Note; the post below has been translated with Google Translate.
On Thursday afternoon, November 17th, we visited Mitsubishi Turbochargers in Almere. Mitsubishi has been based in Almere since 1989 and is part of the Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
In 1949, SAMOFA (SAmenwerkende MOtoren FAbrikanten) was established in Harderwijk. Small water-cooled diesel engines are produced for the Benelux market. After 31 years, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries takes over SAMOFA in 1980. The new daughter is now called MHI SAMOFA Diesel B.V. Other MHI products have also been sold since 1988. The last shares were acquired and the company name changed to MHI Equipment Europe B.V, MEE for short. A year later they moved to Almere. In 1993 they moved to another part of the industrial estate. Here they started with one factory in which only a small space was reserved for the turbos. Today there are five factories in which only turbos are produced. Now that the most recent factory, “factory 5”, delivered in 2009, is in operation, 2 million turbos can be produced per year. The original diesel engine part has moved to France and only turbos are still being produced.
Much of the fundamental research takes place in Nagasaki. This includes the geometry of turbine and compressor wheels and experiments with other materials. In Almere, application engineering mainly takes place with a group of ± 60 engineers.
Turbo is made for all OEMs in the automotive sector except Daimler. They have a market share of 20 to 25% and produce almost all turbos for the European market. The largest turbos produced for cars in Almere are for the Porsche Panamera and the Cayenne. The main competitors are Honeywell (Garrett), BorgWarner and IHI.
After extensive presentations, we started with a tour of “factory 1”, the original factory. The production and balancing of a turbine wheel including axle takes place in this factory. This is fully automated. A turbine wheel and an unprocessed axle are supplied and 17 stations further on the part is ready to be balanced. To be able to balance, a thorough cleaning and a 0 point are first made. Subsequently, there is a rough balance, some material is removed and cleaned again. These three steps are then repeated for normal balancing and once more for fine balancing. After this this part is ready. All these steps are of course fully automated again.
In “factory 4” they then take the part from “factory 1”. This is assembled with the middle part of the housing and the compressor wheel. This composition is also balanced from coarse to fine, just like above. A leakage test also takes place between each step. Fully automated again.
This composition is then assembled in “factory 5” into a complete end product. A final inspection also takes place here. This is also done almost completely automated. Only some cover caps to prevent contamination and some clamps are mounted by hand.
At the end of our visit there was a drink with a hot buffet.
Thanks to Judith Miltenburg for the good organization and Dennis Kolfertz for the very interesting presentation and tour.