The Stock and Service Center Europe which Outokumpu VDM runs at its corporate seat in Werdohl, Germany, is now shining in new splendor. This is because it has undergone extensive expansion in the last few weeks.
3,500 additional square meters of floor space, five new overhead cranes, a brand-new water-jet cutting machine and a new sprinkler system – these are the most important items of the investment package. The purpose of the extension is to permit continuous future growth.
"The surface area of our Service Center has been nearly doubled. The rear part of our hall was separate from the rest of the shop and served as storage space for other VDM divisions. This area, just around 3,500 square meters in all, has now been integrated into the Service Center," explains Lars Klöpper, Head of the Service Center.
By tearing down the partition wall and making the floor even, optimum working conditions have been created. "The additional space has enabled us to reorganize and optimize our work processes," says Klöpper. Thanks to the new overhead cranes, accessing the newly added area poses no problem at all.
The centerpiece of the investment project is the new water-jet cutting machine, which has increased the offered range of sizes. From now on, the Service Center can process plate and sheet sizes up to 3 by 13 meters in thicknesses of up to 200 millimeters. The new machine features a maximum pressure of 6,000 bar and two cutting heads. "Jobs we previously had to contract out – such as cutting very thick titanium plate to size – can now be done in-house. With the new machine we are now optimally positioned," says Klöpper.
Reliably meeting the need for small lots with short lead times is the bread-and-butter of the employees at the Service Center in Werdohl. In terms of materials, the portfolio stretches from corrosion-resistant alloys such as VDM® Alloy C-276 (Nicrofer® 5716 hMoW) and high-temperature alloys such as VDM® Alloy 602 CA (Nicrofer® 6025 HT) to titanium alloys such as VDM® Ti Grade 2.
The Service Center was established in 2002. During the initial years, the focus was on heating conductor wire. In 2008, sheet, plate and rods were added to the portfolio. At the same time, a Trumpf laser cutting machine for plates and sheets of up to 20 millimeters thickness as well as a Behringer band saw for rods with a diameter of up to 440 millimeters were acquired to expand machining capacities.
"Order sizes of 1 to 1,000 kilograms are standard for us, although we have also met needs of up to 15 tons with short delivery times in the past. Our customers expect swift and reliable service, which means we respond to enquiries within 24 hours and, if need be, deliver the material the next day," Klöpper points out. Over the last few years, the Service Center has continuously increased its sales volumes. "Thanks to the recent investments, we will now be able to continue this trend," says Klöpper.
Marketing & Regional Management, Outokumpu VDM
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