Standard Parts How two mould plates formed the basis for a close partnership
As a market leader in mould, die, and jigs and fixtures construction, Meusburger focuses on selecting high-quality material and digital solutions to best support its customers. This is why it is always an advantage to cooperate with like-minded partners such as Engel.
Offering an optimal service for customers and reducing follow-up costs to a minimum is the Austrian standard parts manufacturer Meusburger’s mission. And the manufacturer of injection moulding machines Engel, follows a similar mindset. That is why the two companies have been working together for many years, not only because of their many mutual customers but also because of their shared values. From an idea, a good partnership also emerged, which continues to grow today.
From idea to project
Both companies share the same values, which supports long-term cooperation. Besides mould bases, Engel also purchases hot runner control systems from Meusburger Deutschland and the standard parts manufacturer’s technical centre at Viernheim, Germany, is equipped with an injection moulding machine from the Austrian partner. Engel and Meusburger are both excited about the collaboration. “With Meusburger on our side, we have a fast and reliable partner,” says Walter Tesch, trainer/application specialist at Engel Deutschland Technology Forum Stuttgart at the German Wurmberg location. Thomas Krebs, area sales manager at Meusburger and contact for Walter Tesch is also satisfied: “These days a good partnership is especially important.”
The collaboration intensified when an idea emerged in 2020. “What started as just needing two dummy plates turned into an excellent collaboration”, says Walter Tesch. Thomas Krebs had the idea of producing a fully functional sample mould so it could be used for training. But why bother commissioning a third party to create the mould when Meusburger could design and manufacture it themselves? So the moulds and the plastic part were designed by Sebastian Kleser, former sales manager and current key account manager, and manufactured by Meusburger apprentices as part of the 2021 apprentice project. The moulds were then assembled by the apprentices in Wolfurt, Austria, under instruction from Sebastian Kleser and Thomas Krebs — not just once, but twice. One of the moulds was installed on an injection moulding machine at Engel’s technical centre in Wurmberg, the second is running on an injection moulding machine at Meusburger’s training workshop. The product, which is injected on the mould, is a holder that allows users to conveniently place a mobile phone or tablet on a desk.
A little while later, the companies found each other again because Engel needed a mould with close-contour cooling for training purposes. Mould wall temperature measurements should be carried out during training sessions using a thermal imaging camera. That is why the mould needed to be equipped with three temperature control units, one for the fixed half, one for the moving half and one for hinge cooling. The demand on the mould was high, since cycle time optimisation also had to be researched. Even an optimisation of just a few seconds becomes lucrative when producing a large quantity.
Training mould becomes trade fair highlight
To build this sophisticated mould, Engel turned to Lohmann Werkzeugbau in Balve, Germany. The challenge was not only the cooling close to the contour, which was implemented by cooling holes and special soldering inserts, but also the closing mechanism and the entrapped air in the flow properties of the plastic. Lohmann accepted the challenge and manufactured the optimum mould for the desired requirements. The mould even had a special feature: the moving cofoptimum qualityre enables the robot to pass the injected product to a marking laser, which can then decorate it with logos, characters and the like.
During the construction, Meusburger came into the game because the necessary components could be ordered from the company. The wizards and configurators that the company has available online were the optimal support and helped the designers at Lohmann save significant time. The finished mould was finally inserted into the injection moulding machine at Engel.
In the autumn of 2021, the injection moulding machine was exhibited at the Meusburger stand at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen, Germany. This proved to be a huge success, so the Engel machine was once again a trade fair highlight at the K trade fair, which took place between 19 to 26 October in Dusseldorf, Germany. Visitors could watch the production of lunch boxes live at the Meusburger stand.
What started as just needing two dummy plates turned into an excellent collaboration.
Two market leaders from Austria
Both Austrian companies are market leaders in their industry and not only offer their customers the right products, but also aim to provide them with the best possible service. Engel Austria with headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria, now has a strong global presence with around 7,000 employees, nine production plants in Europe, North America and Asia and sales branches and representatives in 85 countries. Complete production facilities for injection moulding are developed, which are used in the automotive, packaging, consumer electronics, and medical technology areas and in technical injection moulding. Meusburger, with headquarters in Wolfurt, has approximately 1,700 employees at its various locations worldwide. In mould and die making, the company offers everything from plates to special machining, components, hot runner systems, hot runner controllers and workshop equipment to software & consulting — everything that customers need for their projects. Their focus is on quality and continuous availability.
Efficiency from material to machine
In order to guarantee their customers optimum quality, even the best raw material is heat-treated for stress relief at Meusburger. This guarantees reduced plate warping during machining and saves both the customer time and reduces energy consumption. This value is shared by Engel — the company focus is on long service life and the lowest possible energy consumption. “Our approach is to reduce power consumption to a minimum over the life of the machine through the intelligent design of the injection moulding machines,” explains Claus Wilde, Managing Director of Engel Deutschland at the Wurmberg site.
Not only in production and machine use, but also in packaging and delivery, we work as energy-efficiently as possible. As a full-range supplier, Meusburger offers all the necessary products from a single source. Thanks to an 18,000 m2 raw material warehouse and a standard parts warehouse covering 25,000 m2, as well as the high degree of in-house production (100 percent in the plates area), it is possible for Meusburger to ship every plate order centrally from the Wolfurt site and to reduce transport costs to a minimum. On top of that, most of the products ordered from the standard parts manufacturer are not packed in foil, but rather are gently moistened with corrosion protection to reduce waste production and spare users long cleaning times.
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Optimal all-round service
Energy efficient solutions for customers are not the only thing Engel and Meusburger have in common. Supporting their customers with optimal service is also a priority for both companies. “Providing our customers with outstanding consultation is extremely important to us because high quality products are just half the battle,” explains Claus Wilde. “We tailor the injection moulding machines and system solutions optimally to the individual requirements of our customers. This is the added value of Engel solutions.”
Meusburger ensures this with a comprehensive sales network, along with a globally consistent training strategy and direct personal communication at events. Engel is particularly innovative when it comes to quality assurance and machine control, which is why the demand to accompany customers throughout the entire life cycle of injection moulding machines has also increased.
The training centres play a key role in this. The Wurmberg site has a very large training centre. This was opened ten years ago as a sales and service branch with an integrated training centre and a large application technology centre near Stuttgart — an ideal location for being as close as possible to all customers in south west Germany. As one of four locations in Germany, the Wurmberg branch has grown significantly over the years. It started with 18 people and has since grown to 60 employees, including numerous service technicians who look after customers on site.
Saving time through digital technology
To round off the product range, both companies also offer a comprehensive digital service. Meusburger is well prepared in this area with its shops, regular webinars, a blog with interesting product tips and the “My account” customer section on its website. On top of that, the numerous wizards and configurators make it easier for customers to design and select the right products. Engel is also innovative in this regard. As the two Austrian companies share the same priorities, they will continue to exchange ideas in the future in order to provide their customers with the best possible support for their projects.