Shape 172 Prepares for Driestern Mill

Some impressive new technology is coming to Shape’s 172nd facility, and it has got our team members excited. The plant is currently prepping a site for the new Driestern mill that will be shipped in all the way from Germany.

Team members broke ground on May 21st to prepare for the addition of roll 117. This will be Shape’s first mill from Driestern, a new roll forming vendor. The team’s preparation process includes the moving of  an entire roll mill 20 feet to create space for the new mill, which will be used for body-in-white applications.

“The cool thing about this press is that it has really quick die changes, which is huge for us,” said Emily Teasley, manufacturing engineer. “That means faster changeovers, which saves time and money.” The process that the Driestern mill uses is very different to what Shape has a history of doing. This mill uses ultra-high strength steel which aligns very well with our strategic goal for body in white structures.

“It is really exciting we are getting into more body-in-white components, which opens up more opportunities to find business in body-in-white applications,” said Brian Edwards, engineering manager. “It’s exciting to be getting involved in technology outside of what we have done in the past. Our technology is growing, which means we are growing too.”

We have made plans to travel to Germany to see the first parts made on the mill before it comes to our facility in Grand Haven. After that the mill will be shipped and installed at 172nd before the end of 2018.

Concrete has begun pouring, and the team is hoping to have the space ready for when the mill arrives next month. If all goes according to plan, the new Driestern should be up and running by the end of the summer.