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glück­auf Extracts in English

Photo: Eike Runschke


The newspaper for employees, customers and friends of the GMH Group

Motivation and fascination foster innovation GMH Gruppe · First GMH Group Innovation Day was a complete success.


ny company which wants to survive in this age of global competition needs innovative products and services. A company which wants to develop innovative products and services needs creative minds, and a company which wants to foster creativity needs a fruitful working environment with methods which promote ideas. A selected number of employees got

to experience the form these two elements can take at the first Innovation Day of the GMH Group. At this event they developed initial ideas and learnt how to steer their creativity in a constructive way. Now they should be able to let their new knowledge flow into their companies. R Detailed report on page 13

The first Innovation Day brought together 150 creative minds from companies of the GMH Group.



The new management The new management of GMH Holding (from left to right): Harald Schartau, Thomas Löhr and Frank Koch. Photo courtesy of the company

GMH Group · Three managing directors and five business units for the future


he re-structuring within the Group has led to a streamlining of the Holding management. In the new Group management, Frank Koch as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Löhr as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Harald Schartau as Labour Director, all of whom have belonged to the GMH Group for many years, will be working more closely together in future. The technical-operative competence will be amalgamated in the management of the five steel production, steel processing, steering systems and forging technology and casting business units and will function as an extension of the management directly alongside the Holding management. The goal of the new management model is to pool the strengths of the Group and to unite and consolidate the entrepreneurial ideas of the employees. The company

management will therefore be organised in close adherence to market requirements, and the former “we and you” differentiation between Holding and individual companies will be eliminated. This is intended to guarantee efficient working methods and a goal-oriented management model. At the end of the year Wolfgang Schmidt will be leaving the management board of Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH. He joined us in 2002 as a managing director of Harz Guss Zorge and since 2009, as Chief Operating Officer, has been responsible for the operative business of the Forging Technology, Railway Systems, Steering Systems and Casting Division. Wolfgang Schmidt is turning his attention to other tasks outside the GMH Group. We wish him every success for his future plans. ikw

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The way toward the future There can only be success if we all pull together. Dear Employees of the GMH Group companies, You have recently been able to read about it in the information circulated to our workforce or from the notice boards at your business locations: there are to be changes at the head of the GMH Group. At the end of the year I will be resigning my seat as CEO of the Board of Managing Directors of Georgsmarienhütte Holding. From the start of the new year, Frank Koch – familiar to you to date as the Chief Operating Officer for the Steel Division and member of the Board of Managing Directors of Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH – will succeed me in my position and take over the duties and responsibilities of CEO. This will mark the end of a two-year period in which we together, as a five-man management team and in close coordination with the co-determination bodies, have streamlined the corporate structure and initiated and implemented numerous forward-looking projects and processes. This has included saying goodbye to the philosophy of stringent de-centralised management and looking more to act collectively as a group. In a globalised world, with the clout of a dishinguishable GMH Group, we will be more successful in expanding into existing markets, in regaining lost market shares, and in entering new areas of business. All measures are aimed at re-anchoring the GMH Group more firmly in relevant markets, at co-shaping the big issues and megatrends of the future with innovative ideas and, from that, at generating growth and employment. With innovative thinking being an integral part of operational excellence, the commercial focus of the GMH Group will be on doing business in steel and ferrous products and on developing the value chains in those fields still further. Each company of the GMH Group will be required to excel in its market(s) and to fund its investments from its cash flow. In order to encourage this process, we have brought together companies in those business units where it makes sense in terms of value stream and will strengthen overall competitiveness.

The Castings business unit still occupies an exceptional position at the present time. It is managed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Georgsmarienhütte Holding and for the past several months has been undergoing special measures with the aim of gearing this business unit more closely to the requirements of our customers. All of the measures and decisions that have been taken are reflected in the programme “Zukunft GMH Gruppe – Gemeinsam mehr erreichen!” (Future GMH Group – Achieving More Together!), which has been sent to you all as an information leaflet together with the present issue of glückauf. The way toward the future is mapped out. The way toward the future has been mapped out. In Frank Koch we have a most proficient and experienced man who will now take the rudder of the GMH Group. For the tasks and responsibilities that lie ahead I wish him much Photo courtesy of the company success and, at all times, the necessary modicum of good fortune which even the most capable need. I will continue to support the GMH There will be no group-internal cross-subsidiGroup from the position of regular member of the Supervisory Board and will give it advice sation, as this ultimately is detrimental to all where required. There is only one thing left the companies in the Group and consequentfor me to do at this point, and that is to say a ly reduces our potential for investment and word of thanks. During my two years as CEO growth. The portfolio’s strategic focus will of the GMH Group I have had contact with permit significant cost savings that will be used many highly qualified and motivated employees for investments in future projects. This will also without whose dedication a project such as impact on the holding company. Some func“Future GMH Group” would never have been tions so far managed from there will in future realisable. Good ideas and decisions from the be the responsibility of the business units. The management can only lead to success if they holding company‘s board of managing directors will also become smaller as a consequence of fall onto fertile ground and it is possible to pull the strategic realignment and from January together with the workforce. onward will consist only of three members, I thank you all for that cooperation and wish namely Frank Koch as CEO, Thomas Löhr as the you personally, as well as us all as the GMH officer responsible for finances and controlling, Group, the success that is deserved for the and Harald Schartau as labour director and future. head of human resources. We have, in accordance with the best-owner Glück auf and a Bavarian-style “Vergelt‘s Gott” principle, decided to part ways with two corporate entitities – RGM Gebäudemanagement and the Railway Systems business unit. The sale of RGM has already been concluded, while we expect finalisation for the Railway Systems business unit in the near term.

