Comments Off on Manufacturing expansion in Alcomex India will also supply the US door spring market
Alcomex will supply in the US (United States of America)
In the US, almost every American house has a garage. Therefore, the market for residential overhead garage doors is enormous in this continent. Together with an increasing demand for overhead doors from the industrial building sector, the American door spring market is about four times larger than in Europe. This is an opportunity that Alcomex will make good use of.Alcomex India will supply doorsprings in the US.
The manufacture of door springs is an important expertise that the Alcomex Group holds. Alcomex is manufacturing both standardized and customized torsion and tension door springs. The custom-made door springs are manufactured in the Dutch city of Opmeer and Marki, Poland.
Standard door spring production
Since 2008 Alcomex has manufactured standardized door springs in Pune, India, where the Indian subsidiary owns a 10,000 square meter industrial site. Most of the produced volume is exported to Europe. The Indian factory has experienced constant growth since the start and annually, producing approximately one third of our global volume of door springs. The facility employs about 90 highly skilled workers who work in two-shift.
New production line and warehouse
Alcomex has made a major investment in India to expand the manufacturing and warehouse in order to take advantage of the potential in the US market. In the second quarter of 2023, a new production line will be taken into use. There will be new coiling and shaping & assembly machines as well as lines for painting, powder coating, printing and waxing to mention a few of the new machinery and equipment. At the end of the year, a new-built warehouse of 2,500 square meters is also ready to stock the door springs before shipping. The expansion will of course bring many new job opportunities.
Jelle van Vliet & Conrad Hietink, MD’s of Alcomex comment on the investments:
The size of the investment in India is about 1.9 MEUR and will more than double our capacity, opening the way for a successful entry in the North American market.
Freighters have a long durability. They can be used for decades before needing replacement. But even for these huge vessels there comes a time when they’re put out of commission. Getting rid of tons of steel is however no easy job. They’re often dumped and get washed ashore. Frank Geerdink, Director of Aseco Europe B.V, found a sustainable solution for this problem.
To make this project possible, Aseco has collaborated with CMT. In the CMT shipyard decommissioned ships are cut up in different parts by using huge cutting wires. At the end of this extensive process, all that is left are big slices of metal. Some of these parts can be molten into steel, others get turned into recycled products. Aseco even manages to produce energy from some leftovers!
They main advantages of disassembling ships in such a manner:
It’s a 100% save; for the surrounding environment, nature and people.
It reduces Co2 and also reduces air and water pollution.
A safe environment can be created without having to disassemble a ship directly in the ocean (which often leads to pollution).
It’s an automated system that doesn’t require hard and physical labour from workers.
Are you curious about this disassemblement process? Check the video below.
enthusiasm by the team. Sustainability is an important pillar for Alcomex. So having the opportunity to collaborate with Aseco on such an important project fits perfectly with Alcomex.
Aseco required very specific pressure springs to place in between large steel pearls. The mechanical process could not function without these springs. They also needed to be dirt resistant in order to make the disassembling process economically viable. And to be able to cut straight through freighters the springs had to be especially strong. Such a complex project requires a custom solution; a service that Alcomex offers.
Before the project could be launched, Aseco and CMT international required approval and subsidies. Due to the complexity of the project it took several years before all requirements were met. Luckily in 2022, approval was given and they could finally start.
Before Alcomex could start their production process, a couple of NDA’s needed to be signed. Because the project was still in its first stage, confidentiality had to be assured. After signing however, Alcomex started manufacturing the specific springs required by Aseco. By installing the springs within a certain distance of one another, it was possible to cut through the ships.
Frank Geerdink, Director of Aseco about Alcomex.
The deciding factor to work with Alcomex was their way of communication. They understood in rapid time what we needed in order to run our first tests. The fact that they were able to custom make the products that we needed, exactly at the right time, is even further proof that we choose the right company to work with.
Are the Alcomex Springs important? Without a doubt! Even though 5 other businesses sent their springs for testing, the clear and concrete manner of communicating by Alcomex was by far superior.
Comments Off on Alcomex expands its e-commerce product range by 900 new standard stock springs
Alcomex is always working on providing a better service to its customers. Not only when we are directly in contact, but also online. We work hard to continuously improve our e-commerce experience. Not only for a better customer journey in our web shop, but also to provide a better and larger product range online. Alcomex has become part of the Lesjofors Group. This partnership brings us a lot of opportunities and synergy projects. The first synergy project is the addition of 900 standard stock springs in our online shop.
Which new standard springs are we adding?
