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At a turning point

Mühldorf am Inn,

ODU invests in expanding its turning shop

Once again this year, the Mühldorf-based connector system specialists are making major investments in the expansion of their main site. While last year saw an extension of the assembly department, this year’s construction of a new turning shop is already in full swing and will be completed by June 2018.

The turning shop is ODU’s largest production department. Currently, some 130 fixed and sliding headstock automatic lathes – almost all with CNC controllers – are in use around the clock, and frequently unmanned. Parts with a cross-section of between 0.5 and 80 mm are turned from the bar. Over 75 percent of these are brass parts, while the rest are made of steel, aluminum, copper and plastic. Every month, for example, some 50 tons of raw material are processed and turned into eight million individual parts with a value of over 1.5 million euros. With order numbers continuously on the rise, this expansion is indispensable. The future will therefore see an increase in automatic lathes, too, which means more skilled staff will be needed for the turning shop as well. The team of technicians currently working in the turning shop consists of 80 people – and is growing. For this reason, there’s a high demand at ODU for additional cutting machine operators, toolmakers, precision mechanics and industrial technicians working as CNC lathe operators. These skilled employees operate, retrofit and service the cutting-edge CNC automatic lathes, some of which contain up to 12 controlled axes. The technicians also write programs, feed them into the system at the lathe machining centers and look after quality control. “At ODU, cutting machine operators are multi-faceted specialists. The work they get to do is both interesting and varied,” explains Andreas Hansmeier, training officer for cutting machine operators in the turning shop.

Electrical connector technology has become an irreplaceable part of our daily life wouldn’t take off and heart-lung machines wouldn’t even be able to start pumping. Thanks to this technology, our smartphones and refrigerators keep humming, cars start and planes take off, and lives are saved through the pumping of heart-lung machines.

These application examples alone show that when it comes to connector technology, fail safety, reliability and longevity are crucial. From a technology standpoint, connectors are therefore highly sophisticated products. They’re also frequently exposed to harsh environmental conditions: salt water, extreme temperature fluctuations, chemicals and pressure of up to 1,000 bar on the one hand, and high vacuum conditions, shock and vibrations on the other. In this context, it’s clear that the development, production and quality control demands put on electrical connectors are extremely high. As a supplier of system solutions and with over 90,000 products, ODU offers a wide range of industry- and customer-specific solutions. The company serves customers from the areas of medical technology, industrial electronics, test and measurement, energy, military and security as well as eMobility. The ODU portfolio covers everything from simple springwire pins and multifunctional connectors all the way to integrated system solutions including cable assemblies. A central element of ODU’s success is the outstanding expertise of its employees and their strong identification with the company.