Koenig & Bauer holds opening ceremony for US$19.3M remodel of its Würzburg, Germany, facility, says upgrade will improve working environment, cut emissions, enable expansion of heat recovery, sand-cooling plant; completion slated for end of year

WURZBURG, Germany , September 23, 2011 (press release) – Topping-out ceremony for new foundry

On 22 September Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) held a topping-out ceremony for a new foundry attended by employees, the architects and building contractors, and representatives of the city council, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the media and other guests. Scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the €14m ($19.3m) project is one of the biggest KBA has implemented in recent years at its Würzburg facility, and brings the total sum invested in new buildings there over the past ten years to well above €40m ($55.1m). The investment reaffirms KBA's commitment both to its main production plant and to print. It also safeguards some highly skilled jobs at what is the biggest and oldest industrial enterprise in the region.

1,339 cubic metres of concrete

In just six months a new shell was built around the existing 200m (656ft) long production hall while production continued with virtually no interruptions, and the old hall demolished. Special cranes were used to position 235 concrete parts with millimetre precision. The outer supports for two crane rails at different heights each weighed up to 51t (56 US tons) and had to be inserted through the roof of the existing hall.

High-powered infrastructure for foundry operation

The new hall with a crane capacity of up to 50t (55 US tons) is several metres higher and some 50 per cent broader than the old hall. This will enable it to produce large press parts such as side frames and substructures much faster and more efficiently. It will also be able to handle workpieces whose technological or metallurgical properties meant that they previously had to be processed externally. These include spherical cast iron, which alongside normal cast iron with flake graphite is used increasingly for contract work. A large-core production capability with two blenders will be added to the existing small-core line. Materials flow and space utilisation will be optimised to allow additional productivity-enhancing and cost-cutting potential to be exploited and a larger number of workpieces to be processed.

The new hall and equipment upgrade will not only improve the working environment for foundry staff, but also cut emissions, while heat recovery from the furnaces and sand-cooling plant will be expanded to enhance the energy credentials of the entire factory.

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