Case study - OPS Ingersoll/ Finke Formenbau In the fast lane with high-quality EDM and HSC technology

Author / Editor: Nadia Creutz, Textfabrik Düsseldorf / Barbara Schulz

Germany – Finke Formenbau manufactures moulds and injection-moulded parts for premium cars. The company's order books are already full for the next six months. This is a result of the efficiency and quality the company achieves, among other things, high-quality EDM and HSC technology.

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The moulds for radiator grilles and similar components require many electrodes with rib structure.
The moulds for radiator grilles and similar components require many electrodes with rib structure.
(Source: OPS Ingersoll)

Team Finke is printed in big letters on the shirts of over 110 employees in Altenbeken near Paderborn, Eastern Westphalia, Germany. And the print says it all: Finke Formenbau really is a team that manufactures high quality moulds and injection-moulded parts for premium and luxury cars. Among other things it is the high-quality EDM and HSC milling technology from OPS-Ingersoll which makes the company remain competitive.

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Although the time of the “gas guzzlers” is inevitably drawing to a close, there will always be a market for high-performance, fascinating sports cars, as proven by the new generation of the Audi R8 or the AMG version of the Mercedes-S Class convertibles. Markus Finke, managing director of Finke Formenbau has focused his company on these “top dogs” of the automotive industry. Around 50% of the products for which Finke Formenbau designs tools – which they usually also manufacture in their own pilot plant, Finke Anwendungstechnik – are painted and chrome parts, mostly for Mercedes AMG, Porsche or Audi R and RS models.

Tools for series production and for special-edition models

“Our plastic moulding division focuses on areas that are not profitable for our clients,” explains Finke. “Mercedes manufactures approximately 120,000 E-Class cars per year, and we produce many moulds and parts for the AMG versions. We construct tools both for series production and for special-edition models for our own production. That is our business.”

When the master tool and mould maker took over the company in Paderborn with 14 employees in 1998, he never would have suspected its amazing future development. But quickly the company evolved from purely producing glass moulds into a versatile mould maker. In 2007, Finke Formenbau already had 48 employees and relocated to Altenbeken, where their new shop floor is now already in its fourth expansion stage and where 110 employees now generate about €16 million in annual turnover. In 2013, the mould making company expanded and founded its own injection moulding division, which today has 35 employees and a turnover of €6 million.

Finke specialises in automotive fronts and manufactures complex, high-precision moulds for parts like radiator grilles or bumper add-on parts. The company's injection moulding and die casting divisions today produce moulds up to a weight of 20 tonnes and a size of 2500 x 1500 mm.

This production of course requires appropriate machines, which must be suitable for the sheer size of the moulds and also meet the company's high quality requirements. To this purpose, Finke Formenbau has recently invested in a new EDM machine from OPS-Ingersoll: The Gantry Eagle 1400 with its work-tank of 1510 x 2590 x 790 mm offers the mould maker plenty of space and room for flexibility. Apart from the high precision of its design, the Gantry machine concept with its almost table-covering travel ways in combination with a 48 electrode changer also offers ideal conditions for long, unmanned operating times.

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