VÍTKOVICE CYLINDERS a.s. is one of the largest world’s manufacturers of seamless steel cylinders, a major producer of pressure tanks, high-pressure accumulators and grinding balls. The company is an important member of VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP.
- A long tradition, high productivity and exceptional quality of products
- Clearly defined strategic objectives and visions built on state-of-the-art and highly efficient work system
- Highly qualified and experienced personnel, considerable investments in research and development
- Building on long-term and prospective business relations
The history of the production of high-pressure steel cylinders in VÍTKOVICE dates back to 1906
when the steel cylinders originally designed for compressed gas were produced in the Tube Rolling Mill of seamless tubes. At that time, the cylinders designed for compressed and light gases were produced.
In 1927, triple sales of steel cylinders were recorded in comparison with the previous year and, in the next years, the sales increased nearly three and a half times again. The production was run on one press, with the throughput of 300 cylinders per month. The cylinders were made of seamless steel tubes rolled by the Mannesmann method, with the working pressure 125 - 150 bar, or the test pressure 190 - 225 bar, water volume 1-50 litres and 0.125-7.5003 of gas.
The bottoms and necks were forged in the Forge, heat treated in the Toolshop, machined, tested and assembled in the mechanical workshops. In 1938, the processes of steel cylinder machining, testing and assembly were relocated to the Small Machine Works. In the mid 1942, the new Tools Forge was finished and the old one was adapted to the Cylinder Forge - a new series production was started.
In the years 1931-33, 2,400 cylinders were manufactured for Japan and during World War II the cylinders were exported to Denmark, Finland, Holland, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, and Bulgaria. In spite of that, the greatest outlet for steel cylinders in 1930`s and 1940`s was represented by the domestic market.
In 1943, manufacturing facilities were installed to increase the monthly production from 6000 to 9000 cylinders. The Tools Forge was extended with the cylinder refining equipment and the cylinder furnace was also put into operation. The steel cylinder production was rationalized remarkably. The steel cylinder testing room was built up in the Machine Works and the monthly throughput reached 7,500 units. During an air attack of the American bombers in August 1944, the steel cylinder workshop in the small Machine Works was hit by bombing and the production was stopped for more than one month. The production was resumed and the company's own proprietary semi-automatic machines and special cylinder-machining laths were put into operation. In January 1946, the annealing furnaces were commissioned in the former gas cylinder shop where the cylinders were annealed.
The steel production had not been concentrated until 1956, which resulted in increased costs of transport from one hall to another. After the construction of the Cylinder Shop (Lahvárna) in 1956, the production was directed to one centre, and the transport during machining and testing was mechanized and machine equipment was added (Wirth semi-automates, shotblasting equipment for descaling etc.). In 1981, the hardening shop was reconstructed and in 1988 - 1992 the production of 200-bar steel cylinders was upgraded comprehensively. In 1995, the company of VÍTKOVICE Lahvárna, spol. s r.o. became a daughter company of VÍTKOVICE a.s. The series production of 300-bar steel cylinders was started in 1996. VÍTKOVICE Lahvárna, spol. s r.o. (limited liability company) was privatized in 1999 and transformed by the company of Lahvárna Ostrava a.s. to a joint-stock company of VÍTKOVICE Lahvárna a.s. At the end of 2002, the company produced its eight-millionth steel cylinder.September 2003 was a significant period as the company of VÍTKOVICE Lahvárna a.s. returned under the joint brand of VÍTKOVICE.
In August 2005, the company was renamed to the existing business name VÍTKOVICE CYLINDERS a.s.
In December 2008 a unique production line was introduced that produced steel cylinders by means of a backward extrusion method. This production technology related to steel vessels of such enormous diameters hadn´t been used at all until that time.