The NADCA 2016 Poland Tour started on Sunday October 30th with a cocktail reception in the host hotel: the Sofitel Old Town, Wroclaw Poland. Most of the attendees arrived Sunday and were at the reception where Dan Twarog, President of NADCA, welcomed everyone and presented us with the week’s schedule of plant tours of die cast plants.
On Monday, October 31st, we started the tour with a presentation by the Polish Foundrymen’s Association with the statistics of the foundry industry in Poland. The presentation was very detailed with the state of the industry. The impressive fact was the education and training available to engineers in foundry courses, tailored for engineers to enter the job market with courses practical for foundry processes. This type of education is one of the few places that prepares engineers for the industry to work in the field of foundry or die casting.
Shortly after the presentation we embarked on a bus to our first plant tour – Silum Foundry located in the village of Czamozyly is nestled within a group of farms. Our tour guides, Konrad and Marek, provided us with a presentation of the company before we went out to the production floor. Silum was started in 1990 and has grown to 20 die casting machines with a large portion of the business in the appliance sector.
A few details on the company – there are 440 people in the entire company with 138 in the die casting department. Besides the appliance industry Silum does work in the auto sector for starter housings and mirror bases. The tool division of Silum does their own tools with capacity of 50 sets of dies per year.
After the shop tour we were provided with a lunch of local cuisine, had a question and answer period, then we were on to the bus to the next die cast facility, Neapco Europe.
We arrived at Neapco Europe which is located in the village of Praszka with a population of approximately 4,500 people. Many of the local people work at this plant and it is a very clean and organized facility. We were ushered into the plant by Alex Jedryszek who was a knowledgeable employee on all the processes in the plant.
The facility currently employees 996 people. The plant has 59 years in production and has changed ownership a number of times since the initial startup. The die casting department has been in operation since 1973 and currently has 28 die casting machines most are automated with robots and high tech casting machines. The casting machines range from 400 to 1250 tons capacity.
The management is very serious and practices 5S and Continuous Improvement in the value stream processes. The plant manager gave us a presentation before the tour and believes that his managers are shop managers who walk the floor daily and not “powerpoint managers” thus being able to understand their processes and managing daily contributing to their success.
The plant has excellent process testing such as metallurgical chemistry tests, X-ray tests, and superior metal cleaning in the melting department. There is quite a bit of machining done internally with 35 CNC machines and most of the die castings have a porosity and leak test requirement so the process must be tightly controlled.
The market sectors served are automotive water pumps, air compressor parts, and air brakes. Besides die castings the plant produces and assembles half shaft products for the auto sector which is a large percentage of revenue behind the die casting products.
We ended the tour of the plant and headed back to Wroclaw where we enjoyed the local cuisine of Poland.
If you have any die casting requirements or need a part to be reviewed and quoted as a die casting please send your prints or 3D models to Sales@diecasting.com or contact us online.