In 1971, the year of incorporation of “Intreprinderea de Masini Unelte Bacau”, which in the meantime has become “World Machinery Works (WMW)”, the heavy industry was at home in Romania. With industrialisation in full swing, there were approximately 30 machine tools manufacturing companies countrywide. Among these, only four manufacturers have managed to keep up with the change in the economic paradigm and with the global economic crisis. World Machinery Works is one of them.
In 1998, “Intreprinderea de Masini Unelte Bacau” went private, its 51% majority share package being purchased by World Machinery Company in New York. The change in ownership also determined the alteration in the company’s denomination, the current one being selected “out of the desire for acknowledgment of the enterprise’s capacity to manufacture highly technical and flawless quality machine tools intended for export worldwide”, state Mr. Gabriel Cârciumaru, the current holder of 92% of the company’s share capital. A former World Machinery Company employee, Gabriel Cârciumaru was confident enough in the company’s future to purchase its majority share package. “Any metal piece of medium or high overall size, which requires high precision to manufacture, may be produced by a WMW machine”, said Mr. Cârciumaru.
The machine tools manufactured in Bacau are used in industries such as the aeronautical and aerospace, the metallurgical, energetic, ship building, mining, petrol and gas industries, for various machining works and for machine and equipment engineering. The main competitive advantages of the WMW products are reliability, complexity and price adapted to the market requirements. In addition to that, the degree of specialisation of the machine tools manufactured at WMW is very high, which transposes into an increased productivity for the client, added Mr. Cârciumaru. Another important advantage for WMW is represented by the wide range of machines and product accessories, the beneficiaries being having the possibility to purchase an entire production line from a single provider, in accordance with the specific requirements of the domain in which it is active. The supply of WMW products is much diversified, both in terms of machine types, and of dimensions and machining capabilities. WMW has a production facility with an approximate area of 22,500 sq.m., modernised in line with the latest standards starting from 2009, and equipped with heavy duty gantry cranes (25-40 tons), being composed of the following departments: special machining, heavy duty machining, ironworks, sandblasting, thermal treatment, rigging, painting. The company’s technical equipping allows the in-house machining/manufacturing, in a ratio above 98%, of the mechanical parts which are the composing elements of the machine tools manufactured by WMW. WMW manufactures a wide range of numerical control machine tools, comprising horizontal boring and milling machines, portal milling machines, turning and boring lathes, roll grinding machines, flat-plate grinding machines with vertical spindle and machines on request, in accordance with the client’s requirements. Among the latest projects completed on commission, further to international auctions, the following are the most important: – Flat-plate grinding machine with vertical spindle type RPVR 260, with a faceplate of 6.7 m in diameter, 50 ton payload per mass and a total machine mass of over 200 t – the world’ s largest machine of this type – which was delivered to the USA, at the Schaeffer Grinding Group company; (photo group 1) – VLO 60 turning and boring lathe with a faceplate of 5.7 m in diameter, also with translation motion, 30 t payload, faceplate rotational speed of up to 120 rot/min (rpm); the machine processes aluminium parts used in the structure of satellite carrier rockets of Ariane type and it was installed at EADS Astrium, in France. (photo group 2) – Travelling column boring and milling machines of BP150 type, which may perform simultaneous 5 axes processing, for the US military industry, delivered by Phillips Corporation. (photo group 3) – Roll grinding machines manufactured for Bhilai Steel – Steel Authority of India, which may perform the automatic cycle grinding of rolls of 2,000 mm in diameter, 11 m in length and over 125 t in weight. (photo group 4) – Portal milling machines type BMT 1600/2200, which were delivered to VSMPO Russia, being used for the production of landing gears in the aviation industry, with 65 HRC hardness forged titanium blank. (photo group 5) Mr. Cârciumaru believes that the main challenges which should be faced by a manufacturer of medium and great-sized machine tools are the extended production cycle (12-18 months), with the necessity to finance the production during such time interval, and the long operating life (20-25 years). In order to manufacture highly complex and competitive machine tools, the company should operate based on an integrated structure, comprised of its own departments for design, procurement and logistics, tooling, rigging, service, along with its own distribution network and marketing, hence the fairly high costs pertaining to infrastructure and personnel. These were the reasons for the less favourable period that WMW went through, the company being bound to open the insolvency proceedings in 2012. From that moment on, WMW has concentrated on attracting new orders and on streamlining its activity, thus developing a plan of measures meant to help the company overcome insolvency, which is currently in process of implementation.
WMW exports machine tools to almost all the EU Member States, as well as to Canada, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, UAE, China, India, South Korea and Australia.
Between 2012 and 2013, as it was impossible for it to finance the production of machine tools and equipment from its own sources, the company diversified its activity and oriented towards the attraction of liquidities through the performance of various machining works and the supply of services, through the modernisation and capital repair of the machine tools already in operation, especially in Romania, but also for the clients from abroad. This new business segment has also contributed to the company’s recovery. WMW ended the year 2013 with profit, the first quarter of the year 2014 being also profitable. Currently, the employers’ association wants to increase the company’s capital by the attraction of new investors, however “the small profit mar gins from the machine engineering industry are not attractive enough for investors”, stated Mr. Cârciumaru.
In 2013, the weight of machining from the total turnover amounted to 23%, while in 2014 it is estimated to reach 40%.
Besides the base products, i.e. the machine tools, WMW manufactures a wide range of special products and accessories, meant to enlarge the technological possibilities of the currently manufactured machine tools:
- rotary tables
- fixed tables
- palletising systems
- milling heads
- automatic tool changing systems
- various devices
- spare parts for machine tools
Additionally, the services supplied to clients also contribute significantly to the company’s economic recovery, for example:
- guarantee and post-guarantee repairs
- various mechanical machining
- projects on demand
- consultancy, evaluation and specialised technical expertise in the machine tools domain.
The company’s metrological laboratory is provided with high-performance equipment, among which a 3D co-ordinate measuring machine, complex laser equipment, autocollimator etc., hence it is among the highest performance laboratories countrywide.