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A FEW WORDS FROM THE OWNERS Dear Employees of the GMH Group, 2016 is drawing to a close! Another turbulent year on the political and economic front – starting with the unexpected vote by the people of the United Kingdom to leave the EU, then the election of Donald Trump as next President of the United States and, finally, the recovery in the oil market. You as employees and we as shareholders are naturally particularly concerned about the developments within the GMH Group which, equally, were characterised by change. In this context we would like to thank you for your hard work and commitment which has brought the GMH Group onto a positive track in 2016 in spite of a headwind caused by pressure on revenues and by economic downturns in some markets. Irrespective of which of the recent events we reflect upon, one observation is omnipresent – the speed of change is increasing, and its direction does not always coincide with our expectations. We see three specific topics exercising particular influence on how the GMH Group proceeds into the future, and which should strengthen our business model in a sustainable way. Innovations and investments are two topics with which we can lay down important markers for our future. But also the re-restructuring of the portfolio of our group of companies shows that we believe in a sustainable and co-ordinated business model for the GMH Group – which must be scrutinised from time to time to keep pace with changes in our environment.

Our Innovation Day this year demonstrated that the GMH Group is in a strong position to face the future. On this occasion lively discussions took place concerning the “megatrends” of mobility, neo-ecology and knowledge culture. Furthermore, the event reflected what a positive setting the GMH Group provides for research and development: innovations such as “MVO” steering racks with variable interlocking that are very impressive not only through their use in the Tesla electric car, as well as numerous metallurgical innovations. The investments made this year underscore our optimism for the future. In particular, the refurbishment of the continuous caster at the Georgsmarienhütte plant illustrates our confidence that the location is a market leader in steel production and will also be able to maintain that position in future. There were further changes this year in the structure of the GMH Group. We saw the hiving-off of two large group companies. Our assessment is that these companies will be in a better position to make a convincing impression on the market with their respective new owners. In this leaner group structure we now see a solid basis for growth in our core markets in the steel and steel processing sector. The Castings business unit, in particular, has suffered economic downturns. Here special and joint efforts will be required in the short term and also in the years to come to improve the income situation and thus its justification for existence.

Finally, you will be having some thoughts at this time about the changes in the Group's management. Having successfully pressed ahead with the restructuring of the GMH Group over a period of two years, Prof. Michael Süß will now hand over his operative management responsibilities to Frank Koch and reassume a position on the Supervisory Board. We are grateful to Michael Süß for doing so much for the Group and, at the same time, we are pleased to welcome Frank Koch, a competent person who has been associated with the Group for many years as CEO. Furthermore, Wolfgang Schmidt will be leaving the management board at the end of the year. We are very grateful to him for his many years of service to the Group. 2016 has shown, once again, that nothing is as permanent as change. New efforts must constantly be made to achieve success. Anyone who rests on his laurels is making a fundamental mistake. We hope that you will also make an active contribution to shaping and positively accompanying the changes with which we will be confronted in 2017. First of all, however, we wish you relaxing holidays and a happy, healthy and successful New Year. Yours sincerely

Photo courtesy of the company

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Thorsten Mergelmeyer and Christoph Schmitz with the yard management team Photo: vl

