our mutual success.”