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GF Piping Systems

Cool solution

Whether in mines, cruise ships or breweries, products from GF Piping Systems are used wherever customers set demanding standards for the safe transport of liquids and gases. Its products and systems are the benchmark the world over thanks to its global research and development work. The proof of its unique innovativeness is reflected in its numerous patents, market approvals, and awards.

The customer’s success story

It started with an idea

“We received consistent support from the start of the project through to final installation.”Sustainability is a central concern for Ken Grossman and his brewery. Every square inch of the factory rooftop in California is covered by a solar panel array, and in 2010 the company was named the Green Business of the Year for its sustainable practices by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This is where Ken Grossman sees the big advantage of products from GF Piping Systems: “Cool Fit ABS Plus reduces thermal energy loss, eliminates the need for secondary insulation, and touts a 50-year minimum installation lifespan.” He is very satisfied: “We look forward to once again working with Georg Fischer on our new East Coast brewery expansion already underway.”

In Chico, a small town in California, the past three decades have witnessed a unique story in the history of beer. Back in 1979, two young guys borrowed USD 50.000, built their own microbrewery from secondhand equipment and started producing beer. This homebrewing outfit has grown into the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, now America’s sixth largest brewery.

So how did Sierra Nevada find Georg Fischer? In 2007, BrewExpo America was held in Austin, Texas. “That was the first time that GF Piping Systems exhibited there,” recalls Dan Strömberg, Cooling Market Segment Manager at GF Piping Systems in the US. “Ken Grossman came by our stand, and I had the opportunity to show him our ultramodern Cool Fit ABS Plus cooling systems.” Well, Ken Grossman is a co-founder and currently the owner of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Back at the brewery, the boss told his engineers: “Take a good look at this cooling system.” A trial installation was arranged on site, and when the brewers opened the valves after a new plastic cooling system had been fitted, they were impressed: the fermentation was colder than ever before, but energy consumption was lower than with the old steel system.

Can we? – Yes.

Transport fluids

So, the customer was convinced by the product, and when an expansion was planned the same year, Sierra Nevada wanted to know only one thing: does Georg Fischer have enough piping systems in stock so it can deliver just in time? Repeat orders of individual parts were needed on two occasions during the installation, and the customer’s project manager was more than satisfied both times: what he ordered in the morning was delivered the next day.

“We received consistent support from the start of the project through to final installation,” says brewer Ken Grossman. “The team from GF Piping Systems was totally reliable in handling both the proactive and the reactive needs of this project.” Last year, the brewery had to make another major investment, this time in a new and energy-saving central cooling unit for all the fermenting cellars. In the planning phase, Dan Strömberg worked closely together with the brewery’s engineers, the fitters received special training, and the “pros” from GF Piping Systems were on hand time and again during construction.

The customer’s benefits
Cool Fit ABS PlusThe innovation for our customers
  • Reliable technology
  • Energy efficient
  • Cleanable system
  • Easy to handle and install
  • No condensation
  • No corrosion
The Cool Fit ABS Plus
Cool Fit ABS Plus

The Cool Fit ABS Plus system from Georg Fischer is suitable for secondary refrigeration loops in:

  • Food production
  • Beverage production
  • Cold stores
  • Specialties (process cooling, data centers, etc.)
GF Piping Systems - Facts & figures
Sales: CHF 1 299 million

Profile. GF Piping Systems is a leading supplier of piping systems made of plastics and metal and has a global market presence. The division focuses on system solutions and high-quality components for the transport of water, gas, and other liquids in industry, utility, and building technology.

A broad range. With over 60,000 products, GF Piping Systems develops, manufactures, and distributes a very broad range. Its product line includes fittings, valves, measuring and control devices, pipes, and jointing technology.

Customer focus. GF Piping Systems supports its customers in over 100 countries through its own sales companies and representatives. 33 manufacturing sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas are close to customers and meet their local requirements.

Research and development. GF Piping Systems supports research and development in the energy-saving use of raw materials and resources, too. Its research and development sites are located in Europe, America, and Asia.

CHF million2012 2011

 

EBIT

 

130

 

137

Return on sales (EBIT margin) %10.011.7
Invested capital (IC)724645
Return on invested capital (ROIC) %13.916.6
Employees5 2825 040

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

GF Automotive

Passion for a lighter future

The twin demands of a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions are ensuring that light-weight is the watchword in automotive manufacturing. This has been the focus of efforts at Georg Fischer for years. In 2012 the world’s most modern manufacturing plant was opened in Mettmann (Germany), and innovative components employing bionic design were launched. Georg Fischer is setting new light-weight manufacturing benchmarks for its customers.

The innovation for our customer

“We appreciate Georg Fischer’s excellent competence in manufacturing technology.”
Passion for a lighter future

1. Weight optimized - Less is more

The new cast iron steering knuckle developed by GF Automotive is more than 32 percent lighter than the standard design.

