The Hungarian aluminium high pressure die casting foundry, Csaba Metál Zrt. has achieved rapid growth in the last two years. The sudden jump in the company’s turnover was the result of winning a large project and strengthening its relationships with its existing partners. Edina Beale reports.
Csaba Metál Zrt. started as a private venture producing aluminium chill casts in the early 1990s. Owing to its skilled workforce and modern technologies the company was able to manufacture excellent quality products and soon acquired a good reputation amongst prominent European automotive part manufacturers. The foundry today supplies a wide variety of aluminium components to a continuously extending customer base.
In the past two years Csaba Metál has achieved rapid and significant growth despite the challenging economic climate. The foundry has won a major contract to supply the leading global automotive supplier, Delphi. This has provided the opportunity for Csaba Metál to become one of the largest aluminium cast suppliers to serve firstly the Liverpool, UK, and later the Szombathely, Hungary, Delphi plants. The company’s growth is reflected in its turnover: from Euro 17 million in 2010 the turnover increased to Euro 28 million in 2011. In the first quarter of 2012, the turnover exceeded Euro 8 million. Parallel to the company’s increase in turnover , the number of employees has grown from 467 to 520.
Csaba Metál had to implement several changes in order to meet the high requirements and expectations of its new client. “The expectation of high cleanliness standards and leakproof cast products made it necessary to purchase and implement new manufacturing and equipment and controls,” said Mr Pintér Zoltán, managing director of Csaba Metál Zrt. „We implemented new high performance dissolvent washing and leakage testing equipment. We are planning to establish a new cleanliness examination laboratory and this investment has received the green light already.”
Csaba Metál continued to strengthen its relationship with existing clients too. Their relationships with the Continental group is progressing steadily. Here the growth is similar to Delphi and is preliminary in the field of auto electronics boxes. “We established strong links with Hella and our sales figures with them are increasing. There are new products in the pipeline here, too.”
Besides the foundry the company’s steel structure unit in Szeghalom also achieved success in recent years. The company completed the development of its new Urbanus midibus whilst it invested to establish the necessary technological and infrastructural facilities required for the bus production. The bus has been exhibited many times in prominent European and American commercial vehicle exhibitions and in 2011 it was awarded with the Hungarian Product Grand Prize.
New production facilities
At the moment the production of the increased volume of goods causes congestion in the company’s current facilities. However, this problem is only temporary. The growth of the company has enabled the management to reconsider the plan previously developed for a new foundry hall prior to the recession. Following a review, the plan was completed and all the necessary permissions were received. In the second half of 2011 the development of a new 4000 m2 double nave foundry hall began. The hall is linked with a new office block too. “The development is progressing according to plan and the opening celebration is set for 14 June 2012,” says Mr Pintér. “In the new hall brand new casting machines, robots, feeder furnace and punchers will be installed. The smelting capacity and the selection of material handling equipment will also be increased.” The development of this facility and the investment into purchasing new equipment adds up to a total of Euro 5.5 million.
Due to the new contracts Csaba Metál Zrt. has increased its market position in the past few years. The company today takes the second place in the league of foundries under Hungarian private ownership. The management sees unexploited opportunities in the geographical location of the plant in Békéscsaba since the town is located in the southeast part of Hungary close to the Romanian border. “We have just begun to supply products to the Romanian subsidiaries of our client’s operations. In the future we wish to put more emphasis on our presence in this exciting new location,” confirms Mr Pintér.
Throughout the years, Csaba Metál has continued to maintain its competitiveness by adapting quickly to the fast changing environment. The company’s owner and management provide support and freedom for employees with innovative approaches. The organization is managed effectively; decisions are made very quickly in relation to investments or new technologies.
The owner of Csaba Metál sees good prospects in manufacturing large automotive components. The first large foundry equipment with 25000KN closing force will be implemented at the end of this year. “On this machine we wish to die-cast 15-25kg volume gearbox housings and other engine parts,” explains Mr Pintér. “Parallel to this we need to develop our machining capacities and the selection of our measuring equipment including CNC machining centers and large size 3D measuring equipment.”
It is clear that working under pressure suits Csaba Metál in every sense. Tough economic times call for cautious but decisive and effective measures which this company has taken to produce outstanding results.