Nagold, Germany - Dietrich Aldinger, GmbH is a 50-year-old family-owned company located on two acres in this town on the edge of the Black Forest, specializing in job shopping services for the automotive, aircraft, sanitary, business furniture, textile machinery, and medical technology industries. The company started as a provider of deep drawing services to the auto industry and now offers sheet metal and tool manufacturing, punching, and plastics processing capabilities. Fifteen years ago it added laser processing, two and three dimensional, to its offerings and it was the first laser cutting shop in the region.
With a total of 170 employees Aldinger, in turning over €40-50 million a year, processes 600 tons of steel in a typical month, 2/3 of which is stainless and the rest is mild steel. It also processes some aluminum. The shop is stocked with a large assortment of automatic and manual punches and presses, machines for tool manufacturing, bending, and welding equipment. The company currently operates 10 laser systems, all from TRUMPF. Its plastic processing facility located in a separate building includes swedging machines, machining centers, and other equipment.
When you talk with Wolfgang Schlapp, assistant managing director, you quickly learn that all the modern equipment is only as good as the people who operate it, and thus Aldinger puts great emphasis on finding and training employees. This is a never-ending chore because Mercedes Benz Sindelfingen Works is just a few kilometers up the autobahn and Aldinger has to find ways to compete with the higher-paying automotive jobs.
The equipment lineup includes: 2.5- to 5 kW CO2 laser-powered flatbed cutters for metals up to 20 mm thick, combination laser/turret punching for metals up to 8 mm, and three-dimensional laser cutting and welding of pipe. A 2kW, Nd:YAG hybrid welder was recently added for welding auto manifolds, cutting an aluminum font section for the Daimler Chrysler Maybach.
Two TRUMPF 5kW CO2 systems cut holes in auto exhaust pipe manifolds and the first 1kW unit the company purchased 15 yeaars ago cuts and welds auto silencers. Another 2.4kW unit is used to weld, cut, and harden an auto part. Two 6kW systems, one with automatic load/unload and sheet metal storage, and two 4kW gantry-style cutters for stainless and mild steel produce better cuts than the company’s punches. All the lasers run three shifts a day, five days a week.
Aldinger is a progressive, people-oriented company that stays ahead of increasing regional competition by offering customers a greater array of laser processing services backed up by flexible scheduling to ensure fast turnaround on orders large and small. - DAB