What would gardeners do without sharp hedge shears or robust saws? A piece of furniture that was missing hinges and fixtures would be a very shaky thing. A car without seat rails, seat belt buckles, or clutch plates in modern automatic transmissions – unthinkable.
“We create the basic raw materials for products in the premium car, furniture and tool industries: cold strip and spring steel, heat-treated steel and steel strip,” says Hans Peter Borowa, head of purchasing, logistics, and materials administration at Risse + Wilke. The family company was founded in 1920 and is in the Top Six of its industry. It enjoys a solid reputation for custom-tailored solutions of the highest quality.
Up to 500 meters per minute
Massive investments have been made to keep things that way. A new re-rolling stand, which works trouble-free and with the highest precision, went into operation in 2013. During re-rolling, also called skin pass rolling, the steel can be rolled to meet very exact requirements, thanks to high-precision skin pass control with laser measurements.
“In three shifts six days a week, we can roll cold strip with a width of up to 820 millimeters at a speed of up to 500 meters per minute and a rolling force of 600 metric tons,” boasts Rolf Döpper, head of quality management.
Zero defects thanks to high-quality primary materials
The new re-rolling stand, the foundation of which alone required more than 2,600 metric tons of concrete and steel, heralds the dawn of a new age at Risse + Wilke and its 350 employees. This is the largest investment in the company’s history, and it’s an essential component of its strategic orientation.
“We work continuously on improving the quality of our products and services, always staying in close contact with our partners, especially thyssenkrupp Steel Europe,” adds Borowa.
The zero-defect policy is a decisive cornerstone of certified quality management. One of the prerequisites for this is the best possible starting materials, such as steel coils, weighing up to 30 metric tons, from thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. Another requirement is seamless communication. People meet regularly at conferences on quality to keep the lines open.
“Open cooperation has shaped the traditions of our companies,” says Carola Pfeiffer from the Sales Industry division at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. “That’s how we develop our ideas about steel and push them further, working together and optimizing certain properties.” Borowa continues: “This makes us more than a production operation. We are a real innovation workshop.”
The first visible product of this strategic alliance is a special grade of steel for saws that will considerably improve stability and service life for saw blades. The raw material of course comes from thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.