On 2nd September 2020 the BLANK-Group had the pleasure to welcome MdB Josef Rief and MdB Dr. Stefan Kaufmann in Riedlingen for a meeting to exchange and discuss innovative, new production approaches dealing with the use of hydrogen.
MdB Rief established the contact between the company and politics: “I appreciate when companies show interest in this topic and I am happy to intermediate. We are open to technology in Germany and it is important to look at different approaches.” For example one goal is to develop fuels that are more CO² neutral.
“As is already known, the BLANK-Group currently produces a large number of investment castings for the automotive industry,” says managing director Hubert Deutsch, “Therefore we are focusing not only new markets but also increasingly new developments and production approaches in the automotive sector.” One topic is hydrogen drive. The sales team of BLANK consisting of Rainer Bühler and Hubert Schäfer clearly explained why this is important. “More and more people say that the electric car and the associated burden of battery disposal can only be a temporary solution,” said Rainer Bühler, “Many see the hydrogen drive, which produces fewer pollutants, as the more promising approach for the future.” Hubert Schäfer, responsible for parts in the field of drive technology, hoped that the meeting would provide new impulses. “In my daily business I deal with the use of investment casting parts in combustion engines. I am particularly interested in the arising network around hydrogen, involved companies and institutions and the possibility to get new perspectives.”
Managing director Alexander Lenert introduced the investment casting process and the product range of the BLANK-Group. Basing on the entry into implant production as a sub-sector of medical technology, he explained to the delegation the intentions of the BLANK-Group for the coming years. “BLANK has to reposition itself with potential markets, because there is a fierce price war in existing fields of application, especially in the automotive sector”. The aim is therefore, as was successfully achieved with a manufacturer of implants, to identifiy and analyse new market fields and to find innovative approaches. ”We are happy and proud that we have already achieved this very well in the field of medical technology”. A cast acetabular cup was passed as an example, which is “quite heavy” as MdB Rief was surprised to discover.
Dr. Stefan Kaufmann member of the Bundestag and innovation representative “Green Hydrogen” was pleased about the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at BLANK. “Since 2009 I have been working in the Bundestag for the education sector. I have always been interested in innovation topics which is why the task of coordinating the use of green hydrogen in Germany is particularly appealing.” Kaufmann especially emphasized the task of establishing a sustainable network in Germany between companies, science and research. “There is an incredible dynamism and euphoria in our country’s companies concerning the topic of hydrogen. We must use this to maintain and expand our lead in the global market with regard to hydrogen production and export of its plants."
After the presentation and discussion the visitors could discover the most spectacular production step in investment casting: the casting of the 1600 °C hot metal. “It is always interesting and exciting to watch the foundrymen at work, we didn’t want to deprive our guests of this,” remarked Hubert Deutsch.
The 90 minutes exchange ended after the visit to the foundry and was an interesting experience with new ideas and insights for all participants. “We are celebrating 60 years of company existence this year,” said managing director Alexander Lenert, “And we would like to take advantage of the current situation to make the leap forward and equip BLANK for the next 60 years”. BLANK is one of the largest employers in the region, which also entails a great deal of responsibility. “So now is the time for new impulses and changes.”