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On Friday, October 23th an OeWF delegation drove to Kapfenberg – the 3rd largest town in Styria, Austria to visits steel manufacturer Boehler for the official hand over of the Aouda helmet.
At 09:15 a.m. in the morning our OeWF delegation (Dr. Rudolf Albrecht, Gerhard Grömer, Dr. Gernot Grömer, Sophie Gruber and Judith Kümmel) met at the Boehler Schmiedetechnik factory. After a short introduction we got a briefing about the safety on the grounds of the steel manufacturer. Supplied with safety helmets and orange jackets marking us as visitors we were ready for a tour of the steel plant.
Always watching out for fast moving fork lifters we first walked to the hall of the hammers. It’s amazing how much force – and how many steps are needed – to get a piece of iron into the right shape! I was even more surprised once I realized what they were producing at the moment – airplane parts! (Editorial remark: The author is a pilot ;-))
We saw the steel rods as they get delivered to the plant, saw them – glowing red – hammered into the initial shape. We saw them lying around to cool off – already black, but still sizzling hot. There were quality checks, checks for cracks and “filing” out minor faults before being shaped again.
Walking through other areas of the plant we saw the different steps it takes to be able to deliver the high quality needed in components for aviation, medicine, machine tools etc – or: Mars. Boehler designed & manufactured the new helmet rings for both our Aouda Mars analog spacesuits.
After a lovely lunch we met up in a meeting room for the hand-over ceremony: Dr. Alfred Krumphals, R&D project lead Boehler Schmiedetechnik handed over the Aouda helmet to Dr. Gernot Grömer, OeWF spacesuit development project lead. In addition from now on one of the helmets will be on display at Linz Voest Alpine Stahlwelten. With a trip to the other site of the manufactory where we saw the huge steel press, we concluded our visit.
Thank you, Boehler Schmiedetechnik, for the great hospitality you showed us and the huge effort you put into manufacturing the helmet rings!
Author: Judith Kümmel, OeWF
- Boehler blog post “Euipped for space with technology from Boehler Schmiedetechnik
- German version “Gerüstet für das Weltall mit Technologie von Böhler Schmiedetechnik“
- Böhler website
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