• 5 years in Meitingen: Ramp-up curve mastered even in difficult times

LSV's most modern site: successfully mastering the ramp-up curve even in difficult times

Exactly five years ago, the bright and bar steel manufacturer LSV Lech-Stahl Veredelung GmbH built a third plant on the doorstep of its parent company Lech-Stahlwerke. The newest LSV site in Meitingen has thus reached pre-school age in human terms. The production capacities at the previous sites in Landsberg am Lech and Oberndorf am Lech can be significantly expanded by LSV with this location.

Around 10 years ago, LSV began setting up its first in-house systems for the inductive heat treatment of steel. The company thus fulfils the requirements of the metalworking industry to provide production material that already has the mechanical properties of the component on delivery. Today, every third tonne produced at LSV undergoes this process. The plant technology used incorporates all of LSV's expertise in single bar tempering.

It is therefore not surprising that the initial plans for the new site in 2017 included the reorganisation of induction heat treatment. In the two bays with an area of around 10,000 square metres, LSV will install a bright steel line, an induction surface hardening line and an induction single bar quenching and tempering line over the course of time. In particular, surface hardening on the ultra-modern plant technology is developing into an important part of the company's business.

The site has been built with sustainability in mind from the outset. The distances to the parent company, which supplies the site with the steel input material, are short. This not only saves transport costs, but also protects the environment by reducing exhaust emissions. The plant also relies on a combined logistics concept that deliberately avoids the use of diesel vehicles for internal transport. An electrically powered platform truck with a payload of 40 tonnes is used within the production hall. This emission-free and quiet transport option enables a more targeted material flow to the systems and reduces the effort required for crane logistics. The inductive heat treatment processes comply with the heat treatment standard CQI-9. Corresponding series tests are implemented during production, which are realised with the help of state-of-the-art testing technology in LSV's own quality laboratories. Thanks to the installation of reverse osmosis systems and UV filters, valuable drinking water can be dispensed with for the cooling circuits of the production systems in Meitingen and the shallow well water available at the Meitingen site can be utilised. To further conserve resources, part of the production of plastic parts has been converted to additive manufacturing in the company's own facilities. Thanks to the possibilities of geometric design, the amount of plastic required for individual components has been reduced by 70%. In addition, the wearing parts are returned to use via re-filamentation and thus avoid disposal.

The site plays a pioneering role in process data recording. The modern plant technology provides real-time data for analysing continuous measurement signals to predict quality, identify potential energy savings and find and rectify the causes of faults more quickly. The topic of process mining is being implemented at the Meitingen site for the first time and initial experience is being shared throughout the company. A role that fits in well with the innovative Meitingen plant team with a great deal of pioneering spirit. Any suggestions for optimisation are evaluated under the motto: "One hall - one team".

The workforce is made up of 40 employees, recruited from the two other LSV sites on the one hand and new recruits on the other. With this powerful team, the plant is able to fulfil all the functions required on the production side in the relevant departments. The employees demonstrate great flexibility in the form of multi-machine operation.  

The plant expansion will begin in 2018 and the first induction-hardened and tempered bar will follow in 2019. The successful commissioning of the bright steel line at the beginning of 2020 marks the provisional end of the expansion and the start of the ramp-up curve. Although the euphoria of the modern LSV site is somewhat dampened by the pandemic, this critical phase is nevertheless accompanied by volume increases from demanding customers.

As the company reaches pre-school age, it can therefore be stated that the LSV production site in Meitingen has established and proven itself with its own customer portfolio with an outstanding process chain. As in the first days of commissioning, LSV's management is fascinated by the modern plant technology and the associated precision of the products. This is also reflected in one of the most important key figures of a production plant: the number of accidents at work. There are many hazards in steel production in particular, which makes it all the more pleasing that there has not been an accident at work at the site for over 500 days. A visit to Meitingen therefore always puts a satisfied smile on people's faces.

LSV Meitingen hall at the start
It starts with the newly built, empty hall
LSV Meitingen construction site sign
First sign on the construction site
Setting up the machinery
The machinery is being built up gradually
LSV Meitingen inductive single-bar quenching and tempering system
The ultra-modern single-bar quenching and tempering system goes into operation
LSV site Meitingen aerial view
LSV site Meitingen aerial view

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