In this division, Mario Gebhardt, one of the technical consultants at Jansen, offers personal consultation for customers and maintains close relationships with suppliers. “For us, the most important issues are lightweight construction and total cost reduction,” he says. “To continue this trend, we must further decrease wall thickness, and to do that we will need stronger and stronger steels that are both tough and easy to process.”
Experts discuss steel composition and processing
In the search for a custom lightweight construction solution, Jansen division manager Dr. Bernd-Michael Peters approached supplier thyssenkrupp Steel Europe to discuss an outside-the-box idea. Fifteen specialists from both companies met to share their expertise. For one entire day, they sat down to discuss steel, to analyze its composition and processing, and to define and assign tasks. “The goal is to further improve upon the properties of the manganese-boron steels, which are used in components such as drive shafts, camshafts, or stabilizers,” says Peters.
This pioneering spirit is the secret recipe for success at the traditional, family-owned company. What began in 1923 as a small handicraft business founded by Josef Jansen in Oberriet, Switzerland, has grown into a high-tech international enterprise with 1,000 employees. Today, the group is active worldwide in three divisions: Steel Tubes, Building Systems, and Plastic Solutions. Last year, the company generated nearly 300 million Swiss francs in sales.
Growing demands of automobile manufacturers
thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is one of the company’s largest suppliers, so it was the next logical step for Jansen to engage in a direct exchange with the steel manufacturer to develop a viable, innovative concept. “Before each company ends up wasting valuable time and money conducting their own trials, we should just share ideas with one another,” says Peter, summarizing the Jansen philosophy.. “And with thyssenkrupp as a partner, we are in very good hands.”
Our knowledge about materials feeds directly into new products and development projects at Jansen and opens up new markets. Due to the heavy substitution of solid materials with tubes in the powertrain, chassis, and engine, the market for high-quality precision steel tubes is a potential growth area. Automotive manufacturers have very exacting standards for these products. This is particularly true for the Asian, South American, and North American markets. Maintaining long-term partnerships and sponsorships allows thyssenkrupp and its technology partners to expand their respective repertoire.