German machine tool maker sights in on mould industry
ETMM: What specific areas of mould making are you currently targeting?
Winkler: In terms of process technology, the machines enable deep-hole drilling operations through to 5-axis complete machining. A renowned manufacturer opted for our machining centre model MCH 460 for high-performance milling of mould structures. What particularly impressed the production managers were the high cutting performance and excellent milling results as well as the stability of the machine and increased tool life it provides. This is an interesting aspect, since often the roughing operation is outsourced. Manufacturing of moulding tools and heat sealing instruments requires more delicate operations at high speeds and high dynamics. For this purpose, our 5-axis machining centre model FP 4000 provided a revolutionary production solution at a globally renowned manufacturer. Another recent trend which can be observed among a growing number of mould and die manufacturers is the increased use of industrial, and thus productive, manufacturing processes. A French mould and die manufacturer is using the Heller machining centre model MCH 350-C for around-the-clock machining of complex individual workpieces such as mould frames. This shows that the fields of application are extremely varied.
ETMM: Are there any other mould making sectors you would like to supply in the future? If so, which ones?
Winkler: There is still potential for development. Currently our customers mainly comprise mould and die manufacturers supplying to the automotive industry. However, in our view, the focus should be less on the type or size of the components to be machined and more on the machine running times and the overall added value. In addition, 5-axis machining holds great potential for process optimisation. When the milling cutter is tilted, for instance, using tools with reduced throat depth becomes possible. As a result, machining times are shorter and the surface finish is improved due to the reduced susceptibility to vibration. From this point of view, we believe that we are also very well-positioned to cater to mould and die manufacturers supplying the packaging industry and the electronics industry as well as the medical engineering and furniture industries.
ETMM: Other than your home market of Germany, what other European countries do you expect to become important markets for your company’s machining centres designed for mould making?
Winkler: Initially, our focus will be on the whole of Europe, concentrating our sales and project activities on this region. For this purpose, we need to demonstrate our competence in terms of machines and processes in a convincing manner in order to strategically expand our customer base. But of course our global presence also enables us to cater to mould and die manufacturers outside of Europe in a very reliable way.