Scania is a world leading manufacturer of trucks for distribution, long-distance and heavy transport applications, buses and coaches. The Swedish provider of transport solutions strongly focusses on innovation, environmental impact and customer satisfaction. This also includes the development and improvement of a new generation truck engines.
A foundry with real and exceptional sustainability
For Scania, to support its goals in view of development(s) of both product and production processes of key castings for the various generations of truck engines, the realization of new foundry works became an obvious step to take. Strategic product development, including direction, supply and demand, global market development, and even location are ongoing topics for consideration and action within Scania and the group it is member of. However, for the new foundry works, another parallel recurring discussion took place that increasingly focused on the desire to build a foundry with a real and exceptionally high level of sustainability. Targeting e.g. the use of 100 percent renewable energy and zero CO2 emissions was one of the sustainability objectives for the new foundry. That sustainability concept for the new foundry was fully in line with Scania's "strategy for the future".
Investment decision and basic concept design 2017 - GEMCO as partner
In 2017 the investment decision was taken for the realization of a New Foundry at Scania’s premises in Södertälje, Sweden. For Scania it also meant that Södertälje remains the epicentre of development and production. For the realization of the foundry Scania worked with Gemco as its foundry engineering and project management partner. The cooperation between Scania and Gemco however started long before this project, as it was about ten years ago that Scania engaged Gemco for the development of a new casting. The decision to build a new foundry was agreed after an extensive period of close cooperation between Scania and Gemco in which different alternatives were considered and carefully analysed, including the modernization and extension of the existing foundry.
Also in 2017 the basic concept for the New Foundry was made, in which Scania and Gemco put together the principal layout, sizing of the main equipment, the budget for the process, a project plan and cooperation structure, and time-schedule. In order to achieve the closest possible cooperation with Scania, at all time, Gemco engineers would reside Södertälje.
98,000m² area - 35,000m² foundry - 65,000 t of good castings per year
The new to build casting facility was realized on new factory premises (of approximately 98,000m2 overall) of which the foundry facility occupies 35,000m2 for a production of 65.000t/yr. of good castings. That is three times the capacity of the existing foundry. This production will be achieved with the same number of people that work in the existing foundry, which are approximately 200 persons.
To achieve both efficient as well as sustainable production (with SDG’s in mind) only the most up-to-date technologies and even completely new technological solutions were applied. Solutions were designed and created in multilateral cooperation between Scania’s project organization -which includes Scania production, engineers, and maintenance and safety representatives -, Gemco engineers and the equipment manufacturing companies, as well as the building engineering company. Before deciding for a solution principle, thorough evaluations were made from every perspective, such as efficiency, maintainability, operator safety and environmental impact. During the early stages Gemco calculated key figures for energy needed and for the requisite of water, compressed air and other media. A task not to be underestimated, to list and map out the requirements for processes of equipment consumption not yet determined, while Sweco did the engineering of the building.
Teamwork and constant inspiration for ambitious goals
"Our high ambitions and technical solutions inspired and challenged us and our suppliers to raise the level in the work on energy efficiency, which will certainly benefit the foundry industry in the future” says Mikael Lindén project manager for the new foundry.
Notwithstanding a tripling of production capacity, the improved materials handling and newly introduced sand recycling significantly reduce the required transport per cast unit. Energy usage will decrease while improved casting processes and heat recovery allow for energy gains.
"We are convinced that the new foundry brings Scania closer to the goal of sustainable production," according to Anders Svensson, energy and development engineer at Scania
For the realization of the project Gemco delivered project management support, integration design and engineering, specialized area project managers for charge, melt and pour, sand preparation and reclamation, environmental and heat recovery and moulding; shake out and casting-cooling departments.
“I want to emphasize that together with Scania we all acted as one team for the design and commissioning of the complete foundry, combining knowledge and expertise from different angles”, according Gemco Project Manager Cees Noortman.
Overall, a combined team of 50 people had to be managed and it takes good teamwork and great team effort for a successful realization of such a project.
Gemco also supplied site management during the construction phase on site. A big challenge was that certain detailed engineering was still ongoing during the building construction. And also the tough time table, as is usual in the industry sector. During the entire duration of the project, there has been a very close collaboration with Skanska (building contractor) and Sweco (building design).
The first casting in the new foundry was carried out in December 2020 and production is currently ramping up.
Gemco will further support Scania in the ramp-up phase. Together with Scania Gemco will follow the production processes closely, for instance to measure the equipment performances. Gemco will be engaged in the project at least until the new foundry is in regular production.
“We are really pleased with this reference project and the very good cooperation with the Scania team. To have contributed to this big foundry project with a three times higher capacity than the old one. To realize special solutions together, to achieve 50% more energy efficiency, significantly reduce waste streams and to reduce the carbon footprint of the factory was a challenge and I believe that together we have been successful on the goals set before we started the project.
All in all, it has been a very stimulating and interesting project”, deems finally Cees Noortman, project manager at Gemco.