2. Inspired by nature - Nature’s blueprint

Bionics combines biology, technology, and abstract approaches taken from nature to answer technical questions. Shape optimization simulates the biological growth of roots and branches of trees.

3. Increased efficiency - Innovation increases competitiveness

Innovative parts employing bionic design increase the benefit to customers and competitiveness.

4. In mass production - The customer’s benefit

Parts employing bionic design, produced in the new plant in Mettmann, are being used for the first time in the new Audi A3 and VW Golf. There will be more.

The new lightness in Mettmann

There are moments in life when even the soberest manager goes into raptures. “It’s the dream of every foundryman, a ‘white foundry,’” says Andreas Güll, Managing Director of the Georg Fischer foundry in Mettmann (Germany). He is now standing in the ultramodern manufacturing line at the plant completed in 2012. All around him is the equipment needed to cast light-weight components for the automotive industry of the 21st century. And robots! Robots everywhere to handle the work of “Aeration Molding Robotpouring” or AMR, a technology of automated casting with optimized sand pouring that has been tailored for casting at the Mettmann site.

The name is a mouthful, but it hits the nail on the head. In modern-day casting, technology has evolved so that iron components for automotive engineering now have bionic structures. In other words, forms that are copied from nature’s blueprint and combine a minimum of material with maximum resilience. Take the steering knuckle, for instance, a chassis part that is subject to severe loads. At GF Automotive it has undergone various bionic development stages, which, together with the use of Sibodur, a material Georg Fischer developed in-house, have reduced the component’s weight from 4.39 kilograms to 2.98 kilograms. This means less material consumption in manufacturing and less fuel consumption as well as lower CO2 emissions in the vehicle. But it also means utmost precision during the casting process.

Mettmann
For all leading carmakers
The “white foundry”The “white foundry”: the new manufacturing line of the GF Automotive foundry in Mettmann (Germany)

With AMR, manufacturing is pushing the boundaries of casting technology. Robot arms pour the red-hot liquid iron at 1,400 degrees Celsius into these sand moulds. Even before this happens, a computerized photoshoot checks whether each individual sand mold is producing faultless cast components. The AMR line is used to manufacture components for all the world’s leading carmakers such as VW, Audi, PSA, Ford, Renault, Hyundai/Kia, and Toyota.

The “white foundry”, about which Andreas Güll is so enthusiastic, also impacts positively on the energy footprint. A rotary heat exchanger recycles waste air to heat the factory, while highly efficient electric motors take a big cut out of energy consumption. Energy requirements are 41 percent lower than in a conventional plant. The reduction in CO2 emissions from production is equivalent to the annual emissions from 500 VW Golfs.

Interview with Ki Sang Jang, Purchasing Dept. Manager Iljin (Slovakia)

What is Georg Fischer’s contribution to your business?

Reliability is a key factor in our business. At Georg Fischer we can rely on stable and constant supplies without any problems or obstacles throughout the whole supply chain. With other castingpart suppliers, we have encountered problems every year.

How important is this fact to your company?

This is very important for us. Our clients are highly demanding. Kia for example expects changes to be implemented very quickly. We need companies that can react immediately. High flexibility is one reason that we started the partnership with Georg Fischer.

And what do you like about working with Georg Fischer?

Besides the flexibility, stability, and reliability it is the fact that Georg Fischer is highly competent in casting engineering and production technology.

What were the reasons for you to choose Georg Fischer as your first European supplier?

Georg Fischer is known as the leading casting supplier in Europe, and our decision was to select a supplier that we can rely on. And the prices are competitive, which is very important in this segment.

Do you see differences between the parts from the traditional lines in Mettmann and those produced with the new AMR line?

The appearance and the workmanship of the new parts are much better. They are from a completely new world.

GF Automotive Facts & figures
Sales: CHF 1 461 million

Profile. GF Automotive is a technologically pioneering development partner and manufacturer of highly stressable cast components and systems made of light metal and iron for the global automotive industry as well as for the machine tool and plant engineering sectors.

Range. GF Automotive is a manufacturer for passenger and commercial vehicle production and for industrial applications.

Customer focus. Every component is the result of a cooperative dialog between the customer and the specialists from GF Automotive. The division focuses its efforts on its key markets in Europe, China, and Nafta. It manufactures some 600,000 tons of components at ten production plants in Germany, Austria, and China.

Research and development. GF Automotive’s research and development competency is concentrated in Schaffhausen (Switzerland), and Suzhou (China).

in CHF million2012 2011

 

EBIT

 

54

 

69

Return on sales (EBIT margin) %3.74.5
Invested capital (IC)535527
Return on invested capital (ROIC) %10.312.2
Employees5 1885 261

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

GF AgieCharmilles

Keeping promises

For GF AgieCharmilles, with its key technologies electric discharge machining and high-performance milling, innovation means meeting customers’ specific requirements. But at GF AgieCharmilles innovation goes much further: technological developments together with customers on site – the world over, machines designed for simple handling, comprehensive services, and outstanding after-sales service. For the customer, all this means excellent process efficiency, shorter delivery times, and so lower costs.

