MÜRZZUSCHLAG FACTORY: HOW ERNE BECAME A ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR BUTT-WELD FITTINGS
Our headquarters in Schlins and our factory in Mürzzuschlag are located on either side of Austria, 618 km or 6.5 hours’ drive apart.
Erne Fittings has been producing pipe fittings using cold forming procedures in Mürzzuschlag since 1988. Located in Styria in south-east Austria, the factory manufactures a range of products to complement our production operations in Schlins, including elbows, tees and reducers in a huge variety of materials, in sizes up to 12 inches.
Originally, Erne Fittings specialised exclusively in the production of elbows using the Hamburg bending process and made a name for itself as a leading supplier of these products. Then, at the end of the 1970s, the company took the strategic decision to expand its operations to cover all butt-weld fittings and set about finding suitable partners for this venture. In 1985, Erne Fittings GmbH signed an exclusivity agreement with Vereinigte Edelstahl-Werke (VEW), a subsidiary of the VOEST-Alpine Group, for the sale of all non-stainless steel products. Just a few years earlier, VEW had set up its own production company for pipe fittings, which was manufacturing predominately stainless steel butt-weld fittings at its factory in Mürzzuschlag. The factory used a cold forming procedure known as liquid bulge forming, which VEW had successfully implemented on an industrial scale. More importantly, the factory was able to process the carbon steel and medium-alloy steels used by Erne, and so a partnership between the two companies was born.
Three years later, despite being the ‘smaller’ partner, Erne Fittings took over the whole VEW factory for butt-weld fittings, including all 40 employees, and finally achieved its goal of becoming a one-stop-shop for these products. Following the acquisition, the company also changed its name from ‘Josef Erne Rohrbogenwerk GmbH’ to ‘Erne Fittings GmbH’. Today, it continues to employ 100 employees in Mürzzuschlag.
Erne News 04/2021