MMC Hitachi Tool Milling threads without a tapping drill bore
As a precision manufacturer at the high end of its sector, Eropräzisa makes no compromises with its milling tools. This is why, for the last few years, it has decided to commit to using the MMC Hitachi Tool range of tools for 'hard milling' operations, i.e., machining after the heat treatment process.
Thomas Richter explains with a smile: “Sooner or later, everyone comes to us”. Of course, he may be exaggerating slightly, but the many years of rising demand for high-quality production services from Eropräzisa would certainly support his conclusion. Thomas Richter is CEO of a company that is not actually that old at all, and with a payroll staff of just 18 people at the present time, it is not really all that big, either. Despite that, and without a word of exaggeration, this is already a company that belongs in the premier league of the Thuringian SME sector. “We have established ourselves on the market as a production service provider for high-end precision components made of metal and other components, a market where it is not uncommon to be dealing with precision levels in the single-digit micron range,” explains the graduate engineer, who founded Eropräzisa back in 2002 with his partner – who has now gone his own separate way – in the Thuringian town of Hermsdorf. Ever since it was founded, the company has been on a growth path. “We really don't mind what the component looks like. The important thing for us is that the required tolerances and surface roughness levels are sufficiently challenging.” In other words, components of the kind that not everyone else can manufacture are produced here in fully air-conditioned rooms.
As well as wire erosion and die-sinking, Eropräzisa views milling – and here specifically the ultra-precise HSC milling of hardened materials – as a key technology. For a long time now, the customer base has extended right across Europe. This customer base spans sectors such as toolmaking and mould-building, medical technology, precision mechanics, power station technology and the aircraft industry, as well as motor racing. “We also manufacture many parts for the optical industry, which arose because we are based close in geographical terms to Carl Zeiss Jena or Jenoptik,” emphasises Richter. In Hermsdorf, close collaboration with technology partners is viewed as being important to the success of the project, for example, in respect to precision tools for HSC machining. “In this sector, we wish to be among the leading providers, and here too, we are breaking new ground,” emphasises Heiko Meyer, the production manager responsible for the milling sector.
One example of this is an order where all that was really involved was to equip two finish-machined and hardened mould inserts with 32 additional M6 threads. “This involved strips being bolted on, and the mould builder did not take account of the threads during pre-manufacture,” recalls Meyer. Both inserts were made from 1.2343 (X38CrMoV5-1) hot-forming steel that was hardened to about 53 HRC. “This meant that, although the inserts were not particularly hard, they were sufficiently hard for threads to be eroded in them.” The disadvantage of this was that the erosion times were extremely long, and each mould insert took at least 32 hours to produce.