VOL. 3 August ISSUE YEAR 2002
in Vol. 3 - August Issue - Year 2002
Globally Present - Locally Anchored
Shot peening of 1200 suspension springs /h
Shot peening of up to 600 clutch springs
Turn over station for clutch springs
Interview with Hermann Brüngger,Executive Vice President, DISA Holding AG, Schaffhausen, Switzerland <br><br> Mr. Brüngger gave MFN the chance to ask questions about DISA's products, services, strengths and visions in the Shot Blast Division. <br> Founded in 1900, DISA is the world's leading supplier of foundry equipment, metal surface finishing systems, and solutions for air pollution control. With an outstanding commitment to research and development DISA is constantly setting new standards in the industry. With 2,500 employees and with 24 production facilities, sales and service offices, DISA is represented worldwide.
(?) MFN: DISA recently started to cooperate with SAVELLI another leading supplier of foundry systems. In April DISA acquired SERF in Lorient France with activities in the automatic trimming sector. In what way will that influence the "Shot Blast System" division?
(!) H. B.: DISA's strategy is to furnish the foundry industry with plants ranging from the molten metal to the completed component ready for mechanical machining. SAVELLI as a leading manufacturer of high performance flask lines fills the gap in horizontal moulding equipment.
SERF is the world's leading manufacturer of deburring and trimming systems for castings and is perfectly compatible with DISA's strategy. In many cases, moulding lines and automatic fettling operate in line with shot blast machines. With the integration of SERF in the DISA Group we come closer to realizing the aim of a "white foundry", as one of our objectives is to upgrade the workplace in the foundry and to eliminate physical strain on the operators by high temperatures, dust and other emissions.
(?) MFN: In your "Shot Blast Systems Division" former George Fischer, BMD, Vogel & Schemmann and Goff are integrated. That gives you access to a lot of know-how and experience. However, it must have been a demanding task to organize and restructure these resources in order to offer the best possible product and service. What have been the biggest challenges and how did you succeed?
(!) H. B.: With mergers it is always difficult to reconcile diverse company structures and cultures. By setting up competence centers with clear assignments of competence and tasks we have created good conditions for positive and creative work under the DISA Logo where everybody gets a chance to develop individual ideas and to take responsibility for them.
(?) MFN: For your "Shot Blast Systems" division you have manufacturing sites in Europe and the USA. Furthermore you entertain sales offices around the globe. Could you give us an insight of how you maintain your presence in the different markets and where you set your priorities.
(!) H. B.: In Europe we have centralized our production facilities in the Czech Republic near Prague where, during the past 5 years, we have set up a company equipped with the most advanced production plants and now employing about 300 people.
In the centers of competence in Schaffhausen, Karlsruhe and Hagen we develop new machines and make tests for our customers in modern testing centers. The activities of these centers of expertise also include concept engineering, selling, after-sales and spare parts services.
DISA Goff in Seminole (USA) is the center of competence for NAFTA with the know-how of the entire Group at its disposal. We have recently added a new production bay to this site and are employing 80 people.
DISA India at Bangalore is responsible for South East Asia. The company manufactures our standard range of products and employs approx. 80 people. For special plants DISA India receives assistance from Europe. Key components for integral plants are also bought in Europe and assembled in India.
DISA Changzhou in China is the youngest child of the DISA Family. At the present time a new factory is being built in Changzhou situated about a 2 hours drive west of Shanghai. The huge emerging Chinese market offers a great number of opportunities. At the moment we have about 70 employees in China with new ones added almost every day.
The demand in these markets is for solid, simple machines with no need for the high degree of mechanization required in Europe. There is enough manpower available in China. What counts are quality and a reliable technology. We think there is still a growth potential in the markets where we are active. Our four brands +GF+, BMD, V + S, and Goff enable us to make sustainable headway. We want to be present all over the world with local production sites and services.
(?) MFN: To what industries are you mostly delivering your equipment and what kind of parts do you usually deal with? Furthermore, to what extent do you get involved beyond supplying peening or blasting equipment and do you assist the customer in developing a process?
(!) H. B.: Traditionally our main customers for shot blast machines are in the foundry industry where we are renowned for our high-capacity and rugged machines all over the world.
But also in steel production and treatment we have made a name for ourselves, especially for descaling of steel-strip (where we have installed the most powerful shot blast machine), wire, bars and billets.
In the field of shot peening we have so far concentrated on the blast wheel process. A new development is shot blast machines for stress peening of coil and leaf springs.
It is obvious that we primarily target customers in the automotive industry and their subsuppliers by offering them heavy-duty systems for the production of gear units, clutches and coil springs used in chassis and engines (valve springs). Integrating shot peening systems into complex production processes is quite common nowadays. We also design and supply such systems in connection with robots tailored to our customers' specifications. Configuration of the program software is always in-house.
(?) MFN: Comparing air and wheel blast systems. What are the most significant technical differences?
(!) H. B.: In shot blasting with blast wheels we generally have much higher abrasive throughputs than for nozzle blasting. The current technical standards are throughputs of up to 500 kg abrasive per wheel and minute and throwing speeds of up to 100 m per sec. But for shot blasting with blast wheels, too, process reliability is a must. Abrasive throughput, throwing speed and dwell periods are adjusted and monitored to suit a specific type of workpiece. Moreover, the abrasive mix is of utmost importance. As abrasive consumption is considerable at such high throughput rates, abrasive has to be added continuously depending on the amount of abrasive used. Customers want us to design rugged machines with low maintenance and wear parts having a long service life.
(?) MFN: Your "Shot Blast Systems" division has a variety of different technologies to offer. Could you mention and explain a particular one, which more than others, contributes to the good reputation your products have?
(!) H. B.: As the shot blast machines of the former companies Georg Fischer and BMD were originally made for the foundry industry, the designs of rugged and low-maintenance machines was the rule. This design concept has also been adopted for descaling and shot peening. Therefore, we are convinced that for shot blasting such prime factors as maintenance costs, functionality (uptime) of the machine and the service life of the wear parts rather than the capital investment are decisive for successful payback.
(?) MFN: In terms of future business developments and strategy, where do you see the "Shot Blast Systems" division 5 years from now?
(!) H. B.: We see ourselves as locally anchored global player. Worldwide there is only one DISA quality standard, independent of where production takes place. Our shot blast technology can be retrieved from locations all over the world. Whether in China, India, USA or Europe - the same name, the same quality, and a technology standard adapted to the individual market. We do want to expand into areas other than foundries.
We also want to develop new innovative products because there is no future without innovation. Shot blasting with blast wheels - and this is our conviction - still has a potential for further development as it is an environment-friendly and reliable machining process for a great variety of applications.
We at MFN would like to thank Mr. Hermann Brüngger for this interview.