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viastore selected to provide Automated Conveyor Solution for Global manufacturer of aluminum alloy wheels

viastore selected to provide automated conveyor solution for global manufacturer of aluminum alloy wheels


Dicastal North America, the North American division of CiTic Dicastal Co. Ltd. of Qinhuangdao, China announced it has selected viastore SYSTEMS, a leading material handling automation systems and software company, to supply and install an automated conveyor solution for the company’s new manufacturing facility in Greenville, MI (near Grand Rapids).

Dicastal North America manufactures aluminum alloy wheels and opened a production facility located at the former United Solar Ovonic LLC (Uni-Solar) campus in Greenville, MI. The campus was idled in 2012 when Uni-Solar’s parent company, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Michigan facility – Dicastal’s first wheel manufacturing operation in the US – will begin operation in 2016. When operational, the viastore automated conveyor solution, comprised of motorized driven roller (MDR) and chain driven live roller conveyor, will handle the automated movement of wheels from casting through machining and painting, to final inspection, before they ship to OEMs such as auto makers and retailers. The conveyors are specially designed so that the wheels can be transported directly on the conveyors without scratching or damaging them as they are polished as part of the manufacturing process.

Dicastal selected viastore after reviewing several companies. While being a Michigan-based company played a role in the selection, Dicastal also selected viastore because of an innovative design solution that reduced Dicastal’s upfront capital costs. “viastore was able to design a system for us that made sense and was economical to our needs today, yet allowed for growth for tomorrow,” said Bernie Polzin, GM/VP, Dicastal. “We’re eager to get the project underway.”

For viastore, the selection also made sense. “Dicastal is a good fit for viastore as we are both global companies and both manufacturers,” said Tom Tobin, CEO of viastore. “The company is making an investment in the West Michigan region by expanding manufacturing into the US market, and viastore’s global presence and experience with work in process manufacturing automation made viastore an ideal partner for this project.”

Bringing manufacturing from China to the West Michigan region, once a powerhouse for manufacturing, resonates with Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “The attraction of Dicastal North America to West Michigan not only brings new jobs to the region, but also new opportunities for our local supply chain manufacturers,” said Klohs. “We are pleased that viastore was able to capitalize on Dicastal’s investment in the region and bring new business to West Michigan.”

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