Manufacturing "large calibres" - The BEKO TECHNOLOGIES site in Netphen
In Netphen and the surrounding economic region, metal container construction has a tradition that goes back to the 19th century and thus to the time of the industrial revolution. One reason for this were the many iron and zinc deposits in the region. Thus, a large body of knowledge about metal processing and container construction accumulated here.
BEKO TECHNOLOGIES produces CLEARPOINT compressed air filters and water separators with flange connection, CLEARPOINT V activated carbon adsorbers and all EVERDRY adsorption dryers including the special HL and Combitroc series in Netphen. In terms of tank volume, these are all "large calibres". This is not the only reason why Netphen is ideally suited as a production location. "The piping that we install in EVERDRY compressed air dryers is high-temperature galvanised and electroplated by a nearby supplier. This has advantages over the usual hot-dip galvanising. The nearest supplier who can do this is in southern Europe and the procurement would be too costly," says team leader Oliver Kleikamp.
But what does the production of an EVERDRY look like? While CLEARPOINT works with prefabricated pressure vessels, EVERDRY is a completely individual production. This is because every EVERDRY order already differs in the engineering, which is precisely tailored to the customer's requirements. For this reason, production in Netphen is always in close contact with the project system design department at BEKO TECHNOLOGIES in Neuss. All design specifications are created there. Project management designs the EVERDRY compressed air dryers according to customer specifications, if required, and they are then designed accordingly.
During the subsequent production of the large EVERDRY adsorption dryers, it is often important to implement final customer requests at short notice or to react quickly and effectively to design-related difficulties. No problem for the experienced team, which thinks ahead, anticipates possible deviations and thus lives the term "flexibility". The willingness to help and the transfer of knowledge are also emphasised across departments and locations - always in the interest of customer satisfaction.
The average production time for an EVERDRY dryer is ten days and the factory in Netphen is the last link in the chain. The right timing plays an important role here. Own and subcontractor services must be precisely scheduled. If there are difficulties, for example due to changes in the design or delays at the supplier, this has a direct impact on the production plans. The compressed air dryers should not be left in the factory hall longer than planned because the large units require a lot of floor space. An EVERDRY adsorption dryer can sometimes occupy half the hall.
In the production of CLEARPOINT compressed air filters and EVERDRY adsorption dryers, another central task in Netphen is to provide the activated carbon and desiccants. The activated carbon used in the CLEARPOINT V filters must be pre-dried. For this purpose, the employees have developed their own activated carbon drying system. Compared to the previous solution, this creates twice as much volume in half the time (400-500 kg at 3-4 h drying time). The heat-dried, heated activated carbon is then cooled down again with dry compressed air specially generated in an EVERDRY. The filling silos and processes for the various desiccants were developed based on the company's own ideas and experience. "This is also due to a lean production project in which many of our own ideas were incorporated and implemented, much to the delight of our employees," reports Oliver Kleikamp.
As part of the Lean Production project, the employees in Netphen developed measures to make production leaner and more efficient. In addition to increasing efficiency, the focus was also on simplifying the working conditions, for example through an ergonomic orientation of the production steps. Several employees from the team were able to contribute their experience and ideas. One example: before the new measures were implemented, all the materials needed for a work process were transported to the workplace in a pallet cage using a lift truck. The heavy box pallet was often in the way and could not simply be pushed away. Access to the assembly material was sometimes awkward. As part of the Lean Production project, the employees replaced the cage box with a mobile production trolley that can be easily moved when needed. All materials are now within easy reach for the assembler.