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EMKA-Toolmaking in Velbert, Germany

Since the company was founded in 1932, EMKA has been closely associated with Velbert, a town in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Not only does the history of today’s world market leader start there, but a powerful component of EMKA’s current success in toolmaking can also be found here.

Everything under one roof

According to the motto “Everything under one roof”, EMKA manufactures handles, locks, etc., and the necessary punching-bending-forming tools for their production. In Velbert, over 20 employees are continuously busy with the development, production, repair, and measures to improve these essential components. Sometimes, the department has to design and produce over 40 new tools for customers in one year of operation.

The development and completion of a tool take between 8 and 16 weeks, depending on the tool’s size. In order to meet the constantly increasing demands, Continuous Improvement Processes (CIP) play a significant role. Needless to say, the department is continuously developing and optimising internal processes.

In order to meet the specific requirements of each customer, EMKA uses a wide range of tool types. Progressive tools, progressive dies, punch deburring tools, twisting tools, universal rod tools, punching, bending, and rolling tools are produced in Velbert. Most of the tools can be subdivided into punching or forming tools.

However, only the progressive dies combine both functions. Meaning, a metal strip from a coil can first be punched and subsequently bent or rolled within one tool. This process qualifies progressive dies for the production of complex end products. This is another reason these systems – some of which are up to two metres long and weigh up to 2,000 kg – account for approximately 65% of new developments in Velbert.

Regardless of the type, each tool always comprises a lower and upper part and a guide. The devel­opment is divided into several steps. Each new tool begins with the creation of a strip layout. This shows which forming and punching steps the metal strip from the coil has to go through on its way to the end product. Subsequently, a design for the tool is created and, after a joint review, corrected or approved by the team (designer, toolmaker, production management and the departmental management of toolmaking and stamping). The active parts for punching and bending are manufactured separately to the basic body from powder steel or a high-alloy steel and subsequently hardened, ground and eroded. After the individual parts have been mounted on the basic body, the test phase/tryout follows in order to implement any adjustments to the tool until it is ready for use. In addition to new development, the repair and CIP measures of the components are also of great importance in Velbert. The department is responsible for all EMKA locations and their customers worldwide. In addition to the service provided, it is above all the fast reaction speed, even to short-term enquiries, that is proving so convincing.

Toolmaking is one of the decisive factors for EMKA’s corporate growth. The global player from Velbert proves itself to customers due to individual solutions and the consideration of customer requirements during development. This service is only possible due to the internal development and innovation of these systems.

Therefore, the division in Velbert is to grow further. Due to a new CNC machining centre, larger components can now also be manufactured in-house. Furthermore, the division is looking for talented engineers and toolmakers in order to expand the team in the long term.