We are expanding our web shop assortment with more than 900 new products in the following categories:
Conical compression springs,
Extension springs with turnable loops,
Double torsion springs,
Lockwashers Type A,
Lockwashers Type B,
Lockwashers Type C
Moreover, we are also adding a great number of new products to our already existing torsion and disc springs assortment. With these improvements within our product range, we can provide our private and business customers an even better applicable spring for their application.
An optimal user experience
To ensure that our ordering process online is as easy as can be, we have added two new functionalities in our e-commerce platform.
Pay on account (for businesses)
As of now it is possible for business customers (with or without an account) to pay on account. By doing so your organization will receive the products even faster than before.
No results? Get a custom made spring
Are you looking for the right spring within your application, but are there no results? No problem. You now can easily create a custom made springs order via a form in our web shop. By filling the form out you will get in contact with our sales engineering team who will help you in the process of creating the right spring for your application.
By expanding our product portfolio to almost 5.000 springs – which we can deliver directly from stock – and providing a better online customer journey. We strive to fulfil an ever-rising online demand for industrial springs with the best possible quality and a high level of service.
Comments Off on Spring-in-spring – optimal tension springs for garage doors
Customer case: ConDoor
Springs are a vital part of the perceived quality of a sectional overhead garage door. If door springs are not well balanced, the door does not run smoothly. Spring technology is a complex part of the sectional overhead garage door and a combination of factors determine the quality, life span and functioning of a spring.
A fruitful partnership
Alcomex, part of the Lesjöfors’ Group is a highly specialized leading supplier to the door spring market in Europe. One of Alcomex’s customers is Condoor, a major producer of insulated overhead doors for industrial and residential buildings producing more than 50,000 doors per year. Since 2017, Alcomex is the sole supplier of door springs to the company after a process of investigating, bench-marking and testing of Alcomex’s solutions.
Kees-Jan Honig, CEO of ConDoor, comments on the test process:
“After running a severe testing program in our own lab, we started producing small batches of doors with Alcomex springs. When all the lights turned green in 2017, we took the next step and Alcomex became our sole supplying partner in springs. Which means that we are 100% relying on their operational excellence performance. Also our customers, the door dealers that install the door at the homeowner or industrial facility, were happy with the new quality, life span and balance as well.”
Innovative spring solution revolutionized the business
Condoor is impressed by Alcomex innovative approach. Alcomex introduced a Quattro tension spring solution which brought many benefits to the table for Condoor. Earlier, tension springs were perceived as the lesser solution in the garage door business.
Kees-Jan Honig explains:
“Torsion springs could be calculated exactly to the right door weight and lifting system and with tension springs people always claimed that you had to compromise on this. The Quattro system proved to be perfect for our residential doors. Thanks to the spring-in-spring solution, the system was able to comply with the tough European safety norms. Also, the construction of the spring sets proved to be very compact, using little build-in space, which made it possible for us to offer pre-tensioned hardware sets to our customers, saving them time and money on site. The next step was the availability of that system for higher door weights, meaning bigger garage doors. Nobody wants to go back to the more complex and expensive old solution now.”
Condoor’s experience is that it is better to develop a relationship with a supplier to a level that both parties benefit from, rather than switching frequently. A speaking example of flexibility is the direct supply that Alcomex organized from its’ factory in India to Condoor’s plants in the Netherlands.
“Both parties have to make money and on both sides there are people working to do their utmost. But people make mistakes sometimes and for us, it is important that problems are solved without any hesitation and that our supplying partner can follow our growth. In Alcomex, we have a partner with good logistic performance, high-quality product with ongoing development and a team of people that seem to realize what we need every day”, says Kees-Jan Honig.
Comments Off on Alcomex India: A 15-year journey with continuous improvement
Alcomex India celebrates their 15 years anniversary. It was with foresight that in 2005 the previous owners of Alcomex, Mr Fred Baas and Mr René Kalkhuis, started the search for a spring manufacturing location in India. The choice for India was based on the geographic location; ideal for future market developments and on the opportunity for lower production costs. It was a big adventure, since until then there had only been one production facility for Alcomex, in Opmeer (NL). After reviewing and visiting various potential locations in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Pune, the choice for the first manufacturing plant outside Europe became Pune.
Pune is close to Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, with its deep-water seaport and international airport. With a new express road planned between Pune and Mumbai the location had all the aspects they were searching for.
The start in Pune
In January 2007 the first employee was appointed and together with the company secretary and a chartered accountant. After completion of all documentation and receiving approval from the Indian Government, on 7 March 2007 “ALCOMEX SPRINGS PRIVATE LIMITED” started its journey.
