The highly successful Ortrander Eisenhütte foundry in south-east Germany is now adding DISA New Generation vertical moulding technology to its ambitious upgrading strategy to meet the challenges of global markets.
Founded in 1887, the Ortrander Eisenhütte foundry employs some 200 people in the production of thin-walled, large surface components for household appliances and wood stoves as well as grey iron, spheroidal graphite cast iron and vermicular graphite cast iron automotive components. The foundry specializes in short runs and has annual sales of EUR 32 million with about 68 per cent of production being exported to other EU countries.
Commitment to advanced technology
“Our enormous expansion in recent years has been driven by the acquisition of the latest foundry technologies,” says managing director Bernd H. Williams-Boock. “From being a regional force back in the nineties, we are now thinking globally and globalization makes demands in terms of quality, output and flexibility that only the best technologies can deliver.”
From the DISAMATIC to the DISA New Generation
A DISA customer since 1971, Ortrander Eisenhütte was already well acquainted with DISAMATIC vertical moulding technology, in particular the larger size moulding machines.
“Since 2003, rising demand has almost tripled our output,” Mr Williams-Boock continues. “Our DISAMATIC 2070 MK2-A had served us well, but requirements were beginning to outpace its capacity. We had been one of the first to purchase a DISA 230-A and had had excellent results with the higher speed and precision of DISA New Generation technology. In 2006 I spoke with Mr Michael Colditz, Area Sales Manager from DISA, at a convention in Duisburg and we began to lay plans for a major upgrade of our moulding capacity.”
The final test of the DISA 270-A machine for Ortrander Eisenhütte was celebrated together with Mr Rosai, owner of Ortrander Eisenhütte, Mr Williams-Boock, Managing Director, Dr Wolf, President of VDG, and representatives from DISA.
Flexibility, speed and precision
“We specialize in Just-in-Time deliveries,” Mr Williams-Boock explains,” and that means that flexibility and quick pattern changes are absolutely imperative. The precision and speed of the DISA moulding machine together with an automatic pattern changer mean that we can achieve much higher outputs for short runs, secure in the knowledge that the mould quality is always on specification.”
Direct transfer of pattern plates
The foundry decided to replace its DISAMATIC 2070 MK2-A with the new, high-speed DISA 270-A, taking advantage of the fact that the pattern plates could be transferred directly to the new machine. In addition, it was decided to further expand capacity with a DISA 240-C. The DISA 270-A was commissioned in August 2007, and the DISA 240-C is due for delivery in 2008.
The plan is to continue to operate the DISAMATIC 2070 MK2-A in its present location until it has to be dismantled and removed to make way for the new DISA 240-C.
The first mould comes off the DISA 270-A. From the left: Jan Johansen, EVP DISA Industries, Kaspersen Hansen, Deputy Mayor of Herlev, Claus Boye Clausen, Project Manager DISA, Mr. Williams-Boock, Managing Director Ortrander Eisenhütte, and Mr Rosai, owner of Ortrander Eisenhütte.
Moulding line planning and design support
“We also decided to build a second new building to house the new plant. This meant that the DISA 270-A has been joined by a shake-out and a castings cooler with the castings being transported across to the second new building for shot blasting,” Mr Williams-Boock continues. “DISA assisted us in planning the new buildings and engineering the new DISA 270-A moulding line, while we focused our resources on driving our core business.”
Poised for further growth
The extensions and upgrades at Ortrander Eisenhütte mean that the foundry is now poised to take on new customers and markets. “When it comes to employees and many suppliers, we still think locally. But when it comes to sales and markets, our mindset is now nothing less than global,” Mr Williams-Boock concludes.