In 2020 WF celebrates its 45th birthday and looks back on a successful company history. Metal forming was at the heart of the company’s birth and this has not changed until today. At the founding location in Sendenhorst, Westphalia, 112 employees contribute their know-how daily to offer the company’s customers new and innovative products and processes in the field of chipless metal forming.
A company with history
Werner Winkelmann and Udo Friese founded the company WF Maschinenbau & Blechformtechnik GmbH & Co. KG after their then employer, Karl Keilinghaus Maschinenbau, became insolvent. Their colleagues thus laid the foundation for a success story that is unparalleled. Already in the first years after the foundation they built world novelties, such as flow-forming machines for the production of internally toothed clutch and gear parts. 20 years after the company was founded, a milestone was reached: the development of a machine for spinning hubs on pulleys, clutch and transmission parts. Thanks to the patented manufacturing process, WF enables its customers to produce components at low cost by saving work steps.
Starting from this innovation, one success followed the next. From the construction of the largest and heaviest horizontal flow-forming machine in the world, to the first flow-forming machine for the production of truck wheel discs, to the first vertical flow-forming stretching machine with six freely programmable support axes. The strong competence and innovative power of the entire team prompted the management to set up an R&D center, which now has four highly flexible test machines, heating furnaces and induction systems, CMM measuring machines and projectors. The R&D Center is unique in the industry and offers the opportunity to develop new processes and machines for and with customers. WF also cooperates closely with research institutes and universities.
WF Machines and Technologies
Today, WF machines manufactured in Germany, a quality location, enjoy great international popularity. The company’s customers can be found all over the world, mainly in the automotive industry, aerospace technology, energy and environmental technology, and defense technology. The product portfolio includes machines for the manufacture of the following products:
- Belt pulleys and torsional vibration dampers
- Hubs and face gear parts
- Rim rings, wheels and wheel discs
- Stretch and flow-forming parts, precision tubes
- High pressure gas cylinders
The technologies used by WF include edge trimming, hub spinning, tube closing and drawing in, profiling and flow-forming. All manufacturing processes are aimed at producing workpieces as far as possible without machining operations such as turning or milling, while at the same time achieving maximum strength and stability with a minimum of material.
The company today
With the retirement of both founders, the company was sold in 2016 to the mpool group, which invests specifically in medium-sized companies from classic German industries such as mechanical and plant engineering, materials technology and technical services. This company continues the corporate philosophy of a technology leader under the motto “Forming Excellence” and focuses on innovation and expansion. In 2017 a subsidiary was founded in North America, and in 2018 a foreign representative office was established in China. In addition, the production area was increased to over 8,000 m2.
WF looks back on 45 successful years and especially in the biggest crisis in recent history it is clear that customers and employees can rely on the company. The company has been guided through the difficult last months with sensitivity and shows itself today as strong and reliable as before. “I am very pleased to see how we as a company are also mastering the difficult times. This allows us to work towards the next milestones in our company’s history with confidence,” says Dr. Bodo Fink, Managing Director of WF.