The customer’s success story

“ Good machine. Good price. Perfect performance.”

Harbin, a metropolis of three million people not far from the Russian border, has long been an important industrial center in China. And a big player in Harbin is AVIC Harbin Aircarft Group, one of the country’s two largest helicopter manufacturers.

GF AgieCharmilles first entered into contact with AVIC Harbin Aircraft Group in 2002 when the company decided to buy milling machines to produce structural components for its helicopters. That order went to a competitor, but the doors were not closed on GF AgieCharmilles. The division’s outstanding technology kept the lines of communication open for doing business with the customer.

We understand.

Successful partnershipSuccessful partnership: HFIC works with 16 high-precision machine tools from GF AgieCharmilles to produce demanding aluminum helicopter components.

AVIC Harbin Aircraft Group was impressed by the fiveaxis Mikron milling machines from GF AgieCharmilles, which are equipped with high-tech motor spindles that rotate at up to 20,000 revolutions per minute. Ideally suited for manufacturing aluminum structural components, they maximize process efficiency. Tests showed process efficiency was up 80 percent over the previous machines. For the customer, this meant undreamt-of competitive advantages. The production process was more efficient. Delivery times for manufacturing components melted away. Machine reliability resulted in across-the-board quality gains and more competitive prices. After purchasing two Mikron milling machines, AVIC Harbin Aircraft Group also got a glimpse of the quality of after-sales service at GF AgieCharmilles. “We think it’s very good,” the manager says. “They do what they say.”

Satisfied customers are the secret to new business. After restructuring in 2005, HaFei Industry Co. Ltd (HFIC) was separated from AVIC Harbin Aircraft Group. HaFei sought to capture a niche as a supplier of structural and frame components in helicopter manufacture. When HaFei received orders from its former parent in 2008, it was in the market for suitable milling machines. “We were familiar with GF AgieCharmilles machines from the time when we were part of AVIC Harbin Aircraft Group,” HaFei managers say, “and when we needed machine tools, we immediately knew where to look.” As a result, they purchased from GF AgieCharmilles two high-precision machining centers for five-axis simultaneous machining of structure and framework components.

HFIC has grown to become one of China’s leading aircraft and helicopter components manufacturers. Thanks to its excellent customer relations, GF AgieCharmilles has succeeded in selling 16 units to the company. HFIC has been very impressed by the close cooperation between the GF AgieCharmilles engineers and its own specialists. This means that the machinery has brought about further efficiency gains for HFIC while at the same time reducing its manufacturing costs.

Aluminum brackets for helicoptersAluminum brackets for helicopters are one example of the varied application areas at the chinese company HFIC.

Local service unit in Harbin ensures customer focus
Impressed by the reliability of the machines and aftersales service, HFIC recently ordered two more standard milling machines plus one high-performance machine tool for another branch factory (automotive components branch factory) to make automotive molds. The orders were filled between November 2011 and 2012. This is a classic example of how business in the Chinese market can be built up steadily and successfully. A decisive factor, no doubt, was GF AgieCharmilles’ decision early on, in the 1990s, to set up its own sales companies in this key market. So it is not by chance that the Swiss manufacturer now has its own service unit in Harbin. This is the best guarantee of customer focus. The people from HaFei say: “It’s a big help for us to have technical support locally.”

The customer’s benefit
success-stories_The-innovation-for-our-customerThe innovation for our customer
  • 20 000 revolutions per minute (thanks to high-tech motor spindles)
  • +80% process efficiency (compared to previous machines)
  • strong improvement in reliability due to well established machine-tool
  • shorter delivery times thanks to high efficiency
  • higher quality overall during entire customer journey
GF AgieCharmilles Facts & figures
Sales: CHF 842 million

Profile: GF AgieCharmilles provides machines, system solutions, and customer services for the manufacture of molds, tools, and components. Its electric discharge, high-speed milling, and laser texturing machines, along with automation solutions, make it the world’s leading provider to the tool and mold making industry and to manufacturers of precision components.

A versatile range. GF AgieCharmilles develops, produces, and distributes machines worldwide for electric discharge machining, laser ablation and high-speed and high-performance milling, and a full range of services. High-precision tools and molds are decisive competitive factors in the serial production of advanced consumer goods.

Customer focus. The division has its own sales companies to serve customers locally in more than 50 countries. Its production plants are located in Switzerland, Sweden, and China. Its most important customer segments are information and communication technology, aerospace, and the automotive industry.

Research and development. GF AgieCharmilles operates R&D-centers in Meyrin, Losone, Nidau (Switzerland), Vällingby (Sweden), Beijing and Changzhou (China).

in CHF million2012 2011

 

EBIT

 

45

 

37

Return on sales (EBIT margin) %5.34.6
Invested capital (IC)330303
Return on invested capital (ROIC) %13.413.0
Employees2 7982 712

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com