The period since September 2013 has been marked by a lot of construction work at our Weissenburg plant. We have commissioned our new rod breakdown machine, which is currently undergoing comprehensive quality checks. With the full-load operation starting in April, the machine will produce various types of redraw material for both our Weissenburg and Bad Kötzting operations.
The machine uses 8 mm copper wire as input material, both in the form of ETP copper (CU-ETP1) and oxygen-free copper (CU-OF1). LEONI Wire attaches great importance to sourcing as great a portion as possible of its input material from German suppliers. A “coil“ (term used for the packs holding the 8 mm wire) weighs about 5 to 8 tons. In order to ensure a safe handling of this heavy load, we have rearranged the area dedicated to inbound deliveries.
The rod breakdown machine is basically capable of drawing wire down to diameters between 1.4 and 3.2 mm. Some 85 % of the material processed will serve as 1.8 mm input wire fed into our single and multi-wire drawing lines.
It largely goes into payoff packs with a maximum capacity of approximately 1.5 to 2 tons, with a particular focus on optimizing the winding quality. In doing so, downstream wire breaks will be avoided because the material can be processed more smoothly. A smaller portion of the material is paid off onto reels with a flange diameter of 1,250 mm or 800 mm, which may translate into a final approximate weight between 1.0 and 4.5 tons. This material is destined to be further processed in the same hall: it will either be fed into our new state-of-the-art silver-plating line, which was commissioned in 2012; or else into the new tin-plating line being set up at present and scheduled to go into operation in the summer of this year. The full-load capacity of our rod breakdown machine amounts to approximately 1,300 tons per month.
Breaking down rod represents a key process, taking place at a very early stage of the manufacturing chain copper-based wires, strands and alloys go through. Any flaw originating here would have an impact on the entire manufacturing process.
We have managed to optimize the complete manufacturing process by means of a very thorough and innovative concept beginning with inbound deliveries through to when the material is moved on. A high level of training as well as fine-eyed adjustments made to material, machine and environment serve as mandatory preconditions to a perfect product. By incorporating this additional manufacturing stage, we now have full control over all measures involved to meet and test the high quality required from redraw to finished product. This mainly benefits our silver-plating line, which places extremely high demands on the quality of the material it absorbs.