The world’s largest production site for laser-welded blanks is to benefit from a EUR16 million expansion programme as the automotive sector looks for what Austria-based steelmaker voestalpine calls ‘lightweight construction solutions’.

Linz, Austria, is now the world’s largest production site for the manufacture of laser-welded blanks after a second plant was opened by voestalpine in 2016.

Wolfgang Eder, chairman of the management board of voestalpine AG, said that positive developments in the lightweight construction sector require correspondingly modern production sites.

The global market for lightweight automotive components will have increased fivefold to EUR100 billion by 2025 and expansion at Linz will create 50 jobs.

“We are growing significantly faster than the market,” said Peter Schwab, member of the management board of voestalpine AG and head of the metal forming division.

According to Schwab, voestalpine’s pioneering technology and ‘exceptionally innovative, flexible, and highly qualified employees’, are the reason behind its continued success.

Laser-welded blanks are used wherever a vehicle needs to be safer and lighter.