Cutting-edge, fully networked servo press has been running for six months at metalware manufacturer in Germany’s Ore Mountains region
Göppingen/Marienberg, 01/21/2020 – Ute Schlieder Metallwarenfabrik GmbH metalworks in Zöblitz, a town district of Marienberg near the German city of Chemnitz, has been forming metal for 140 years. Now, the company is equipping itself for the future—and purchased a fully networked MSP 400 servo press from Schuler as part of the process.
“Our dies kept getting bigger, and we were starting to run out of room,” recalls company president Frank Schlieder. “We'd reached our limits in the production of our more sophisticated parts. That’s why we purchased this machine.” The servo press was delivered by Schuler a year ago to the Schlieder facility in Olbernhau, located 12 kilometers away, where the other equipment is now also in service.
Successful transition to new technology
“The machine has been up and running in two shifts for six months now,” says Frank’s son Ben, who serves as the company’s CTO. “And we’re really quite pleased. The servo technology was new for us, since we’d previously only used presses with conventional drives at our company. But we’ve been able to make a successful transition.”
“In a press shop, the main thing is reducing setup times and getting the most out of both the machine and the parts,” says Frank Schlieder. “Every day, you have to look at where you can improve.” One useful tool in this regard was the advanced operator training provided by the experts from Schuler, which also included explanations of the machine’s intelligent functions.
Assistant helps to optimize movement curves
“For us, it was obviously a big change with all of the different sensors,” the younger Schlieder admits. “But we got used to that very quickly. We’re now monitoring a lot more parameters than before; we keep an eye on the main drives and the temperature and press force data. And the operators use the Assistant to optimize the movement curves, for example.” For processes like stamping, forming, blanking, embossing, bending or drawing, operators can also choose from preprogrammed curves.
Ben Schlieder notes that the training has yielded “major progress” and adds: “With the servo technology, we were able to increase stroke rates by 15 to 20 percent in some areas, even though the part is formed over the same interval of time. Clearly, that’s a big plus.” Schuler also supplied the coil line, which is perfectly tuned to work with the system and is able to keep pace with the high production rate.
The highly dynamic torque motors on the press can be programmed so that the slide speed remains constant during forming and only increases when the parts are being transported. “We don’t make mass-produced parts, we manufacture high-quality items for the furniture and automotive industries,” notes Ben’s father Frank. “That’s why we opted for a servo press, which also helps us meet strict quality requirements. As an added benefit, the machine’s controlled forming process extends the service life of the dies.”
Driven by gearless torque motors
Mechanical benefits like the gearless torque motors and external pressure points, which permit eccentric loads, also factored into the company’s purchasing decision, says Ben Schlieder, adding, “We were a bit skeptical at first. But in today’s environment, you have to keep up with technological progress. It was the right decision.”
He notes that the project was executed according to plan: “We never ran into any delays during commissioning. Schuler did a great job with the people here and was always available, and for that we owe them a big ‘thank you.’” An enthusiastic Frank Schlieder says, “It’s just outstanding how the machine is performing and how everything is meshing.” His son Ben adds, “If we invest in another press in the future, there’s a 100% chance that we’ll go with Schuler again.”