The GF Automotive group aims to improve its standing as a supplier of light-metal diecastings by establishing a ”strategic and financial partnership” with Meco Eckel GmbH, a German company that designs and manufactures automotive tooling systems. Both companies agreed not to release the financial terms of the partnership.
GF will take a 51% holding in Meco Eckel. The deal is expected to close in September, pending regulatory approval.
Meco Eckel employs 130 people at two sites in Germany, Biedenkopf-Wallau and Leipzig. The company’s current management team, led by Erhard Stark, will remain in place to ensure continuity and product quality standards for its customers.
Whereas the investment emphasizes diecasting mold technology, Meco Eckel’s website indicates it also designs and produces tooling for for casting molds and cores, forging dies, plastic injection molding, deburring tools, and gauges and fixtures for numerous process applications.
"The partnership with GF is in the interest of our customers,” according to Stark. Together we will be able to develop premium diecasting molds and the corresponding aluminum components in an optimal and innovative way.”
Noting that “moldmaking know-how is critical to cast component design and production efficiency, and it significantly shortens the time from the original design idea to series production of light-metal castings,” GF emphasized that the partnership would give its plants an earlier involvement in the component design, accelerate the design-to-production processes, and improve product supply and service for customers.
The Switzerland-based Georg Fischer AG produces machine tools and piping products, as well as the iron and aluminum casting operations in Austria, Germany, and China that form the GF Automotive business unit. Its aluminum and magnesium pressure diecasting operations include plants at Altenmarkt and Herzogenburg, Austria; Werdohl, Germany; and Kunshan, China.
Meco Eckel’s line of business may have advantages for GF’s machine tool product lines as well as its metalcasting operations.
"We are pleased to welcome Meco Eckel to the GF family. It's a company with which GF Automotive has cooperated closely over the past 20 years,” stated CEO Yves Serra. “Meco Eckel and GF Automotive have highly complementary know-how whose combination will greatly enhance our customer offering."