Knowing what’s coming and going on the works premises GMH Systems / GMHütte · When the in- and outgoings of suppliers and shipments increase within the works, keeping track of movements quickly becomes difficult. Yard management systems provide the capability to handle dispatch processes integratively and under controlled conditions. INTERVIEW For a year now, the dispatch and yard logistics of GMHütte have been managed with the aid of a yard management system (YMS), making it high time for an interim assessment. What

the YMS involves, how it functions and whether it has been a success, are described by Christoph Schmitz (Consultant, GMH Systems) and Thorsten Mergelmeyer (Dispatch Manager, Georgsmarienhütte) in an interview with glückauf:

glückauf: Why has a yard management system been needed at all, Mr Mergelmeyer? Thorsten Mergelmeyer: It is first of all necessary in this respect to consider the flows of traffic within our company premises. We have a volume of around 300 truck tranports daily. These include some 100 dispatches by truck – and the

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q Continued from last page rest is made up of delivery traffic, such as alloys for the melt shop. Our products are, in addition, dispatched to customers by railfreight or seagoing vessels. It has been important to manage these processes with the support of a system. How, then, were all these dispatch processes handled and managed before the YMS was introduced? Mergelmeyer: Almost completely on a manual basis and without any system support. What goals did you have in mind when introducing the YMS? Mergelmeyer: We wanted to plan and manage our dispatching operations better so as to minimise the vehicle turnaround and parking times on the works premises. We also wanted to simplify and harmonise the dispatch procedures, as well as fulfil modern documentation, reporting and archiving requirements. Who was involved in the development and implementation of the YMS? Christoph Schmitz: We at GMH Systems were the general contractor. We were supported by Leogistics GmbH, an SAP solution supplier for logistic processes. Mergelmeyer: Involved in the project from the GMHütte side were the Data Processing Coordination Department, the loading operations personnel, Works Security, the Facility Planning Department of Georgsmarienhütte Service Gesellschaft GmbH, GET (Georgsmarienhütte Eisenbahn und Transport GmbH), and the Dispatch Department. What was necessary in terms of IT technology to implement the YMS? Schmitz: The central element was the SAP Add-On Leogistics Yard Suite. As a basic requirement, it had to be integrated into the SAP-ERP environment of GMHütte. A net application runs on the terminals and receives the data from the weighbridges via an OPC server. These data

are augmented with the information entered at the terminals and are then transmitted per interface to the SAP system. And how is the dispatch process carried out now? Mergelmeyer: Planning and implementation are in the hands of the dispatch personnel, supported by the departments and shops involved in the process. Can you give an example of how such a process works? Mergelmeyer: Let us take the trucks dispatched to customers, for instance. The hauliers contracted by us receive a transport order via our web platform and, following confirmation, a corresponding yard document so that the truck can register autonomously at the self-service terminal located at the works entrance of GMHütte and weigh itself automatically. After the weighing procedure the truck driver heads directly for the planned loading point within the works. We have set up new signposting to aid orientation toward the individual loading points. After loading and securing the cargo, the drivers receive the delivery documentation at the self-service terminals in the Dispatch Department. As a final step the truck is driven onto the exit weighbridge at Gate IV, is weighed automatically and leaves the works. And what does the YMS now contribute to all this? Schmitz: A detailed and up-to-date status overview of the trucks or wagons located on the works premises. The adopted time windows now permit a uniform, continuous distribution of trucks and wagons. With what outcome? Schmitz: Thanks to the YMS, GMHütte has a complete overview of movements taking place on its works premises – from the arrival to the departure of the trucks or wagons. The dispatch

Would you have known?

Yard management Yard management systems (YMS) generally register arrivals and departures including loads automatically and precisely, thus providing a basis for an overview of the inventory levels currently located in yards/on works premises or not yet registered at the goods receiving point or in the warehouse. It also helps to optimally coordinate loading and unloading (times, locations) with a view to reducing waiting times at the ramps and gates.

process begins with the procurement of cargo space and scheduling of the finished material on suitable modes of transport – i. e. rail, road or sea. Is the system beneficial in any other ways? Mergelmeyer: Yes, definitely. Thanks to the YMS we have also been able to dispense with swapping trailers and cut attendant costs. Schmitz: It is also worth mentioning what monitoring, analysis and evaluation possibilities the YMS offers that have been implemented in the SAP-BW (Business (Information) Warehouse) using the system. There are, for example, yard lists, time window overviews or also loading overviews where ongoing activities are concerned, as well as average loading duration or also capacity utilisation data regarding the dispatch facilities for strategic evaluations. Is the YMS already running smoothly? Mergelmeyer: The system has been very stable since it was first started up. There are always improvements that can be made, of course. Our project team is constantly carrying out optimisations on the system. Many thanks for talking to us. 

