Pulling (steel) together

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We at Walzwerke Einsal,

at home in Nachrodt in South Westphalia, are one of the specialist suppliers of stainless long products - and not only in Germany, but also far beyond the borders. The variety of materials, the range of dimensions and production options make our company a multi-niche specialist that is second to none. In spite of its great age - 346 years to be precise - Walzwerke Einsal is by no means getting on in years, rather our company is positioning itself innovation-oriented and modern - and that in every respect.

Walzwerke Einsal's managing director Dr. Bodo Reinke says: “The spiral of customer requirements keeps turning, both for the product and for the service. Regardless of the special conditions in 2021, it is our task to accept this challenge and also to continuously improve.“ „And that is exactly why we have continued to invest in production and marketing this year,“ confirms sales manager Jochem Hache, „the new straightening system for high straightness requirements, integrated with a line for laser markings and a record of straightness measurement, heat treatment systems for special thermal requirements for aerospace materials, duplex steels and nickel-based alloys has been completed.

The acquisition of the new band saw from Behringer GmbH is also worth mentioning. The saw cuts in a controlled feed rate or manually to the length requested by the customer. The smallest length tolerance according to DIN ISO 2768 Part 1-f is adhered to and it does not matter whether it is sawn in a bundle or as a single bar. Even short pieces from 10 mm are no problem.“ Hache, with over 45 years of experience in the stainless steel industry, takes on the task of finding solutions for every problem with his competent team.

Flexible, efficient, competent, creative

This is also reflected in our own self-image and the associated market presence of Walzwerke: „The aim is to be creative in every respect, to consider and approach problem solutions from different positions if necessary. But it's also about remaining as flexible as customers expect from a medium-sized company, for example when time is tight. At the same time, all processes have to be extremely efficient - as lean as possible, in a combination of modern, alternative and traditional processes,“ Reinke continues.

Most recently, the aviation industry in particular has become a target market for the company. Here - partially remelted - materials with the highest requirements are offered. Among other things, the approval according to EN 9100, which was recertified in 2020, speaks for Walzwerke Einsal as a partner for high-quality solutions. Furthermore, our customers can be found in almost all industries that rely on quality steel - including energy and environmental technology as well as the automotive industry. „Our strength is to be able to meet the requirements in a wide variety of industries - especially in terms of quality and advice - repeatedly and successfully. In production, requirements are taken into account that are not available in this form in standard retail. In addition to geometric requirements, the most important criteria for such products are purity, durability and structure. Walzwerke Einsal also supplies long products in flat, square and special materials in hexagon with high mechanical properties for the valve and armature industry“, emphasizes Hache.

Expansion of dimensions for hot-rolled steel bars

An era comes to an end. On October 4, 2021, after more than 125 years, the last billet was hot-rolled as a profile for the manufacture of clamping jaws on the 330 millimeter rolling mill

In 1895, in addition to an existing 220 trio rolling mill, a 330 double trio rolling mill was put into operation. It was driven by a Brockmann water turbine. Hot-rolled flat, square, round and hexagonal dimensions as well as special profiles were rolled in 3-shift operation, until in October 1992, after an investment of around 15 million euros, a fully automated, process-controlled flat rolling block for flat and square dimensions replaced this area of the open 330 gauge mill. This investment not only went hand in hand with a considerable increase in efficiency, but also through the use of this challenging technology, completely new products could be developed in two-shift operation

On the 330, even smaller flat and square dimensions under 25 mm and special profiles were rolled in one shift every day. The competitive situation for profiles with low prices from Eastern Europe and Asia led, after personal discussions with long-term customers, to the decision to shut down the 330 mm rolling mill, which was operated with high personnel costs. All employees could continue to be employed in other production areas.

Investments are implemented

At the same time, an investment was initiated on the flat billet last year, which enables us not only to roll flat and square dimensions under 25 mm, but also to produce smaller cross-sections such as 14 x 5 mm or 14 mm square. The hot-rolled dimensions can be further cold-formed in our bar drawing shop in order to meet the requirements for better surfaces, higher work hardening and tighter tolerances. This area opens up new markets and products for Einsal for applications in the aerospace industry, medical technology and offshore, among others. In connection with our single-rod heat treatment furnace after rolling, we can now also offer duplex steels and nickel-based alloys for small cross-sections below 250 mm² for batches of 500 kg or more. This creates new challenges for our company in the international market.

Specially developed materials, such as the Einsal A-101, are used there under the most stringent requirements. The material Einsal A-101 has a very high corrosion resistance and is non-magnetic. In comparison with proven materials of this type, Einsal A-101 is characterized by its improved cold formability and the ability to achieve higher mechanical properties. All of these properties, in conjunction with high resistance to pressurized hydrogen, ensure that this material is optimally used in the chemical, petroleum and petrochemicals industries.

Walzwerke Einsal is also breaking new ground when it comes to sustainability. „Climate protection and environmentally friendly production are not just empty phrases for us. We implement this in our company every day. This ranges from our own hydropower plant for energy generation to the constant reduction of emissions and innovative energy-saving projects to sheep grazing in the green areas and the spacious orchard on the site, "explains Dr. Reinke and adds, “Imagine that we have been working at the same location for 345 years without harming nature. This shows that industry in Germany is definitely possible.“

The future

If the managing director and sales manager have their way, it should stay that way in the future. The needs of customers must be recognized and the willingness to invest must be maintained. After all, we at Walzwerke Einsal are not a serial producer - the number of national and international customers is growing and with it the variety in our own production. All of this only works if you don't ignore the topic of digitization. With the relaunch of the website at www.einsal.com, we are now not only offering interested parties a new look at the company: In addition to the very detailed inquiry tool, there are also tools for calculating bar lengths, bar weight and corrosion resistance, for example. The new homepage also offers a new area: WE Know-How. Here we are constantly providing insights into exciting topics relating to stainless steel in order to provide even better support to those interested in finding their product.