BENTELER now supplies ready-to-use airbag tubes to customers worldwide

Paderborn/Salzburg, November 16, 2020 ­ – BENTELER has invested in a new forming line for processing of airbag tubes at its Schloss Neuhaus plant. The company has thereby expanded its value-added depth in airbag and seat belt pretensioner tubes for the international automotive sector. Thomas Michels, Head of the Schloss Neuhaus and Paderborn Plant Network, summarizes the advantages of the new line: "The forming line we’ve designed is constructed on a modular basis. It can produce a wide variety of designs flexibly and very leanly – including 100% component testing. This enables us to meet various customer-specific product safety requirements".

Integrated testing of safety-relevant features

Since airbags are among the most important safety components in a vehicle, comprehensive testing prior to assembly is of great importance. It is subject to the highest safety requirements. This aspect is already integrated in the new forming line and thus makes an important contribution to quality assurance. Dirk Tegethoff, Head of Engineering Safety at BENTELER Steel/Tube, explains: "For final testing, in which 100% of parts are tested, a non-destructive testing technology has been specially developed and integrated into the process flow. This testing is tailored to the specific application and is considerably more accurate than conventional testing methods used in the industry. It also guarantees consistent reproducibility – with this reliable test we ensure consistent quality and safety of the tube components."

Customer-oriented production from one source

The tested and ready-to-use airbag generator sleeves are now delivered directly to the customer's production facility; intermediate steps that other companies had previously taken over are now no longer necessary. This simplifies the processes for customers and simultaneously reduces the risk of defects in the supply chain. Ingemar Wohlert, Project Manager and Vice President Business Area Automotive at BENTELER Steel/Tube, explains: "We closely monitor our customers' needs so that we can generate customer-oriented solutions. Our aim is to understand precisely the problems and challenges of our customers' production processes so that we can develop appropriate solutions during the manufacturing process. The earlier we recognize a problem, the more effectively we can solve it for our customers. We achieve this by collaborating early in the design phase of products".

Ingemar Wohlert also has overriding goals in mind, such as reducing CO2 emissions, when optimizing production processes: "Our tube solutions made of high-strength materials contribute to lightweight construction. Furthermore, we produce our steel in our own electric steel plant. This results in significantly lower CO2 emissions than is the case with steel production in blast furnaces. In addition, we manufacture our airbag tubes from 100% recycled scrap – which is how the circular economy works".