Through careful preliminary planning of the cooperation with various international partners local to Waldkirchen, the new forging line was installed within the scheduled timeframe of 2½ weeks from bringing-in. Staff had the first training sessions in the new technology at the same time. The challenges of bringing together the six different machines – bar steel shears with magazine; step conveyor; induction system, transverse wedge roller, forging press and eccentric press – in a forging line and any language barriers with the team of experts providing the instruction were successfully overcome with forward-looking measures and the high motivation of everyone involved.
"The induction into the new system was technically flawless. The simultaneous interpreter was given excellent technical instruction in advance, and was consistently able to explain the right connections throughout our employee training," says Walter Kremsreiter, Operations Manager of GEDORE Werkzeugfabrik in Waldkirchen, of the cooperation with the international team. "The high level of interest and pleasure in being able to accompany this new technology from the very beginning has made it much easier to overcome minor hurdles," agree the team headed up by Ludwig Schätzl, Christoph Mörtl and Robert Feichtenschlager of the forge at GEDORE Werkzeugfabrik in Waldkirchen.
Since the system was commissioned, a number of GEDORE combination spanners have been manufactured in test runs. Of all the planned tools, the deep offset shape was expected to be the most problematic for the new forging line, and so it was the first one to be addressed. This meant that the optimisation process could be refined directly on the most complicated case before further key widths, double open-ended spanners and straight combination spanners went into production.
The testing and optimisation stage of the forging line in which forging dies, among other items, are adapted to meet GEDORE's high quality standards is currently well underway. "Thanks to the optimisation, the work with the forging line will run flawlessly in the future, and we will use the new technology to produce premium tools that absolutely live up to the GEDORE name," explains Walter Kremsreiter. The time required for this is being invested, and the experience gained with the new forging line used to obtain the ideal end result. To ensure that there are no production gaps in this stage, the tools in question are also being produced simultaneously on the forging hammers that are also in the tool factory.
A number of advantages of the new forging line were already established during the current optimisation stage, and various stages in the process spatially combined. The new production method also eliminates the need for the time-consuming process of splitting, which is also one of the most dangerous tasks in tool production. "Operating the system is generally less effort than conventional forging. Furthermore, the forging line has intelligent light barriers and braking, so it offers a far higher level of safety at work in the event of danger," Ludwig Schätzl elaborates on a number of the new forging line's other advantages. In addition to the light barrier that can, for instance, detect the difference between blacksmith's tongs and a hand and stop the process directly in the event of danger, burring and punching while in the hot state also increases the occupational safety. As an employee can only carry out the process at this station with a set of pliers, there is no risk of anyone accidentally reaching into the machine.
"Everyone involved in the new forging line project has been pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick the commissioning and initial production were implemented. The optimisation processes will help us to exploit the full potential and many advantages of the new forging line for the production of high-quality GEDORE tools and employee safety in the future," Walter Kremsreiter sums up his impressions so far and the future prospects for working with the new system.
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