COMPETENCE FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS
Internorm has stood for outstanding technical competence, innovation, quality and trust for more than 30 years.
THE START OF A SUCCESS STORY
Franz Grimme, owner of a company producing agricultural machinery, recognises the potential of polyurethane. He acquires Hannover-based Internorm Walzen GmbH. Convinced that this PUR material is ideal for use in his potato harvesters, he moves the company to Damme. Together with three employees, he starts to expand the Internorm company. In an old forge, cylinders for printing and applying paint are produced using a self-made manual casting plant, a lathe for turning and grinding plus old furnaces.
FROM NEW EXPERIENCES TO THE LATEST CASTING PLANT
Cylinders continue to be produced using the manual casting technique. After a period of experimentation and once the necessary experience had been gained, it is possible to start using the first polyurethane casting machine. The aim is to improve the quality of paint application rollers. It should now also be possible, with four employees, to manufacture other products. Those are, first of all, only cylinders, but later also rollers, wheels and flights. The paint application rollers are turned and ground by Internorm.
THE GOOD RESULTS ARE PLEASING AND PROVIDE MOTIVATION
Internorm gradually becomes a specialist for producing modern, efficient plastic products. The concept of allowing the employees, now six of them, to experiment on their own, begins to pay dividends. Polyurethane is a rubbery material that proves to be very versatile and ideal for future needs. As the material is hardwearing and also very flexible in production, it is possible to produce bespoke parts to meet customers’ requirements.
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS – GROWING DEMAND
The plant is still new when capacity has to be expanded. The solution is to relocate the production plant. Internorm and its eight employees move into an old Grimme building and benefit from the 600 m² of floor area. The high number of orders, the quality and the working conditions must be optimised. A casting plant for coating paint application rollers, a low-pressure casting plant for producing rollers and a sandblasting booth are also integrated.
GREAT MOMENTS – ACCESS TO NEW MARKETS
A rotating table with centrifugal casting mould is set up for star wheels. Many new business sectors are the outcome. The so-called 12-finger star wheel becomes a bestseller. Our star wheels are used in harvesting machines for all kinds of root crop, for sorting vegetables, in the recycling industry or in the treatment and processing of wood, compost, gravel, stones or soils. Hundreds of star wheel versions are produced with different diameters and dimensions, and in all colours.
ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
Six years after it was founded, the company, now with 21 employees, ventures into the international marketplace. May 1993 sees Internorm take part in METPACK, the trade fair for metal packagings, in Essen, Germany, for the first time. The general recession in this year is met with a 14% growth in revenue and the investment in a grinding machine.
EXTRA SPACE IN NEW PRODUCTION PLANT IS VERY WELCOME
The dynamic development from a small to a mid-size company, with, in the meantime, 27 employees, calls for ever more space. In order to create a professional working environment, Franz Grimme opts for a new production building with 2435 m² of floor space plus offices at Turmweg 5, Damme (industrial estate). New purchases include a low-pressure casting plant, a cylinder grinding machine, three centrifugal casting machines and a universal testing machine.
FOCUS ON INJECTION-MOULDING TECHNOLOGY
Being able to produce large numbers of support rollers and separator star wheels requires us to invest in powerful injection-moulding equipment that can cast parts weighing between 20 and 580 g. The clamping force of the machine is 125 t.
CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW WAREHOUSE
The upward trend in Internorm’s business 11 years after the company was founded makes extensions necessary. To increase capacity, a warehouse is built with a floor area exceeding 1300 m². That takes the total area of the plant to 3779 m². The investments in machinery are also considerable, and include a reaction injection-moulding machine and another injection-moulding machine.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR PARTICIPATION ATTRACTS NEW CUSTOMERS
The ongoing developments are also reflected in an increase in Internorm’s participation in trade fairs. In 1999 the company takes part in two international trade events: Firstly, METPACK, the international trade fair for metal packagings, in Essen, Germany, where new and improved products are the focus. Secondly, METEC, the international metallurgical trade fair, in Düsseldorf, Germany.
NEW CONTACTS IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR
At the start of the new millennium, the company is concentrating on acquiring new customers in the agriculture sector. This step pays for itself relatively quickly. We gain many new customers who are convinced by Internorm’s flexibility and readiness to solve every task.
DEVELOPMENT & DESIGN DEPARTMENT BEHIND NEW COMPANY SLOGAN
Computers and special software help Internorm to design the products required and present them to customers as virtual 3D objects. Not only can the geometrical properties be simulated, but also the physical properties such as stresses and strains in the components. The new company slogan fits this range of services perfectly: “From idea to product”, which reflects the full-service approach.
GROWTH CALLS FOR FIT-FOR-FUTURE PRODUCTION PLANT
Internorm’s range of products grows and the volume of sales increases. At the same time, customers are coming from further and further away. The current location can no longer cope with the growing demand. A new production plant would seem to be the answer. A new plant is built in Damme at Robert-Bosch-Str. 5, with 6860 m² of production area and a 1016 m² office building.