In April 2007, an office and small production space on the Weikfield Industrial complex in Sanaswadi Pune was rented and in parallel the search for a plot of land was formally started. A plot of land in the proximity of the Talegaon Dhamdhere village, 30 kilometres northeast of Pune was selected. This was an agricultural area. So the land had to be developed from scratch; obtaining permits, connection to water- and power supplies and road improvements.
In the following month small machines were bought for cutting and welding and we started to produce pallets. More machines, like presses and de-coilers, and more employees came in and the pallet production. For the local market it appeared to be a solid way to earn some money in these early days. After the first CNC coiling machines and forklift truck were sourced in October 2007. We started production of small industrial springs. The first container with pallets was shipped to the Netherlands in November and some sample springs were couriered by air. We were in business!
Alcomex India up and running
In April 2008, production moved from the rental location to our new (and current) factory. The factory where the team started the installation of the coiling machines, tempering oven and the shot peening & powder coatings system. Production progressed and over the years the deliveries slowly increased.
In 2010 we bought a new coiling machine from a national supplier. Equipped to produce torsion springs up to 12 mm wire diameter. Three more of these machines were shipped to the factories in Netherlands and Poland in 2011. To increase capacity and upgrade the quality of the finishing of the torsion springs… An automatic powder coat system with conveyor belt operation was installed in 2013. In the following years we also entered the Indian spring market and started to supply loyal partners. Partners like Gandhi Automations, Avians Automations and Metaflex.
In 2016, under new ownership, Conrad Hietink and Jelle van Vliet became the managers of the Alcomex Group. With them the company started a new journey of growth. The focus on sales and expansion-projects resulted in rapid growth of volumes in Pune. To keep up with this, HDPE fillers and endcaps were developed, produced on integrated cutting and assembly lines. In 2018 we introduced a second production shift, increasing the number of employees. In 2020 major investments were implemented. Two new plug fitting lines, two bigger furnaces, a new LPG installation and a new coiling machine for wires from 4 mm to 12 mm.
15 years anniversary
We proudly celebrated our 15th anniversary with the complete team on the 7th of March 2022. The complete team engaged in a day filled with sports and dance activities. After a joint breakfast, followed by some speeches highlighting the past (Sandeep Patil, Managing Director), the present (Jeroen Hosper, Managing Director Operations Alcomex Group) and the future (Nitin Wagh, architect of the new building). The new office extension was formally opened, and the project for Building “B” was formally started by a traditional ground-breaking ceremony.
In its first 15 years, Alcomex Springs Pvt. Ltd. has exported more than 1.750 containers to eight different countries and numerous customers. This year, the first containers have been shipped to Canada and the USA. So the brand new 2.500 m2 facility, expected to be ready in the first half of 2023, is needed to keep up with the growing demand. Investment in new coiling machines, a shot peening machines, a powder coating system, waxing systems, plugging lines, forklifts and presses will ensure the needed capacity for years to come.
On behalf of the complete Team of Alcomex Springs Pvt. Ltd. I would like to thank all colleagues, suppliers and customers for their commitment and support in the past, present and future! Let’s grow the business.
Comments Off on Alcomex at the IDA Expo in Las Vegas
In the first week of April, Jan, Marco and Mirco visited the IDA EXPO in Las Vegas. The IDAExpo is the premier educational venue for those who derive their living from the door and access systems industry. The goal was to get information about the North American door market and spring specifications and to approach prospects.
Our expectations after the IDA Expo
We estimate 4 million garage doors and 1 million industrial doors are produced in North America. Together with a large replacement market for the enormous installed base the North American is estimated to be 3-4 times larger than the European market.
Although the challenge caused by the imperial system, the different wire, the used coating, colour codes, spring ID labelling, packaging and transport overseas the first containers are sold and delivered already.
Our production in Pune, ALCOMEX SPRINGS PVT. LTD is doing a great job adapting to the different product, packaging and handling.
Order intake, confirmation and invoice is handled by Alcomex GmbH in Goch.
We do realise that the success mainly is due to the scarcity on the North American spring market and that when the local suppliers have recovered, our position becomes vulnerable.Alcomex is starting a new and exciting chapter in the door spring business! Are you looking for door springs or do you want advice? Then take a look at our offer.
