Danfoss is a Danish multinational company that employs more than 42,000 people worldwide. Founded in 1933 by engineer Mads Clausen, the family- and foundation-owned company engineers solutions that increase machine productivity, reduce emissions, lower energy consumption and enable electrification. Danfoss solutions are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, power conversion, motor control, industrial machinery, automotive, marine, and off- and on-highway equipment. The company also provides solutions for renewable energy, such as heat pumps, solar and wind power, as well as district-energy infrastructure for cities.
In the plant in Viby, a district in the southwestern part of Aarhus in Denmark, Danfoss Climate Solutions manufactures products for the residential heating sector. Since 1973, a Hatebur AMP 20 S has been the reliable backbone of the production of nuts and nipples for radiator valves, heat control equipment and residential heating systems. “For more than 50 years, the old Hatebur hot former has been in use as a key machine – and it still produces high-quality parts to this day. When Danfoss bought the machine, it was already 10 years old. Today, it is 60 years old,” explains Charlie Køhler, Production Engineer at Danfoss Climate Solutions.
When the company decided to relocate the Viby production site to the Danish city of Silkeborg, 45 km to the west, an important consideration was whether to move the old Hatebur machine to Silkeborg or purchase a new one. Mr. Køhler explains: “I had joined the company just before this process and was in charge of all the detailed calculations. We ultimately decided to retire the old hot former and invest in a new Hatebur HOTmatic AMP 20 S.” The project started in October 2021 with discussions between the Danfoss experts and the Hatebur specialists. The process was super-efficient, recounts Køhler: “It was challenging, but Hatebur was a great partner from day 1. After finalising all the specifications, calculations and standards, and after many meetings with Hatebur, we placed the order in March 2022.”
The decision to buy the HOTmatic AMP 20 S was based on a variety of reasons, explains Køhler.
Experience & partnership
One reason was the decades of positive experience with the old Hatebur machine. “Having witnessed the quality and reliability of the old hot former and the customer service of the Hatebur team, it was clear that Hatebur should be our first point of contact. Before investing in such machinery, it is a big advantage to collaborate with an existing, trusted partner. Replacing the old machine with a new Hatebur hot former ensures that our operators are familiar with the manufacturing equipment because many mechanical aspects follow the same idea. Consequently, operator training is not a problem,” says Charlie Køhler.
25% faster: Productivity boost
Another major reason for the purchase of the new machine is the expected productivity gain. “We expect it to be 25% faster than the old one. We expect less maintenance and an optimised machine uptime,” underlines Køhler. Thanks to the increased output, Danfoss will be able to react more flexibly to market requirements and to produce additional parts. At maximum capacity, the new AMP 20 S will run on three shifts from Monday to Friday, 225 days a year. That adds up to 45 weeks of production in a calendar year.
To meet – or surpass – even the highest requirements in terms of precision and quality, Danfoss is consistently seeking to improve its production processes. The new Hatebur hot former is expected to boost the production quality even further. “Over the years, we have improved the tooling on the old machine and introduced new products. The machine still produces at a very high standard. With the new hot former and latest technologies, we want to improve this quality standard even further, while at the same time enhancing tool life,” explains Køhler. Nine different products are scheduled to be manufactured on the Hatebur HOTmatic AMP 20 S. “In agreement with Hatebur, we decided to buy new tooling for all products. By working in close cooperation, we will optimise the tooling for improved efficiency and increased tool life!”
The new HOTmatic AMP 20 S is convenient because of its many new technical features. Comprehensive data is available to the operator, and PLC controls provide added automation and efficiency. “It is important for us to have a clear, data-driven picture of what the machine can offer. State-of-the-art technology also improves work safety, which is crucial for Danfoss,” reports Køhler. To reduce noise levels, Danfoss has installed cabins around the conveyors and the machinery.
Danfoss has a green heart
Sustainable aspects were another reason for the purchase of the new Hatebur machine. Charlie Køhler explains: “Power consumption is always an important consideration. We want our new facility in Silkeborg to be CO2-neutral. Lowering CO2 emissions and reducing power consumption are important topics for Hatebur as well, and they have optimised their machines according to these requirements.”
“The machine is one thing, the foundation another,” says Mr. Køhler. A hot former like the AMP 20 S needs a perfect foundation to ensure the highest possible precision. Planning and constructing the foundation for the machine, with its many different levels and varying degrees, is a complex undertaking. “We at Danfoss were responsible for the foundation, and our partners at Hatebur consulted us and approved it.”
At the Hatebur headquarters in Reinach, the Swiss experts constructed and tested the tooling with the responsible Danfoss operator present. Details were analysed and adjusted to streamline the processes once the tooling arrived in Denmark. “Our operator attended training with Hatebur in Switzerland, and he will teach his colleagues to ensure that we are well prepared,” states Køhler.
Arrival in Denmark
The move into the new facility in Silkeborg has already started, and the new Hatebur HOTmatic AMP 20 S arrived in the first week of August 2023. Together, the expert teams from both companies will test the machine at the new location and put it into operation in the coming months. The old Hatebur machine will continue to manufacture until the new one is ready to take over – and then it will be time for the old AMP 20 S to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
Charlie Køhler summarises: “It is a big step for us. The new machine will increase our productivity and our flexibility. With the Hatebur HOTmatic AMP 20 S, we can ensure the highest quality, and we will be able to follow market requirements for different or bigger parts. Going forward, we will continue our fruitful cooperation with Hatebur, for example to mutually develop advanced tooling for new products.”