MORE POSSIBILITIES – NEW COMPANY NAME & RIBBON FLOW CASTING MACHINERY
The new production plant enables the range of products and services to be expanded. Coating rollers and cylinders with plastic, or rather polyurethane, is no longer the sole focus. Bespoke cast parts are now also on offer, manufactured using both injection moulding and casting techniques. This development is made clear to the outside world by changing the company name from “Internorm Walzen GmbH” to “INTERNORM Kunststofftechnik GmbH” on 1 January. By the end of 2003, the company has 65 employees.
MORE MACHINERY & CERTIFICATION
One important aspect in almost all areas of our work is reliable and effective quality control. For INTERNORM Kunststofftechnik GmbH, DIN ISO 9001 certification is an important step and real proof of the high quality. This quality accreditation covers the development, production and marketing of, also consulting services for, PUR cast parts, cylinders and engineered injection-moulded items.
INTRODUCTION OF INTEC D & INTEC E 70°D
Two new, high-quality PUR materials are introduced. They guarantee the competitiveness of the company in the plastics market. Both casting systems are characterised by their economics and the high-quality results. The range of products can thus be expanded and now fully matches the needs of customers, who are now able to select from a huge range that stretches from very soft to very hard plastic parts.
LARGEST CAST PART IN COMPANY’S HISTORY
The number of employees has climbed to 75. In order to be able to supply the growing demand for smaller plastic parts, INTERNORM invests in a new injection-moulding machine with a clamping force of 80 t. Further parts with a weight of up to 160 g can now be injection-moulded. One highlight in the history of the company is its largest cast part to date (PU plate, 1200 x 2000 x 350 mm, 1100 kg), intended for pressing stainless steel coils.
NEXT EXPANSION ESSENTIAL
Just four years after moving to the new location, another expansion is necessary. To create additional capacity, the production building is enlarged by 2000 m². The payroll now lists a total of 96 employees, and the annual turnover is €18 million. Six machines costing a total of €1 million, including a cylinder washing plant and blast-cleaning booth, are purchased in this year.
OWN TOOLMAKING FACILITIES & NEW INJECTION-MOULDING MACHINE
INTERNORM installs an additional injection-moulding machine with a clamping force of 700 t. This machine is able to produce parts with a shot weight of up to 4 kg. Added to this is another change in the working process which represents an advance: the CNC machining centre. So INTERNORM is now able to carry out its own toolmaking operations.
PUR DIVISION ACQUIRED FROM RUMA RUBBER
INTERNORM acquires the PUR division, including all its customers, from the Dutch company Ruma Rubber BV and transfers production to Damme. That initiates a new period of cooperation and the entry into new markets in the airports sector. In the meantime, the company has 115 employees.
The company continues to grow and now has 120 employees who generate a turnover of about €20 million. Capacity has to be expanded again. Therefore, a new 2750 m² warehouse is built. An additional low-pressure casting plant is added to the machinery inventory. It is in this period that the works council is founded.
MORE BUILDING WORK
Following the construction of the new warehouse, further growth is on the cards again, helped by the positive trend in business. Other good reasons are the demands of the employees for training and good working conditions. A two-storey extension is built, with a canteen on the ground floor and training facilities and offices upstairs. Further investment in machinery comes in the form of a new casting plant.
INTERNORM’S SILVER JUBILEE
As a reaction to rising energy prices, INTERNORM invests in a natural gas-fired co-generation plant for its works in order to become more independent. Furthermore, an additional cylinder grinding machine is installed. And there are appearances at trade fairs. For example, INTERNORM takes part in SOLIDS in Dortmund, the leading and largest trade fair for granules, powder and bulk solids technologies, but also in AGROSALON in Russia, the largest international trade fair for agricultural machinery and modern agriculture.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR PARTICIPATION
INTERNORM takes part in BAUMA in Munich, the world’s leading trade fair for the construction industry, for the first time. In addition, the company is also present as an exhibitor at the AG Connect Expo in Kansas City (USA). INTERNORM presents innovative products and uses the opportunity to make new contacts. The continuing demand makes it necessary to install another injection-moulding machine (300 t clamping force).
MORE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AT IFAT
INTERNORM makes a successful first appearance at IFAT in Munich, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials, with opportunities for sales to customers in new sectors. The number of employees rises to 170 this year.
MORE NEW EMPLOYEES & MORE MACHINES
INTERNORM takes part as an exhibitor at Ligna 2015 in Hannover, the world’s leading trade fair for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools. Particularly outstanding are the insightful talks with experts from this branch of industry. One focus is new tyres filled with special foams. In Damme, further expansion is planned and new employees join the workforce.
PROMISING PROJECTS & MORE CAPACITY
Innovations are being discussed. Work goes ahead on promising projects involving e-mobility and regenerative energy sources. In addition, INTERNORM develops sandwich systems and ultra-soft coatings for paint application rollers. As the number of employees reaches 200, so the planned growth can take place with a new 4300 m² logistics centre and an extra 3000 m² of floor space for production.
THE GOOD PROGRESS CONTINUES
Investment in the expansion and modernisation of the production facilities. A cylinder grinding plant, cold-casting plant and five new injection-moulding machines are integrated in the plant. The largest of the new additions is a 1500 t injection-moulding machine, which also features robot handling. Further staff join the company. With a turnover of €40 million, by the end of the year there are 240 employees.