Comments Off on The Alcomex Quality Management System pyramid drives customer satisfaction
In the Alcomex group we are servicing more and more satisfies customers. The number of customer is increasing as well as the quality demands, so to support our philosophy of “first time right first time quality” we are investing in the overall quality organisation. Over the last 12 months we have appointed QHSE (Quality Health Safety Environment) coordinators in all Alcomex facilities, and are everywhere implementing and executing CIP (continuous improvement programs) to meet the our customers’ expectations. To do this in a structured way we have adapted the Alcomex QMS pyramid clearly identifying roles and responsibilities meeting all requirements as set in the ISO standards.
Next to the product related quality we are also working hard to implement the ISO 14001 which provides a tool for the Alcomex Group to manage their environmental policy and do more than simply meet legislation and regulations. Alcomex views environmental management in the long term as their obligation and is reducing the CO2 emission in line with Paris Climate Agreement objectives. At present the Alcomex Group compensates 100% CO2 by planting trees together with the Landlife company.
In general ISO 14001 does not set requirements for environmental achievements. Instead, it creates a framework for setting up an effective environmental management system. It offers the certainty that the impact on the environment is monitored, measured, and improved. Advantages include:
Protecting the quality of the environment
Reduced costs for waste management and removal
Reduced use of energy and raw materials
Finally we simultaneously implement the ISO 45001 which set rules and guidelines to protect the safety and create a safe work environment for all employees.
Overall we strive daily delivering the requested quality, meeting customers requirements, in the most economical, safe and environmental friendly way always compensating 100% for CO2.
Comments Off on Expansion and improvement of our machinery in the Czech Republic
Alcomex Industrial has been around for more than 25 years and is still growing fast. From a capacity point of view, a number of years ago we started the systematic replacement and improvement of our machinery in the Czech Republic.
In addition to the most recent investment of the WAFIOS FMU 40 wire bending and torsion springs machine, we are now following through on these developments by purchasing the WAFIOS FUL 46 spring winding-machine.
The WAFIOS FUL 46 has a reach of ø 0.9 mm up to ø 4.5 mm. The machine is able to produce large quantities of compression springs as well as the wound part of the tension springs, very quickly. Additionally, the machine has a high machine availability; high quality standards that guarantee flawless production and unprecedented flexibility and operational comfort, thanks to the modular design.
By purchasing the WAFIOS FUL 46, we have allowed ourselves to keep the delivery times short. Also we can charge even more competitive prices in case of larger production numbers.
Comments Off on The effect of temperature and corrosion on springs
One of the challenges that we, as a spring manufacturer, have little influence on is the combination of the demanded lifespan and the conditions under which the spring is required to function. Depending on the system requirements, we first assess which material is sufficiently resistant to corrosion and whether this is useable in the application. At the same time Alcomex decides, within the specified temperature range, whether the chosen material still has sufficient mechanical properties to function. Finding the right combination for this is often a difficult task.
The various literature makes material specifications available. The most common are:
Normal temperature range
Carbon steel (C75, C85, C100)
1.1248 / 1.1269 / 1.1274
[-40°C tot +120°C]
Inox (301, 316, 17-7 PH)
1.4310 / 1.4401 / 1.4568
[-150°C tot +250°C]
Inconel (X750, 718, 625, 600)
2.4669 / 2.4668 / 2.4856 / 2.4816
[-200°C tot +550°C]
Hastelloy (C4, C276)
2.4610 / 2.4819
[-100°C tot +500°C]
[-200°C tot +320°C]
[-190°C tot +160°C]
[-190°C tot +80°C]
[-190°C tot +120°C]
Material and surface treatment as a solution
After the first screening, the application of the spring is examined. It may so happen that the work environment of the spring is such corrosive that certain materials simply “dissolve”. The strength of springs and spring products is largely determined by the thickness of the wire in relation to the tensile strength [N/mm2]. The thickness of the wire and tensile strength have an effect on the spring constant, thus the functioning of the spring, and in addition the lifespan is influenced. Issues can often be solved by choosing a different material. But be aware, for cost-driven applications, often this is too expensive, since certain, more exotic materials are simply not available in wire or narrow strip.
Often surface treatment can be chosen as an alternative solution for a specific medium. The most common surface treatments are: galvanising, phosphating, nickelling, chroming, powder-coating, tinning and silvering/gilding. All of these surface treatments add specific properties to the spring, as a result of which the lifespan is extended and the product made suitable for the application, with the principle that the mechanical properties are not being adversely affected.