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Oliver Rösch (left) in conversation with other experts

Photo: Henning Dickert

Steel has greatly shed weight as an automotive material GMHütte · Automobile manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for lighter-weight materials. Is steel still able to make the grade? It has the capacity to do so! TechDay at Opel demonstrated which weight-saving ideas might be implemented.


echDay Mid-November on the company premises of Opel in Rüsselsheim: Under the heading “Lightweight Forging Initiative”, 15 project partners – among them GMHütte – familiarised themselves with new lightweight steel developments. They presented ideas at their own stands in the foyer of the auditorium. There were also hands-on discussions, interactive information sessions and 10-minute talks on engines, transmission systems, drive trains and chassis. In their talk on “Steels for efficient processes and light-weight design”, Oliver Rösch and Henning Dickert (both from GMHütte) presented the potentials of new developments. The event was very well-attended, attracting more than 70 interested parties. Besides developers, designers and buyers, there were visitors

at director level or representatives from other fields present. A lively exchange between Opel experts and exhibitors could be observed “The inhouse event offered a good platform for direct contact with the decision-makers at Opel and for demonstrating to them the enormous potentials that come with lightweight forging,” explained Tobias Hain, Director of Industrieverband Massivumformung e. V. (Lightweight Forging Industry Association). Background to the event: 35 steel producers and forging enterprises as well as an engineering services provider have got together since 2013 to work collectively on the megatrend of “automotve lightweight design”. The project name: Lightweight Forging Initiative. In Phase I (2013 – 2014), a midrange car was analysed to determine

weight-saving potentials offered by forged components. A savings potential of 42 kg was found where the drive train and chassis are concerned. In Phase II (2015 – 2016), attention was focused on light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 t, and weight-saving potentials as high as 99 kg were identified in the drive train and chassis. Both findings not only offer prospects of reduced weight, lower energy consumption and fewer C02 emissions. They also show that steel is able to make the grade compared with competing manufacturing processes and materials. The TechDay event at Opel was convincing in every respect. The event concept will now be adopted for further venues and customers.

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A great event, and different to anything I have ever experienced before at the GMH Group. It gives rise to some good ideas. It’s just a pity that more women didn’t participate.

JANA BAUMGARTE, Friedrich Wilhelms-Hütte Eisenguss GmbH

 I’m very impressed by the design as well as by the experience dimension here.

JULIA KRÖGER, Mannstaedt GmbH

It’s a very interesting event, especially with a view to the new direction our Group will be taking. The contact here with colleagues from the other companies is really good.

FELIX RÜDIGER, Pleissner Guss GmbH

“The chance genuinely to engage in lateral think-

ing on Innovation Day is excellent – we engineers, for example, also get the opportunity to take a closer look at the peripheral areas of steel production. This means we gain inspiration for optimisations in our fields of work. The day was a great success – the chance to think out of the box, mutual exchange as well as the relaxed atmosphere contribute to the development of good ideas and therefore to innovations.

TOBIAS ZEHN, Georgsmarienhütte GmbH

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The first Innovation Day of the GMH Group, involving some 150 colleagues, took place on 19 October 2016. Photo: Eike Runschke

Creative thinking and an innovative approach GMH Gruppe · Fresh thinking, creativity and an innovative approach are elementary ingredients for the future sustainability of any business enterprise. The GMH Group will be focusing even more strongly on creative thinking and an innovative approach in future. Forming the prelude to this was the first Innovation Day organised by the GMH Group on 19 October at the corporate location in Georgsmarienhütte.

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q Continued from last page


ome 150 colleagues from the GMH Group – among them managing directors, junior staff, personnel active in the fields of technology, simulation and development, representatives from the Working Group of the Works Councils, and CIP appointees – came together in isolation from their daily work routine. The event was moderated by Professor Andreas Pinkwart, Principal of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and holder of the Chair for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. As Frank Koch, COO of Georgsmarienhütte Holding, emphasised during his welcoming address: “More than ever, we need to comprehend innovation as a raw material and asset that will secure

 I found Innovation Day really valuable and was able to broaden my horizons. Especially the interaction between young and old as well as good exchanges in groups made this a very productive day. Made in Germany – this stands for innovation.


and consolidate our economic future. Never before was innovation so important for the survival of enterprises, or of entire national economies even.” Innovation is equally a response to, and outcome of, a very much intensified competitive situation brought about by the globalisation of the markets, shorter product cycles, steadily more exacting requirement profiles, changes in information and communication technology, and the extreme propagation of available and usable knowledge. As Frank Koch went on to say: “Inno­ vation needs creativity, creativity needs scope for development. On the proverbial “treadmill” we do not have that scope for development. It is important to think ‘out of the box’, to boldly look at topics from a different angle, to consider new scenarios and – at least on paper – to incorporate them into existing processes.” Innovation Day offers a suitable forum for this, where ideas can be acted out in a fertile environment without any restrictions on creativity. Which is why the event is also intentionally openended, without any to-do list and keeping of minutes: “We are also dispensing with head-on presentations by experts


I am really positively surprised by the event – particularly in the current situation of our companies. Although we have to be very conscious of saving money, it’s an important signal for the future.

