The history of the current CIREX starts in 1947. In the physics laboratory of Philips in Eindhoven, an experimental wax model foundry was set up. In the United States (US), wax model casting (investment casting/lost wax casting) is viewed as a promising, rapidly emerging technology for complicated metal products for the aircraft industry, among others.
The start of a lost wax model foundry outside the physics laboratory. The process of the lost wax model method is taken over by Philips machine factories.
In addition to the wax model foundry, there is also a sand foundry called the Twentsche IJzergieterij (iron foundry). The foundry is part of the Philips machine factories. However, this Twentsche IJzergieterij is dated and must be modernised.
The wax model foundry is also housed in the Twentsche IJzergieterij. The delivery of the first combustion chambers, also called “pig noses” to the German company Hanomag-Henschel is a fact.
Wax model foundry CIREX in Almelo is established by the merging of three companies: Twentsche IJzergieterij (Borne), Wasmodelgieterij Werkspoor (Amsterdam) and Wasmodelgieterij Philips (Eindhoven). The new factory is built next to the Philips Machine factory location, the current VDL ETG. CIREX is owned by Philips (60%) and Werkspoor (40%).
Start of production at CIREX in Almelo as an iron and wax model foundry.
4% of the turnover comes from the automobile industry. The first delivery of combustion chambers to Volkswagen takes place. Despite the success, results are disappointing due to the loss-making sand foundry and a drastic reorganisation is performed. Werkspoor pulls out and Philips becomes the sole shareholder. The personnel from that time come from Philips. In addition, the iron foundry is stopped and the focus is shifted to the wax model foundry.
Werkspoor backs out and sells it shares to Phillips for 1 guilder. In addition to orders from Philips, CIREX increasingly works for third parties.
10% of the turnover now comes from the automobile industry. Turnover has tripled compared to 1967.
Philips disinvests and an acquisition by Hoogovens follows. Investment is made in a large foundry installation. Once again the turnover triples and the share of sales in the automobile sector increases to 30%. For Volkswagen, CIREX is its second supplier of combustion chambers.
CIREX is ravaged by a large fire and half of the operation is destroyed. Thanks in part to the dedication of the personnel, customers were barely bothered by this. Production started up again after only three weeks!
Turnover in the automobile sector increases to 60% and CIREX is now the supplier of steel components to General Motors, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. For Volkswagen, CIREX is its main supplier (Hauslieferant).
Organisation change resulting from a significant decrease in turnover. In order to generate more turnover, the decision is made for a clearer focus on the automobile sector. In that year in the former Czechoslovakia a joint venture was started together with the Czech truck manufacturer TATRA under the name of TATRAREX. This new wax model foundry is owned for 30% by TATRA and for 70% by CIREX.
CIREX and TATRAREX (together with 220 employees) are sold to the investment company Nimbus and the Gietburg Group. A change of strategy follows: CIREX specialises in mass production, TATRAREX specialises in the production of smaller series.
Start of a large-scale investment programme – for the purpose of mass production, the first robot is installed in the wax department.
CIREX takes a 30% interest in TATRAREX and the name of the location in the Czech Republic is changed to CIREX CZ.
CIREX CZ moves from the TATRA factory grounds to a new building on the industrial estate in Koprivnice. Because of this move and additional investments, capacity is increased by 50%.
Start of the construction of the new foundry hall in Almelo, where a completely robotised foundry installation is installed. This investment increases the foundry capacity by 50% in balance with the capacity of the design construction.
Start of CIREX Finishing & Machining in a second production hall in the Czech Republic. Here, castings from both the Netherlands and the Czech Republic are blasted, sanded and post-processed as necessary.
Nimbus and Gietburg Group sell CIREX to the investment companies Convent Capital and Nedvest Capital and to the management.
Start of construction of the new ceramics department. As a replacement and an expansion of the existing ceramics process, a completely automated and flexible new production line is installed. During the design of the process, particular attention was paid to the environment, energy consumption and sustainability.
Due to the capacity expansion in the past few years CIREX can meet the increased demand for castings. To have additional finishing and control capacity available a new factory is set up in Slovakia. By the end of 2017 CIREX Finishing SK in Stara l’Ubovna has already 40 employees.
CIREX is nominated for the ‘Koning Willem I’-Prize, a prestigious Dutch business prize that is awarded biannual since 1958.
CIREX is acquired by Signicast, a Form Technologies company. Form Technologies provides ‘precision engineered metal solutions’ manufactured at Dynacast (high pressure precision diecasting), Signicast (investment casting) & OptiMIM (metal injection molding). Thanks to this acquisition the continuation of the growth we experienced in the past years is guaranteed for the future as well.
CIREX establishes the Prototyping Centre, where multiple 3D printers produce detailed 3D pieces. Through early involvement, CIREX can realize the best possible design, thus providing the market with an even better and broader service in the field of prototyping.