Rubber in its best form

dGw Gummiwerke AG from Saxony-Anhalt produces innovative products made of natural and synthetic rubber

dGw Gummiwerke AG based in Northern Saxony-Anhalt is a specialist in rubber mixtures of all kinds, and compounds of rubber and metal. The products are mostly developed in cooperation with the customer, and are used in many areas - from automotive to training equipment for athletes. An extensive range, with which the company will present itself this year at the community stand of the state of Saxony-Anhalt at FAKUMA, the international specialist trade fair for plastics processing in Friedrichshafen.

Industrial park Tangermünde, production site of dGw Gummiwerke AG: In an air-conditioned hall the size of a tennis court, huge strips of natural and synthetic rubber are stored in large crates. The material comes from various supply companies in Italy, Holland and overseas. It only stays in the so called mixed warehouse for a few days, until further processing in the production hall, where around two dozen employees get the various rubber and silicone mixtures into shape, in the most literal sense of the word. 

In nine modern high performance presses, they are pressed in steel moulds with a closing pressure of up to 400 tonnes. So, up to 1,300 moulded parts are made per shift, from various rubber mixtures and composite materials - e.g. seals, rubber sleeves, hoses and other construction components. Their future areas of use are primarily in plant engineering and car manufacturing.  

Tailor-made rubber composite components on demand

In agreement with the customer, the components are not only shaped mechanically, but also produced with tailor-made characteristics - e.g. with varying hardness and elasticity, low abrasion with great mechanical load, tensile strength and stability, whether with high or low temperatures. In the past ten years, the company has continually built up its product range, and thereby specialised in customer-specific multi-component parts made of various rubber mixtures and rubber and metal compounds. Around two dozen new components have been added since FAKUMA- 2017 alone, says Dr. Claus Gernert, Plant Manager of the company. The best requirement for being a co-exhibitor on the community stand of the state of Saxony-Anhalt again this year.

Safe power sockets for electric cars

One example of the components produced in Tangermünde is the cable harness holder, which must fulfil particular requirements for thermal and mechanical stability. They are used by Porsche for example. The company was also significantly involved in the optimisation of filling points for modern electric cars. To prevent rainwater from getting into the electric filling point of the vehicle, and causing a short circuit, the filling lid must be provided with additional water protection. That is why, the company developed special rubber hose sections, which have optimum mechanical and insulation characteristics. They are now standardised and in practical use. Wheels for summer training equipment for skiers 

Another example of the multitude of components produced in Tangermünde are the multi-component wheels for summer training equipment for skiers. “The development goes back to a contact with a sports equipment manufacturer from Thuringia, which we made at FAKUMA last year”, says Plant Manager Dr. Gernert. A special ski on two wheels was developed, with which skiers can continue with cross country and/or biathlon training even in summer. Special rubber mixtures and a low-friction inner ring made of aluminium allow standardised running characteristics.    High quality standards

Each component undergoes several quality inspections in the production process. Unwanted ridges are eliminated directly at the machines, and if necessary in a follow-up inspection by the employees. Thanks to optimised production processes, the company can produce in series of up to 1.2 million parts, according to customer requirements. dGw Gummiwerke AG also offers its customers assembly of components. The accessible location of the company in Northern Saxony-Anhalt allows quick delivery of the manufactured products in all directions.

Close collaboration with partners from the region

In the case of customer-specific consultation and development of innovative products made of rubber and multi components, Tangermünde-based Gummiwerke AG works closely with regional research partners such as the Thüringisches Institut für Textil- und Kunststoff-Forschung e.V. [Thuringian Institute for Textile and Plastics Research] and the Fraunhofer Institute for the Microstructure of Active Agents and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale). A closer cooperation with the university in Stendal is also planned. 

Author: Uwe Seidenfaden