Components made from magnesium alloys have always played a vital part in many STIHL chain saws and power tools. To ensure high quality standards in the long term, STIHL opened a magnesium diecasting plant in 1971. It was not long before leading manufacturers in the automotive and electrical engineering industries also came to rely on diecast precision “made by STIHL”. Today the plant in Prüm-Weinsheim, located in Germany’s Eifel region and the employer of around 600 highly motivated men and women, is one of Europe’s largest and most modern magnesium diecasting plants. On May 16th 2014 the plant has been expanded again.
Properties and use
Magnesium is the engineering material of the 21st century. This very light, yet exceedingly stable material displays optimum properties for casting, is outstandingly easy to machine and can be recycled almost without limit. And these are just a few of the properties explaining the light material’s unstoppable rise to fame. Magnesium alloys for diecasting make it possible to produce components with low weight at competitive manufacturing costs.
Thin walls, dimensional accuracy, short casting cycles and a long die service life are typical advantages of magnesium diecastings. Further advantages include excellent machinability, good attenuation and (EMI) shielding properties. High purity and advanced corrosion-proofing techniques allow our diecasting alloys to be used in corrosive environments, too. The trend towards magnesium is unmistakable.
This is why magnesium housing is typical for our professional products, including the STIHL MS 261: the best-selling professional chain saw in Germany.
Everything from a single source
To completely ensure the quality of our products, we at STIHL focus on producing on our own. We are convinced that supplying the entire process from a single source means we retain full control over quality in every single phase. In the following pictures, we will show you exactly what happens at our plant in Prüm-Weinsheim.
Specialists in the fields of engineering design, production and quality assurance work together closely with our customers from the very start of a project. They ensure that components are designed in a form suitable for diecasting as well as efficient, rational production methods.
Precision is the norm for us. This is why we build the dies we need in our own die making shop. The exclusive use of high-grade hot-work tool steel guarantees consistently high quality. Our die and mould makers refine the shape of the diecasting tools by hand.
The magnesium parts are cast in casting cells with a casting machine, robots and a deburring press.
The engine parts that have to be painted are waiting on so-called “monorails” for the next step: the powder coating.
After that, the diecast parts move on to machining. The diecast parts are processed dry or wet depending on their specifications.
Both automated and manual steps are necessary when assembling crankcases. Once these steps are finished, the diecast parts are carefully inspected.
Finally, the parts are delivered through our in-house logistics department in Prüm-Weinsheim.
The magnesium parts are added to finished products at STIHL production sites around the world.
We are also directly involved in where our raw materials come from. In addition to purchasing magnesium on the free market, our melting plant melts down spent magnesium parts and recycled materials and processes them into secondary raw material.
This is a subject of growing importance in view of the manufacturer’s responsibility for recycling products and conserving natural resources. Customers purchasing die-cast magnesium from STIHL can be sure they are working with a partner with experience in this technology. The corresponding processes, sequences and test methods have been certified and registered. Purity of materials is guaranteed by identifying all cast components with a material code – yet another sign of our consistent quality philosophy.
Find out more about the STIHL magnesium diecasting plant here: www.magnesium.stihl.com