3 min reading time
Story 195 – 1930 – Products

At full bore in Ulm

Tube production in the parent plant in the 20th century

Despite the limited space available, the tube production in the Ulm plant was continuously expanded. After the 2nd World War, reconstruction was successful, combined with constant manufacturing and product innovations - especially for special tubes that were expensive to produce.

In the 1930s, tube production at the Ulm plant once again took on new dimensions. In 1937, a further tube drawing hall with a length of 150 metres and a surface area of 6,000 square metres was built. In this hall, a new process for manufacturing tubes made of special brass and bronze was introduced: cold pilgering, a cold rolling method licensed from the USA. Many of the machines in the new hall were designed and built in-house, including six stretching machines with drawing forces between 10 and 120 tons.

The same applied to many of the drum-type tube drawing machines that were still in use in the old drawing shop. Among the specialties of the Ulm tube production were the first finned tubes, among others for car radiators, manometer tubes and increasingly also aluminium tubes. Their production was due to the shortage of copper and the instructions of the Nazi planned economy.

In 1945 bombing raids destroyed large parts of the Ulm works, including the tube drawing hall, which had been built only a few years earlier, and all tools and drawing plans. Nevertheless, the first finned tubes made of heavy metal were produced as early as 1946. They quickly gained in importance, as did condenser tubes and ready-to-install plain bearings – for the automotive industry, among others.

When a new tube drawing shop was put into operation at the Vöhringen plant in 1962, Ulm concentrated entirely on particularly complex specialties such as pressure gauge spring tubes, finned tubes, large-diameter tubes and hose tubes. In this sector, the EWE copper tube bundles, among other things, represented Wieland's innovative strength.

With the relocation of the entire Ulm plant outside the gates of the city in 1982, a new era also dawned for tube production: copper tubes were now largely drawn in Vöhringen, and the tube drawing facility at the new location in the Danube valley now produced mainly alloy tubes and sections.

Construction with steel frame

In 1937, an imposing tube drawing hall with a length of 150 metres was built on the east side of the Wieland works in Ulm. It was completely destroyed in the 2nd world war.

Employees and plain tubes

In 1942, female foreign workers were also employed to manufacture radiators from smooth tubes. They were housed in barracks on the factory premises.

Aerial view Ulm factory 1953

The Wieland plant in Ulm in 1953: The pipe drawing hall (front), newly built after the destruction of the war, occupies the entire eastern edge of the plant site.

Employees at machine

The semi-automatic chain drawing bench KZ 15 is also a Wieland self-construction. And: It is the last of its kind and still in operation today!

Extract catalogue 1976

Impressive variety: In 1976 a brochure presented the production program of finned tubes from the Ulm plant. These included tubes with star profiles and EWE tubes with jacket tubes.