For more than 20 years, Karl Etzel GmbH in Mühlacker, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, has been producing high-quality parts for the automotive industry with injection moulding machines from WITTMANN BATTENFELD. The newer machines from the PowerSeries score at Etzel primarily with their high energy efficiency.
Karl Etzel GmbH was established by Karl Etzel in 1976. In 1995, Andreas Schürrle and Rainer Bauer took over the company; Andreas Schürrle has been the sole proprietor of Karl Etzel GmbH since 2000. At its location in Mühlacker, the company manufactures parts from all common thermoplastic materials with around 300 employees on 30,000 m² of production space with currently 128 injection moulding machines ranging from 150 to 20,000 kN in clamping force. Between 50 and 60 tons of granulate are processed daily, in part with up to 50% fibreglass content. More than two-thirds of the products are parts for the automotive industry, primarily components for vehicle interiors. The remainder goes to the medical industry, the electronics industry and building construction. The company’s customer base includes famous brands such as Daimler, Lear, Greiner, Johnson Controls and Kärcher.
The company is certified according to the IATF 1949:2016 automobile standard and supports its customers from the initial idea to series production. In addition to conventional injection moulding, it offers 2-component injection moulding, lightweight technology, component assembly, direct lasering of plastics surfaces as well as painting, flocking and chrome plating in long-standing cooperation with partners.
According to the company’s proprietor and CEO Andreas Schürrle, the success of Karl Etzel GmbH is based on the high quality of its products and service, as well as on the good cooperation with its customers. As Andreas Schürrle explains: “The entire package must be a perfect fit, from the products and logistics all the way to personal customer support.”
Stability and reliability of deliveries are vital success factors above all in the automotive industry. Consequently, Etzel’s most important requirement for an injection moulding machine is stable and trouble-free operation. In addition, Andreas Schürrle attaches very great importance to environmentally compatible production and saving resources. Of the 128 injection moulding machines currently installed at Karl Etzel GmbH, just under 90 are from WITTMANN BATTENFELD. The most recently constructed hall 7 is equipped exclusively with large machines from the MacroPower series and machines from the servo-hydraulic SmartPower series with clamping forces ranging from 3,500 to 20,000 kN, some of which are multi-component models. The first large multi-component machine from the MacroPower series with 20,000 kN clamping force manufactured by WITTMANN BATTENFELD, a MacroPower 2000/12800H/350L, was delivered to Karl Etzel GmbH at the beginning of 2018. Meanwhile, Karl Etzel GmbH has installed a second machine with 20,000 kN clamping force from WITTMANN BATTENFELD as well.
Besides multi-component technology, the CELLMOULD® foam injection moulding process to make light-weight parts is also used at Etzel. This technology is a process developed by WITTMANN BATTENFELD for the production of structured foam parts by direct gas injection with a physical foaming agent. Structured foam parts feature a compact shell and a foamed core. With CELLMOULD® light-weight technology, extremely light moulded parts can be produced with high rigidity and without sink marks. This makes these parts interesting above all for the automotive industry, where both quality standards and weight play an important part. The entire machine technology for this process, including the plasticising barrel unit, injectors, gas regulator and gas generator, has been developed and produced by WITTMANN BATTENFELD.
What Andreas Schürrle appreciates about the compact injection moulding machines from WITTMANN BATTENFELD, apart from their high quality, is primarily their low energy consumption. Comparative energy consumption measurements carried out at Etzel on machines of other brands have confirmed that in this respect the machines from WITTMANN BATTENFELD are on a high level and distinguish themselves from competitors’ products. Andreas Schürrle shows himself just as much satisfied with the cooperation with WITTMANN BATTENFELD, which has now lasted for more than 20 years, as with the company’s machines and technologies, saying: “Just like to our customers, the overall package is important to us, too, and here we have found a partner in WITTMANN BATTENFELD where this package meets our requirements in every respect.”