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Foundry Repositioning From Passion for Light Metal: Schulte & Schmidt Becomes 595°

From Nicole Kareta

Due to its many advantages, Magnesium is increasingly used in the automotive and aircraft industry. The lighter components are, the less CO2 is produced, reducing green house gas emissions. 595 °C is the temperature at which magnesium turns into a liquid state. For 595° Solutions GmbH, successor of the historical Schulte & Schmidt Leichtmetallgießerei GmbH, the name says it all.

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The passion for their own craftsmanship distinguishes the employees of 595° Solutions GmbH.
The passion for their own craftsmanship distinguishes the employees of 595° Solutions GmbH.
(Source: 595° Solutions GmbH)

595° Solutions GmbH relies on the thixomolding process for the processing of magnesium. "Tests have shown that this process can not only produce components with higher tensile strength and elongation than in die casting, but also achieves thinner wall thicknesses," says Achim Sach, Managing Director of 595°. These characteristics are of great importance in the automotive industry, and are dependant on both the casting temperature and the solid phase in the melt. At the so-called “liquidus temperature”, or slightly above it, magnesium enhances its best mechanical properties – at 595°C for the alloy AZ91 which is currently the most common magnesium alloy for castings. The standard die casting process is not applicable at such low casting temperatures, due to the cold filling chamber. "As an expression of our new start into the world of lightweight design, we have made the 595° our new brand name," says Sach.

Magnesium is the material of the future where every gram counts. Whether in drivetrain technology, aviation, motorsport, automotive engineering, not to mention electrical tools and machines, the material makes an enormous contribution to energy efficiency and sustainability."

595° Solutions GmbH offers metal components for the high-end sector, developing everything from a single source, to die casting, CNC machining, finishing and assembly. In addition to aluminum, 595° Solutions GmbH has the pleasure to launch magnesium as its new construction material.

High Degree of Digitisation Thanks to Digital Twin

595° offers customers an access to the magnesium production line through a virtual twin, that can be explored via augmented reality. This gives you a transparent picture of the supplier's production processes and enables you to check process, guidelines and quality standards. For the 595° employees, the digital twin simulates the machine and the process that helps to train the operators and increase occupational safety. Last but not least, this technology is used to collect data in production and systematically evaluates it for its optimization. 595° is the first German company in this industry using such sophisticated digital technology to systematically increase efficiency in thixomolding production, minimizing maintenance times and thus increase reliability.

On the Way to a Turnaround

As the preferred supplier for leading automotive suppliers, Schulte & Schmidt Leichtmetallgießerei GmbH was recently affected by the corona-related crisis in the automotive industry, but was able to successfully reposition itself with the help of an investor. As 595° Solutions GmbH, the company is now successfully restructured and ready to invest in future technologies. Due to the importance of lightweight design for the mobility of the future, experts see enormous global market potential for magnesium. The material allows up to 40 % weight savings and also scores with complete recyclability," ex plains managing director Arne Amann. 595° Solutions GmbH does not only enable its customers to save on CO2 emissions, in gratitude to lightweight design technologies, but at its German production sites, the company itself will be CO2 neutral by January 2022, thus producing with a net neutral impact on the environment.

Made in Europe: Internationally Successful at Four Locations

At four locations – the historic production site of Schulte & Schmidt in Nuremberg was closed as part of necessary restructuring. 595° Solutions GmbH employs a total of around 550 people: Since 1977, components for the automotive industry have been manufactured in Flossenbuerg in Upper Palatinate using the die casting process. In 2007, a separate location with 85 employees for CNC machining and assembly was implemented in nearby Vohenstrauß. Production has been taking place in Brasov in Romania since 2007. A relocation of production to Asia was not even considered during the crisis: "Our know-how and passion, the close contact to our customers and the associated reaction speed cannot be outsourced," explains Amann.

Know-How of Employees as Valuable Capital

595° is a creative, innovative and courageous company. For example, it uses state-of-the art CNC machinery and invests significantly in automation and digitization. The workforce is highly trained, has extremely high demands and are impassioned toward their profession which in turn convinces customers and investors. More than 90 % of the jobs were saved during the crisis. Amann describes that, “more than 500 employees in the company spread over four locations, are trained and systematically involved in important corporate matters and innovation processes, and are considered as a decisive asset to the company. Their passion for their craftsmanship and their ability to reinvent themselves is what distinguishes 595° from others."

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