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25 Years of Expertise and Innovation: Amstetten Site of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG Celebrates Anniversary

09/30/2010


  • Company invests 450 million Euro since the site's foundation
  • One of the most competitive and state-of-the-art foundries and large-part production facilities in Europe
  • New hand-molding plant to open by the end of the year
  • Contract manufacturing is gaining in significance
  • Driving force behind training in the region
25 years of expertise and innovation: The foundry and mechanical large-part production facility of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) at the Amstetten site is celebrating a special anniversary. The new plant was taken into operation on August 19, 1985, after 35 months of construction. It is here that the side frames, cylinders, and bases are produced for Heidelberg printing presses, thus laying the foundation for the company's quality offset printing.

The Amstetten site is part of the Heidelberg production network, which also includes sites in Brandenburg (small-part production) and Wiesloch-Walldorf (production and assembly). In 25 years, the site has produced almost one million metric tons of cast iron and more than a million cylinders. The total investment volume for the site amounts to over 450 million Euro. These investments, coupled with an established process of continuous improvement, give the site its competitive edge and safeguard the innovative strength of Heidelberg as a whole. Since its foundation, the Amstetten site has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most state-of-the-art foundries and large-part production facilities in Europe, setting benchmarks in quality, precision, and environmental protection. With a workforce of some 1,100 employees, including 86 trainees, the site is also one of the biggest employers in the Alb-Donau district.

"Heidelberg continues to invest in the Amstetten site, because the parts produced here are of central importance for our presses. The quality and precision of the components produced here is second to none. It would not be cost-effective for Heidelberg to buy these parts anywhere else," explains Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment, stressing the importance of this site for the whole company.

New hand-molding plant to open by the end of the year
The latest investment project to the tune of some 4 million Euro is a new hand-molding plant for the production of castings weighing up to six metric tons. This is where, for example, impression cylinders for Heidelberg large-format presses with a sheet width of up to 162 centimeters will be produced. The new area is scheduled to be taken into operation by the end of this year.

Contract manufacturing is gaining in significance
Increasingly, the site's high quality and cutting-edge production methods are enabling the company to offer its products and production services to external customers, too. It is primarily companies from various areas in the mechanical engineering sector, such as those specializing in machine tools, construction machinery, and medical technology, that are increasingly drawing on the production expertise offered by the Amstetten site.

"Investments in state-of-the-art workstations and highly cost-effective production facilities in the foundry and mechanical production unit are hugely important for improving the site's competitive edge. The growing number of projects in external contract manufacturing underlines that Heidelberg is right to continue developing the site," explains Thorsten Kirchmayer, Head of the Amstetten site.

Sophisticated transport logistics
Most Heidelberg sheetfed offset presses are assembled in Wiesloch-Walldorf, and the majority of parts produced in Amstetten are transported here using the environmentally friendly option of railroads. Every day, an average of four wagons with 200 metric tons of material leave Amstetten and are ready for unloading in Wiesloch around three and a half hours later. A smaller part of the production volume is supplied by the Quingpu site near Shanghai, which was opened in 2007. Here, Heidelberg produces presses up to the 70x100 cm format for the local market.

Amstetten site is the driving force behind training in the region
A well-trained workforce plays a crucial part in corporate success. With around eight percent of the total workforce made up of trainees, the Heidelberg site in Amstetten makes a significant contribution to training in the region. Since 1985, the company has trained almost 900 specialist workers in Amstetten.

Site history goes back more than 160 years
The history of the site began in 1850 with the Maschinenfabrik Geislingen (MAG), which initially manufactured milling machines, water wheels, and water turbines. In 1914, MAG started producing castings for Schnellpressenfabrik Heidelberg (renamed Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG in 1967) and in the following decades enjoyed a reputation for top-quality casting. Heidelberg acquired MAG in 1929. Owing to a lack of space for expansion and a growth in demand for multicolor presses, the company decided to build a new foundry and large-part production facility in Amstetten in 1977. The production facilities were officially opened on August 19, 1985. The site has continually been extended and technologically upgraded since then. The initial investment volume was 250 million Euro. The latest investment project is the new hand-molding plant, which is scheduled to be taken into operation by the end of the year.

Figure 1: Continuous investments in new charging vehicles or, as shown here, a new suction hood for the smelting furnaces, secures the competitiveness of the Amstetten foundry site.

Figure 2: The investments in cylinder machining made over the past years have further increased quality and efficiency of this area.

Figure 3: The Amstetten site has a long history. The Maschinenfabrik Geislingen (MAG) was founded in 1850 for the production of milling machines, water wheels, and water turbines, before it was acquired in 1929 by the then Schnellpressenfabrik Heidelberg.

Figure 4: The foundry and mechanical large-part production facility of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG at the Amstetten site is one of the most state-of-the-art of its kind in Europe.

For further information, please visit www.heidelberg.com.
Further information for journalists:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Corporate Public Relations
Matthias Hartung
Phone: +49 (0)6221 92 5077
Fax: +49 (0)6221 92 995077
E-mail: matthias.hartung@heidelberg.com

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