| Krenhof produces forged parts in series from 1,000 to 10,000 parts, quickly and flexibly thanks to its produces control and material selection. |
Krenhof AG is a drop-forging operation in Köflach, Austria, that produces about 10 million forgings per year, mostly automotive parts but also components for commercial vehicle manufacturers and mechanical engineering parts. It produces chain links, too, among various other specialty products in medium-volume runs. Its choice of SSAB’s Toolox 44 tool steel is among the factors that support the quality and logistics standards that keep Krenhof growing.
Toolox 44 (~45 HRC/450 HB) is “the best compromise between hardness and toughness,” according to the supplier, SSAB GmbH. It offers good temperature resistance to crack formation, and abrasion resistance at the same time. Toolox 44 is easy to work with using all standard separation and pre-stressing processes. High purity and excellent toughness are achieved thanks to its low carbon content, and Toolox is hardened and tempered on delivery, which saves additional expenditure.
“We use Toolox 44 tool steel for prototypes and small series,” explained Krenhof managing director Matthias Hartmann. “The formation of fire cracks is worst at the beginning of the forging, while abrasion is nowhere near as common here. This allows us to refrain from using shielding here without the customer experiencing any disadvantages in terms of surface quality or dimensional stability.”
Throughout the production process — metal cutting, forging, and heat treatment — Krenhof workers strive to maintain very low tolerances for dimensions, shape and joints. Thorough production planning and careful online collection of operating data help to ensure that the agreed schedules are maintained. This means the customer benefits from reduced downtime and setup times.
“Today, the customers expect shorter delivery times for their forged products,” Hartmann, summarized. “Toolox 44 has even proven itself with demanding molding tool geometries as well. The speed at which one can produce prototypes is often decisive when it comes to being hired as a series supplier.”