Special Report Günther invests in a successful future
Günther Hot Runner Technology has plenty of reasons to celebrate. Firstly, the company has been founded exactly 35 years ago. Secondly, the expansion and renovation of the company's headquarters in Frankenberg, Germany, have been completed.
A year ago, a scaffold blocked the view of the façade of the main building of Günther's headquarters. When visiting today, one can see a radiant, new front. Taking a closer look, the design of the building automatically makes sense. The white panels, which draw wide curves across the building, are based on the heating of the Blue Flow hot runner nozzles.
The company invested a total of 2.2 million euros in the renovation. Some 600 square metres of space have been created. In addition, the interiors were designed using a modern mix of wood and glass. Managing Director Siegrid Sommer states: “The extension of the administrative, manufacturing and order-processing areas created around 600 square metres of additional space, forming the basis for the further optimisation of internal processes. Management, accounting, controlling and development are now united on the new upper floor.”
The building renovation was only one part of a larger modernisation project. According to the company, Günther invested a total of 5 million euros. What was not invested in the renovation was spent on new technologies and machines. “Only a continuous investment in machinery and infrastructure ensures the high quality of our hot runner nozzles and systems,” said Sommer. In addition to its headquarters in Germany, Günther also has subsidiaries in many other countries. The customers come from all over the world. To ensure that everything takes place on the same platform, the subsidiaries in Italy and Austria were also recently connected to SAP.
In regard to equipment, a new cylindrical grinding machine, two CNC lathes and another screen printer for thick-film production were purchased. “We must always remain on the cutting edge of technology, especially with regard to the possibilities of digitisation,” said Sommer. The clear objective of the investments was to facilitate the introduction of new technologies while taking automation into account. With the new Index CNC lathe, for example, set-up times can be minimised and set-up costs saved thanks to a change magazine with 120 tools. As with the milling machines, all the necessary tools are now available on the machine and can be changed automatically during operation. Another positive effect on process and throughput times is automatic loading via pallet and conveyor belt systems on the grinding machines.
Two information-packed days
At the end of September, Günther opened the doors to their production facility. Visitors of the Technology Days were able to see the results for themselves. Almost 300 visitors attended the first day in Frankenberg. The two-day event featured lectures on current topics such as surfaces and coatings, digitisation, lightweight construction and simulations.
In her opening speech, Siegrid Sommer talked about the topics of the Technology Days: “In keeping with the times, we deal with the current topics and questions of our industry. Which new technologies make it possible to increase efficiency in injection moulding? What possibilities does automation offer? What will the next steps of digitisation bring? What direction is the industry taking in general? All these questions are certainly of concern to you and certainly to us. And our speakers and we would like to take the opportunity to answer some of these questions – or shall I say try to answer them – and explore the latest trends in injection moulding.” The lectures were held in both English and German so that visitors from outside the German-speaking area could also learn more about new technologies and materials. On special exhibition areas set up in the production hall, some 24 companies took the opportunity to provide information on products and to talk to visitors of the event.