VOLKER SÜLBERG, Walter Hundhausen GmbH

and consultants and, instead, looking to new, interactive methods”, explained the COO. Thus it was that the participants, in non-hierarchical teams, sought to “look beyond their immediate horizons” and collectively developed ideas and innovative approaches to the challenges of tomorrow. An environment to foster innovation and creativity was established for that purpose, with an “innovation lab” being set up in a specially equipped facility that offered space for short contributions and inputs as well as, particularly, discussion and the sharing of ideas in smaller groups. In three so-called “thinking cells” – specially fitted-out and furnished

Networking with colleagues and “out-of-the-box” thinking were the main focus of Innovation Day. Photo: vl

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Moderator and initiator: Prof. Andreas Pinkwart. Photo: vl

Zeljko Cancarevic, Head of Simulation and Innovation, GMHütte: “Simulation is our window to the future!” Photo: Eike Runschke

communicative spaces – the participants, under professional guidance, grappled with the megatrends of mobility, neoecology and knowledge culture. They developed, discussed and modelled scenarios with the ultimate purpose of presenting the findings of their respective thinking cells to all the participants – so as to cultivate further lateral thinking and deliberation. Professor Pinkwart, in his presentation, also reiterated the importance of innovation for business and the economy: “New business models pose a challenge to established enterprises. Digitalisation, in particular, offers new possibilities and opportunities. And knowledge is being spread and shared ever faster through digital interconnectivity”, as the innovation expert explained. For the GMH Group it is now important to follow up what in 1994 also constituted the beginnings of today’s group of companies with a bold innovation. At that time Jürgen Großmann had changed over the metallurgical process in the ailing steel plant in Georgsmarienhütte from the blast furnace/ BOF converter route to Germany’s first direct-current electric-arc furnace.

“Since then you in the GMH Group have been the originators of many successful innovations – be they in products or in processes”, stated Professor Andreas Pinkwart. And, indeed, the companies of the GMH Group can also boast impressive innovations at present. These include, for example, thin-walled steel castings produced in green sand, with the moulding sand having a swellable clay component and thus being re-usable as many as 20 times over as forming sand.

 I think Innovation Day was an extremely successful event at which a really appealing framework was created and an exceptional amount of effort was made with real commitment from those involved. It’s very likely that many issues could only be touched upon in the short time available. It remains to be seen which interesting ideas might be developed further and put to use as a result. I’m certain that something will come of this.

DIRK RASCHKE Schmiedewerke Gröditz GmbH

Another example is steering racks with a variable tooth geometry. They are manufactured by means of a patented Precision Warm Forging process and in automotive steering systems ensure high steering and driving comfort. The GMH Group cannot afford to stand still, however. Even a thriving business needs to seek continuous improvement. To stand still is to regress. It is now essential for the Group to remain innovative in future. How this can be done was explained by Zeljko Cancarevic, Head of the Simulation and Innovation Department at GMHütte. Citing examples from nature and the scientific field, he impressively pointed out how simple and fruitful “out-of-thebox” thinking can be – provided one is prepared to depart from accustomed paths and ways of thinking for just a moment. And as Anne-Marie Großmann, coowner of Georgsmarienhütte Holding, stated at the conclusion of the Innovation Day event: “We need good ideas to be able to maintain our position in the markets in future.” The most important prerequisite for innovative processes in the GMH Group

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q Continued from last page was already there: “the bright people who constitute our workforce.” It would now be a matter of passing on the methods experienced and used during Innovation Day to the Group, with the event participants acting as multipliers for that. “We as the owner family care particularly about this, as we believe in maintaining a strong GMH Group in future”, declared Anne-Marie Großmann. And, in rounding off, the co-owner expressed a wish to those taking part: “It was splendid to hear that my father is regarded as an innovator – what I wish, though, is for all of you to eclipse him in future with your innovative ideas.” New ideas will, therefore, continue to be in demand. The innovations of today are, after all, the discontinued models of tomorrow. Work is currently in progress to

filter and edit the findings from the first Innovation Day event. In future, Innovation Day will take place every two years – with a view to discussing future challenges and opportunities and to developing ideas and solution approaches. ikw 

Anne-Marie Großmann (owner family) and Frank Koch (board of managing directors) concur: innovations are future assets.

