The secret to longevity for many companies is the ability to adapt over time. Take the Andritz Group from Austria as an example, a small iron foundry started in 1852 in the Andritz region of Graz has become a global supplier to a range of engineering sectors using cutting edge technologies.
Andritz Group has come a very long way from its humble beginnings when Hungarian entrepreneur Josef Körösi started out with his foundry.
The business grew significantly during the 1990s and has been on the acquisition trail, completing more than 60 transactions since 1990. In 1999 AGIV AG sold its shareholding in Andritz to a consortium of investment companies and 2 years later the company was listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. 2003 saw the Secondary Placing of Andritz shares on the Vienna stock exchange. The financial investors sold their entire shareholdings in Andritz, which resulted in a rise in free float to over 70 per cent.
Today the Group is a leading supplier of plants, equipment, and services for hydropower stations, the pulp and paper industry, the metalworking and steel industries, and solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors.
Operations are still headquartered in Graz, but the business has grown significantly and has over 250 worldwide operations which employ approximately 23,700 people.
With hydropower and mining big issues on the African Continent, Andritz has 5 sites in South Africa including Andritz Delkor, a business located in Kyalami, Gauteng.
The operation was originally established as Delkor Technik (Pty) Ltd. in 1975 and became a member of the Andritz Group in 2010, adding to the Group’s product portfolio in solid/liquid separation technology.
Andritz Delkor (Pty) Ltd. is now a leading global supplier of solid/liquid separation equipment for the mining, metallurgical, sewage, wastewater, pulp and paper, food, and chemical industries.
Among its products are centrifuges, belt presses, dryers, screens and sieves, hyperbaric filters, filter presses and PowerDrain thickeners.
The company also supplies horizontal vacuum belt filters, conventional and high-rate thickeners, flocculant make-up and dosing plants and linear screens as part of its solid/liquid separation equipment range.
Of course precision and quality are vitally important in the supply of such equipment and Andritz has developed a comprehensive quality management system over the years, as the company website explains:
“Andritz applies well-established quality assurance and integrated management systems to meet customers’ requirements and legal stipulations.
“Andritz quality management ensures reliable performance thanks to continuous improvement of process and product quality. Our processes combine the know-how and experience of experts and executives worldwide to achieve defined quality standards. The insights gained from each completed project and the training provided to our highly skilled personnel contribute towards enhancement of our technological competence. The Andritz quality management system has been certified according to ISO 9001 and other international standards.
“The Andritz quality organization rests on five pillars:
“Andritz quality management steers and aligns the group-wide improvement process. We provide structured training for employees and maintain international standards and certifications.
“Andritz quality assurance defines project-related quality requirements and technical specifications. We monitor the processes performed and collect feedback from customers.
“Andritz quality inspection certifies the component quality delivered by our suppliers as well as by our own production sites. We monitor the use of proper, calibrated equipment and ensure product conformity.
“We apply constant quality control of our suppliers and our own production sites strengthen our market position globally.
“The health and safety of our employees and of those who come into contact with our operations and products are among our highest priorities. Our policy is to ensure a safe and healthy work environment and to aim at further improving it.”
Such attention to detail has built the company’s reputation over the last 160 years and in March 2014 news filtered through that Andritz is to supply the electromechanical equipment for the new Lauca hydropower plant in Angola, via Construtora Norberto Odebrecht to GAMEK (Gabinete de Aproveitamento do Medio Kwanza), a part of the Angolan power corporation ENE (Empresa Nacional de Electricidade).
The order value for comparable deliveries lies in the lower 3-digit million eurorange; the order will enter into force during the course of 2014 upon fulfillment of all administrative requirements.
Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2017.
The hydropower station planned on the Kwanza River will comprise of 2 power houses for which Andritz Hydro deliveries will include 6 Francis turbines, each with an output of 340 megawatts, as well as generators and additional equipment. Lauca will supply a total output of 2,067 megawatts, providing clean energy from hydropower for 750,000 people.
March also saw the company form a partnership with ArcelorMittal’s Tailored Blanks division through its own welding systems manufacturing division Andritz Soutec.
The collaboration will roll out cutting-edge laser welding technology on a global basis.
ArcelorMittal has developed a patented laser ablation technology to weld Usibor®, a steel specially designed for hot stamping. The partnership with Andritz Soutec to roll out this technology will increase the availability of laser welding for hot stamping steels, which is increasingly in demand from carmakers as they strive to make cars lighter – which makes them more fuel efficient – and safer.
Commenting on the partnership, Philippe Baudon, CEO ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks stated: “By cooperating with Andritz Soutec, a leader in welding technology, we are reaching a new phase in developing cost efficient solutions, supporting car manufacturers in reducing car weight and improving crash resistance.”
Domenico Lacovelli, CEO Andritz Soutec added: “ArcelorMittal has developed a superior process guaranteeing quality and productivity of the welding process of steels for hot stamping. Thanks to this cooperation, we will offer the global automotive industry an efficient solution which will further support the growth of LWBs for hot stamping.”