Issue Issue 2 2008
Worthington handles the pressure
Worthington Cylinders is the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pressure cylinders, with around 20 per cent of the total global market.
The company, which has extensive experience in the industry, specialises in the production of high-pressure steel and aluminium cylinders, providing one of the sector’s most complete ranges of refrigerant, industrial and LPG pressure products. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, the business also operates facilities in Austria, the US, Canada, Portugal, and the Czech Republic, and supplies to more than 70 countries globally.
The company’s Austrian facility, located in Kienberg, Austria, employs around 440 people and provides Worthington products to all five continents. Worthington Cylinders GmbH produces 750,000 seamless high-pressure steel cylinders annually, employing 440 people. The location Kienberg has a remarkably long tradition and has developed in the course of hundreds of years from a handy-crafts workshop into a modern, internationally operating, industrial plant. A high quality standard of products is a recognisable characteristic and one of the reasons for the success and continuity of the location. The company’s principle is to keep to all environment-related laws and regulations by realising a completely preventative environmentally friendly production concept, the application of the Worthington Industries philosophy and the company code of behaviour as well as the continuous improvement of business processes in co-operation with employees, customers, suppliers and owners.
The Worthington Cylinders GmbH production system has earned ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14000 (Environmental) and OHSAS 18000 (Employee Safety) certifications. The company’s Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM), Kaizen, and Six Sigma operational improvement practices are regularly receiving ‘benchmarking’ visits from industrial companies from throughout the Germanspeaking world and Eastern Europe. In December 2007, Worthington Cylinders got the TS16949 certification (automotive industry relevant), which makes the company the only cylinder manufacturer in the world, which is ISO9001, ISO 14000, OHSAS18000 and TS16949 certified.
The Austrian operation makes a broad range of cylinders for industrial gases applications such as welding; medicine; laboratories; food and beverage technology; fire protection equipment and water treatment. A majority of the production is currently dedicated to cylinders for industrial gas applications. A growing segment is CNG (compressed natural gas) for which Worthington cylinders produce storage tanks for CNG filling stations and CNG tanks for cars.
Worthington Cylinders GmbH is the world’s largest manufacturer of porous mass for acetylene, and the only supplier in Europe that can deliver both cylinder and mass from the same production facility. The acetylene cylinders – made in Austria – are safe, light, user-friendly, and have a long life. The forged, seamless, steel cylinders and the high porosity, monolithic, asbestos-free mass all come from the same production facility. The specially developed porous mass ensures a perfect and consistent gas release for all acetylene applications, while sourcing acetylene cylinders from Worthington makes it easier to receive the best products with only one contact point.
Worthington Cylinder’s Austrian arm also produces Type II and Type III composite cylinders. The Type II cylinders (hoop wound steel liners) are mainly used for industrial gas applications and Type III cylinders (polar wound aluminium liner) for breathing air cylinders (6.8 litres cylinders with a weight of only 3.9 kg).
Notable for its manufacture of superior quality solutions, Worthington Cylinders GmbH has won a number of high-profile industry awards. Most recently, the business was voted ‘Austria’s Leading Company’ in November 2007 by one of Austria’s foremost newspapers.
Worthington Cylinders GmbH, together with the other operating divisions of Worthington Cylinders, is part of Worthington Industries, one of the world’s leading diversified metal processing businesses, with annual sales of approximately $3 billion. Established in 1955 by John H. McConnell, Worthington Industries has grown rapidly, and very successfully, in subsequent years bringing innovation and unique methods to the global industry.
Looking to the future, the current state of the industry, combined with the experience of such a strong parent company, means that Worthington Cylinders is well placed to maintain its position as the world’s leading supplier of pressure cylinders. 2007 represented the third most successful year in Worthington Industries’ history, whilst the Pressure Cylinders segments produced record sales and earnings. With this in mind, the challenges of the future look like they will put no pressure on Worthington Cylinders.
Products: Pressure cylinders
Manufacturing Sites: Austria