Improving your lateral thinking: Lateral thinking helps to create a link between the familiar and the unfamiliar, thus expanding our innovation potential. The following tips may be helpful: • If you want to think laterally, break away from what is familiar. • Change your daily routine. • Try to enjoy some time out from dayto-day activities every now and again, and take a step back from your current task. Often just a short break is enough to rearrange your thoughts. • In order to improve the quality of your work, simply eliminate the superficial aspects. Concentrate on what is really important. • Seek advice from others who are able to look at your task from an outsider’s perspective. • The best way to train your lateral thinking is to grapple frequently with anything that is unusual, different or unfamiliar. Actively ‘doing things differently’, gaining experience in unknown areas or taking a look at what is familiar to you from an external point of view are the best means of doing this.


The idea of an Innovation Day is very good – although the odd detail here and there could do with a little improvement. It’s especially difficult to deal with such abstract topics spontaneously and without any preparation. Perhaps it would be better to hold a smaller event to deal with more specific questions.

DR. LUTZ DEKKER Stahlwerk Bous GmbH

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Exchange of ideas among colleagues who otherwise have little or even no points of contact with one another Photos: vl

The multi-purpose facility in Georgsmarienhütte was converted into a centre for innovative ideas and offered a lot of space for discussions.

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RFID reader with software interface at the machine data terminal for recording the indexable inserts per order Inset: Ronny Käppler (CIP Manager) Photos courtesy of the company



Industry 4.0: A practical example Schmiedewerke Gröditz · Industry 4.0 is still a mystery to many. Schmiedewerke has undertaken a project to demonstrate its potential, the intention being to make the order-related consumption of indexable inserts more transparent: Starting point – a tool cabinet that, in itself, is special.

INTERVIEW At the beginning, Schmiedewerke Gröditz asked themselves the questions: Why have our tooling costs risen the way they have? Why is our consumption of indexable inserts so high? Which indexable insert is used in what quantity for what product? And for which orders? Under number SWG-TM-2016-12-a-1 and the working title “Tooling Cost Optimisation TM” (TM stands for “Technik Mechanische Bearbeitung” = Machine Shop Systems), a CIP pilot project was created and commenced with a project nomination letter – assisted and directed by Prof. Murat Mola (see: “Professorial assistance”). How the project went is described by Ronny Käppler (CIP Manager) in an interview with glückauf:

glückauf: What was the CIP project about, according to the project nomination letter? Ronny Käppler: About the wastage of indexable inserts. More specifically, it was about the consumption of indexable inserts that are managed in or by way of a very particular tool cabinet. What is to be understood by “tool cabinet”? Käppler: Not any normal tool cabinet. Actually, it is an indexable-insert storage cabinet, equipped with state-of-the-art RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. Through it, Industry 4.0 has found its way into the machining operations at our company, so to speak. We hadn't, however, even remotely tapped into the potential that it harboured because, previously, it served solely to accommodate, manage and issue tooling. But this cabinet has had the capability, and was also designed, to do more.

Can you describe more precisely what is special about this “cabinet”? Käppler: It can disclose its secrets, as it were, thanks to state-of-the-art technology, in which regard it is important to know that each indexable-insert packaging is labelled by means of an RFID chip. The cabinet is able to read out that chip automatically, enabling it to give information at any time about its current inventory. Using this technology as a basis we wanted – first of all – to create transparency concerning the use of tooling on the machines and consumption per order, and we also wanted to thereby ensure that the quantity of tooling in circulation is reduced. Are all indexable inserts in the Machine Shop kept in such cabinets? Käppler: No. At present, around 30 percent of them are. But we are looking to develop further potential.

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To return to the project: how high was the consumption of indexable inserts beforehand? Käppler: The consumption of indexable inserts from this cabinet amounted to around EUR 340,000 per financial year. The aim was to reduce this initially by three percent. A CIP project also includes a time schedule with a deadline. What was that schedule? Käppler: We began the planning phase on 30 May, the aim being to conclude the project at the end of September with demonstrable results and with the ACT phase of the first PDCA cycle. In other words, to implement the identified solutions fully under production conditions. Käppler: Precisely. All in all, that sounds like an ambitious schedule. Käppler: It was, as well – but was nevertheless realistic. Besides a team comprising shop manager, foreman, controlling personnel and shop CIP representative, we had, after all, placed the project particularly in the hands of BA student Tom Reypka who, once the project had been set in motion, was able to devote himself exclusively to the project within the framework of his practical semester.

