Foundry Corporate News Topic Discharging, Decoring, Fettling, Finishing

New senior leadership at Wheelabrator

Surface tech veteran to head up global wheelblast business

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Wheelabrator, part of Norican Group, has strengthened its global leadership team with the recent appointment of Magdalene Höltke (Magda) as Senior Vice President Global Wheel. Magda will, as part of a planned succession process, take over from Heinrich Dropmann. Heinrich, with his more than 30 years of service at Wheelabrator, will continue with the company but will focus on sales and business development, putting his extensive knowledge and experience to the service of Wheelabrator’s global customer base.

Magda holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry, as well as an MBA, and has spent most of her career working across surface technology and automotive coatings, with nearly 15 years at BASF Coatings, in strategic leadership, R&D and technical roles. She joins Wheelabrator from PETER/LACKE Group where she was Technology Director with European responsibility.

Based at the global wheelblast technology center in Metelen, Germany, Magda will oversee the entire global wheelblast business from innovation strategy and technology development to sales and business growth.

Lars Priess, President of Wheelabrator, comments: “Magda is joining Wheelabrator at a crucial time in its over a 100-year history. Wheelblasting plays a key role in the making of so many things, from cast iron cookware to crucial components for infrastructure and automotive. Since the beginning of this century, new demands on the blast process have emerged: increasing automation, improved sustainability, radical efficiency.

“There are completely new products to treat too: 3D-printed parts, battery housings for EVs, new energy infrastructure. All that means we need to put innovation at the heart of our wheelblast offering in new, faster ways. And that’s what I’ve asked Magda to drive. I’m delighted she’s accepted the challenge.”
Magda adds: “Shot blasting takes me even closer to the surface than my previous roles. It’s an endlessly fascinating process for which Wheelabrator has incredibly strong technology. It’s my ambition to take this technology to a completely new level.

“Never before have we had so many tools at our disposal to continuously improve performance. Data insights, relentless testing, scientific investigation, new materials – they all help design better wheels, better processes, and transform what wheelblasting can deliver as a high-tech, sustainable process. And we’re feeding the latest innovations into our customers’ processes on ever faster cycles. Whether it’s through digital tools, improved wear parts or upgrades and retrofits. That’s pretty exciting.”

Magda’s appointment is part of a series of strategic investments in Wheelabrator’s Global Wheel technology center. A bigger test center with 16 machines was established in a brand-new building in Metelen in 2022 and materials scientist Christian Timmer joined the team in January 2024 to head up Wheelabrator’s expanded global testing and lab capabilities.


Company Info

Wheelabrator Group Ltd.

22 Edward Court
WA14 5GL Altrincham

Telephone: +44 161 928 6388