One profile says more than 1000 pictures
Hundreds of extrusion profiles are still being stored today
A collection of extrusion profiles produced in the past shows impressively how many, sometimes highly complex profiles Wieland has already produced for its customers over the decades. Even today, Wieland's experts are inspired by how their forefathers solved demanding tasks.
If you descend the steps to the cellar room under Hall 4 in the Ulm factory, you might expect a lot – but hardly a kind of "treasure trove" of profile drawing. At first glance, the eight metal cupboards do not give away much. Only after opening them does it become clear that testimonials from many decades of profile extrusion at Wieland are stored here, neatly sorted and labelled.
Hundreds of profiles are archived here, all of them shortened in such a way that they can be stored in the cabinets. Each piece is provided with a small label on which handwritten notes provide more detailed information such as profile numbers and time references. The profiles date back to the 1950s – and they tell a fascinating story without words.
First of all, they are impressive, simply because of their numbers and thus bear witness to the variety of extruded profiles that Wieland has developed and offered over the years. They show how important and right it was to introduce the extrusion process as early as 1901 and thus pave the way for completely new products and ever more individual customer solutions.
This is evident in the complexity of many profiles, the development and manufacture of which always involved the challenge of matching the geometry and the alloy to the customer's requirements. It therefore often required bringing together mutually exclusive factors, or using a pressing or drawing tool.
The green profile cabinets in Ulm's basement are not only an impressive example of Wieland's metal expertise from pre-digital times or just a nostalgic collection. Rather, they still serve employees occasionally as a means of orientation. When faced with particularly tricky challenges, it helps to be inspired by how similar tasks were solved in the past.