The next steps The next steps to be taken in a further PDCA cycle as part of the project are already clearly defined: • • • •

Connection of the software to the SAP system Roll-out of the system to include further machinery in the Machine Shop Reduction of the variety of indexable inserts Automatic order request system for additional deliveries of indexable inserts via the tool cabinet • Automatic provision of consumption analyses • – Use of the data for order forecasting

withdrawal would lead to a wrong inventory in the system – because recording through RFID is simply unerring. The packaging is ‘transferred’ to a virtual store – in this case the machine. As soon as the employee starts on an order, he scans it by way of a barcode into the system and registers the indexable inserts with an RFID reader at the machine, stating the number of withdrawn inserts. And that's it.

the project team and the supplier. The aim was, after all, to minimise any additional effort for the workforce and to make handling user-friendly. How did the supplier, Saß, go about this? Käppler: For them, too, it was a pilot project and, until then, unique. They had to solve numerous problems, with the alignment and shielding of the RFID aerials being among the minor problems.

It sounds really simple. Käppler: When a found solution makes sense, it always sounds simple. But finding it involved a lot of hard work for

What was the approach taken? Käppler: Tom Reypka, together with the team and an enterprise called Saß, developed a nominal value stream as a basis for a specification sheet. In order to realise this, a hardware and software solution was collectively developed, enabling the consumption figures to be recorded individually on the machines for each order. Lots of ideas undoubtedly went into all this? Käppler: Indeed. Be it a process flow chart, SIPOC, K.O. analysis, nominal group technique or Ishikawa: we applied these methods in order to generate ideas. ... so as to formulate your goals more precisely? Käppler: Limitation to clearly measurable and identifiable values is, of course, part of the CIP work, because only with figures, data and facts is it also possible to substantiate and demonstrate success. Would you please describe how personnel currently use this “magic cabinet”? Käppler: That is quite simple: an employee logs-in at the tool cabinet and withdraws the required packet of indexable inserts. During the procedure the inventory is verified in real time … … in other words, at the moment in which the labelled packet is withdrawn… Käppler: … exactly, and is recorded within the system. Not even a wrong

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q Continued from last page And from when was the new system up and running? Käppler: We proudly presented the outcome in late September. The process flow described in the value stream had been realised, the hardware and software had been installed, and it was possible to commence use, on schedule, at the first machines by 1 October. What is the interim assessment? Käppler: We will know at the end of the year whether the goals are being achieved, because the project is still being closely monitored and evaluated. But one thing is already clear: the consumption of indexable inserts has already been reduced through the technology's use at the pilot machine; transparency has

increased, and the variety of indexable inserts has been limited. And what about overall clarity? Käppler: We are already able to give the order centre valuable informa-

tion regarding which and how many indexable inserts are needed for which orders. Many thanks for talking to us.  

Professorial assistance Prof. Dr.-Ing. Murat Mola has been with the Institute of Mechanical Engineering at the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences since 2010, his work focusing mainly on the industrial topics of LEAN SIX SIGMA PRODUCTION, TQM (Total Quality Management), CIP PRODUCTION (Continuous Improvement Processes in Production), material sciences and materials testing, as well as the new and further development of wear-resistant LEAN materials. Since April 2016 he has been assisting forging enterprises with the structured implementation of CIP at production sites through training courses, documentation and suitable tools.

Into the wash at 45 degrees Pleissner Guss · Dye penetrant and magnetic particle testing require one thing in particular: completely clean castings. To permit better testing, Pleissner Guss has purchased a special type of washing machine. INTERVIEW

abrasive dust from the deburring operations, and coolant and oil residues.

Purchasing a washing machine is surely not one of the first suggestions that come to mind where a foundry is concerned. Pleissner Guss has, nonetheless, procured a Type RHM-4D appliance and installed it in its Machine Shop for the final cleaning of machined castings. By doing so the foundry aims to shorten the throughput times for its castings and facilitate the quality inspection and testing, as Matthias Behrens (Machine Shop Manager) explains in an interview with glückauf:

How big is the machine? Behrens: 4.20 metres by 2.20 metres by 4.50 metres. Its maximum capacity is 7.5 tonnes.

glückauf: Why have you purchased a “washing machine”? What has to be washed off of castings? Matthias Behrens: Two things: the

Meaning, then, it can accommodate a variety of things. So what happens during the cleaning process? Behrens: It is relatively simple: the castings are cleaned in two stages according to the alkaline principle. The first stage involves cleaning or degreasing with a cleaning agent/ water mixture at a temperature of 45 degrees. And the second stage then simply comprises rinsing.