Hydrogen embrittlement in spring materials
The application of surface treatments is not without risk and if implemented incorrectly, this may lead to embrittlement of the materials. This phenomenon is called hydrogen embrittlement and occurs in all cases where hydrogen is able to develop on the surface of the steel. The effect of hydrogen embrittlement on steel is that the steel will break at a much lower tensile strength than usual, despite the steel showing enormous durability properties during normal lifespan tests. Hydrogen embrittlement could be caused by processes for surface treatments and occurs when springs are exposed to non-oxidising acids or cathodic cleaning and coating. Remark: leaf springs that have hardened after moulding are sensitive to this.
The risk of embrittlement is reduced as the tensile strength and hardness are diminished. Generally, embrittlement does not occur on steel with a tensile strength of < 1000 N/mm ² or a hardness of < 30 Vickers. Most of the hydrogen can be removed by an additional thermal treatment (continuous warming). The thickness of the material determines the temperature and the duration of this thermal treatment:
Material thickness < 3 mm 170°C – 180°C, 5 hours
Material thickness < 12 mm 190°C – 210°C, 4 hours
The implementation of surface treatments is hardly ever without risk. Alcomex always carries out these treatments in consultation with specialised partners, in order to guarantee the quality of our spring products and solutions.
By:Marco Dekker | Head of Research & Development
Do you have a specific challenge regarding high temperatures or corrosion? Get in contact with us!
Comments Off on How to determine the right material for spring solutions?
Depending on the application and the requirements set, the choice is made to use a certain material or a specific surface treatment. Mechanical, thermodynamic properties and corrosion resistance play a major part, but at Alcomex we obviously also look into the availability and costs. An exotic material, that might be perfect though for a specific spring application, is often far too costly or not available in terms of wire.
Knowledge of materials and surface treatment
Within the technology department of Alcomex, wire manufacturers are always consulted when options are sought to improve the existing materials. Over the years, the wire used by Alcomex has significantly improved (for example higher tensile strength versus the EN 10270-1). This way we can allow the application of greater forces to the springs we design. In addition to improving the mechanical properties, we also study whether it is possible to make springs suitable for a certain use by applying a specific surface treatment. A simple example of this is the evaporation of gold; here, springs are provided with a thin layer of gold, which guarantees corrosion resistance (in addition, gold is a great conductor of electricity and is fairly abrasion-resistant). However, the limiting factor in this example is the costs which are too high for most purposes.
The extensive alcomex testing programme
Since applications become increasingly more challenging, for Alcomex the knowledge of materials has become more important over the years. Specific demands with regard to temperature and corrosion resistance and “foreseeable lifespan” make the testing of the behaviour of material an essential factor.
At Alcomex we use an extensive testing programme to determine the lifespan and relaxation. In consultation with our partners, it is even possible to tests springs in the application directly. One of the examples regarding the direct testing in the customer’s application, was the question: “What is the lifespan of an INOX 316 compression spring at 80°C in water vapour containing 40% sulphuric acid (H2SO4)?” The results of the test showed that after 80 hours, the INOX 316 springs were heavily corroded and, as such, no longer capable of providing enough strength.
The solution for this specific application, chosen by Alcomex, in consultation with the partner, was the use or ordinary spring steel with a special coating. After testing, this resulted in a lifespan of approximately 2,000 hours.
Springs in a certain application coming into contact with relatively high temperatures is another challenge that Alcomex faces regularly. By heating springs continuously (approx. 250°C), they are in fact calcined tension-free constantly, where tension-free calcining is part of the production process and serves a purpose. However, heating continuously, up to 250°C, is a different matter. At even higher temperatures the mechanical properties, and thus the spring constant (N/mm), quickly deteriorate, in other words, the springs will no longer function the way they were intended to.
Obviously there are standard materials available, but sometimes even they do not suffice, so that the solution should be sought in the total design that the spring is part of.
Changing Elasticity modulus under temperature
(E(application)=E20 * [1-r *(t-20)] => t [temp-application] at 20°C ambient temperature and r=0.25×10¯³ for spring steel and r=0.4×10¯³ for INOX).
For this kind of specific cases it is important to look at the entire system and only then choose the material. Because often, after a simple adjustment in the design, an existing material can be chosen for the springs. For example, the application of cooling fins or insulation may sometimes be enough to guarantee the desired service life of the spring.
Each market segment has its specific technical requirements, as well as numerous applications, so it is impossible to discuss all of them. We can however state that in its existence Alcomex’s technical team has already overcome many a problem. In addition, we are always looking for new techniques and surface treatments that we can use, together with our years of experience, for our customers.
By:Marco Dekker | Head of Research & Development
Submit your challenge to us? Get in contact with us!
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