Matthias Behrens (Machine Shop Manager) Photo courtesy of the company

The castings are cleaned both externally and internally. What technique is used? Behrens: The external cleaning takes

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place with a rotating mechanism to which nozzles are attached. The internal cleaning process uses a spray lance that traverses up and down within the casting. It is also possible to attach a spray device that simply rinses out the grime and dirt. How long does a wash programme take? Behrens: We can select the duration according to the state of the castings – up to a maximum of ten minutes. And how are the workpieces dried afterwards? Behrens: Upon completion of the cleaning programme, the machine door is left half ajar to let the water vapour escape, and the casting then dries through the heat that still remains. You used to carry out this cleaning work by hand. What advantages does a machine offer? Behrens: One of the advantages is speed. The cleaning cycle is now much shorter – which ultimately expedites the dispatch of the cast-

ings. But what is more important: the cleaning result is better than that achieved by manual cleaning – which is immensely beneficial where the downstream process steps are concerned. ... those being? Behrens: Our quality inspection and testing, particularly surface inspection! What methods do you apply? Behrens: We use the dye penetrant method as well as magnetic particle testing. Each casting has to undergo this quality inspection and testing before it can be released for dispatch. The cleaner the casting, the more efficient the inspection and testing. Thanks to better cleaning we now, especially, no longer have any false indications, thus leading to clearer results and faster throughput times and – in the end – also faster dispatch. Many thanks for talking to us.

RHM-4D washing machine with prepped casting Photo courtesy of the company

Inspection and testing methods Dye penetrant inspection: a dye penetrant agent is applied to the surface. After it has had time to act, the surface is carefully cleaned. If any of the agent remains, then only in discontinuities or cracks that are in the material. Such locations are visualised by means of a developer. Magnetic particle testing: the workpiece or part is magnetised, thereby creating lines of flux parallel with the surface. Any cracks or near-surface discontinuities lying perpendicular to the lines of flux produce a magnetic stray field, visualised by means of iron powder.

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glück auf on the move And where is your photo? Would you also like to submit a picture puzzle? Just take a photo featuring glückauf in the foreground. In the background there should be enough specific details to be able to recognise in which place or in which city the photo was taken. Mail your photo to

Did you know?

Give it a guess! Where is Armin Schröder (RRO) reading his glückauf? Almost 2,000 years ago, this Italian town was struck by a tragedy in connection with the mountain in the background. Although it looks rather innocent here, its appearance is very deceptive. When the tragedy struck, the entire town was buried beneath a thick carpet of volcanic ash. Hint: even a 16 VALVE SUV will not help you reach the top of this mountain. What is the name of the ancient city? Send your reply to or (by postcard) to Matthias Krych, Rohstoff Recycling Osnabrück GmbH, Rheinstraße 90, 49090 Osnabrück. Closing date for entries is 15 February 2017. If more than one correct entry is received, the winner will be drawn from all correct entries submitted. The winner can look forward to receiving a GMH rainwear set from the GMH Fan Shop.

Lower photo: Armin Schröder (RRO) reads his glückauf in the famous Monument Valley, Colorado (USA) – right at the set of many Hollywood western films. The winner, Christian Banovsek (Stahl Judenburg Rolling Mill), was drawn from all correct entries submitted (thank you for taking part). Congratulations! (The judge's decision is final.)

Photo: mw

YOUR PRIZE!? GMH rain set Wind and rain jacket with GMH logo Red, water-repellent nylon with integrated hood, signet in reflective silver on chest and back Tube scarf featuring the GMH logo Fluorescent yellow, size 50 x 24 cm, polyester-microfleece, breathable, seamless Waterproof hat featuring GMH logo Lined, black, with signet in reflective silver Backpack cover featuring GMH logo Yellow backpack cover with reflective stripes and logo in reflective silver, incl. strap, 85 x 65 cm Good luck!

Photo: Finnegan Schröder

S P O T- T H E - D I F F E R E N C E P U Z Z L E – 5 T O F I N D It is not so easy: spot the five differences between the original and the altered picture. What is missing from the altered picture? This time the original photo was taken at Georgsmarienhütte GmbH. Felix Treppschuh from Rohstoff Recycling Osnabrück captured the shot and manipulated it to incorporate the alterations. If you have trouble spotting all five differences, you will find the solution to the puzzle online at



Masthead Publisher: Ge­orgs­ma­ri­en­hüt­te Hol­ding GmbH Neue Hüt­ten­stra­ße 1, 49124 Ge­orgs­ma­ri­en­hüt­te www.gmh-hol­ Responsible in accordance with press law: Iris-Kath­rin Wil­ckens Translations: Carol Hogg, Michael Snowley Design: elemente designagentur, Münster

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glueckauf-en-4 2016  

Auszug aus der glückauf 4-2016 (die Zeitung für Mitarbeiter, Kunden und Freunde der GMH Gruppe) in englischer Sprache.

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