Case Study On-machine measurements cut lead times, improve accuracy

Author / Editor: Rhys Williams / Barbara Schulz

Italy / Germany - The production of high-quality aluminium extrusion tools is an art unto itself. Through the introduction of of laser measurement and touch probes in its machining centres, an Italian toolmaker has significantly reduced machining time while at the same time improving accuracy.

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The Alumat engineers with an aluminium extrusion tool.
The Alumat engineers with an aluminium extrusion tool.
(Source: Blum)

Competence, passion and know-how are attributes that account for the international success of the Alumat-Almax-Matrex Group. Thanks to continuous investment in research, development and cutting-edge facilities, as well as the selection of the right partners, the enterprise has become a pioneering manufacturer of aluminium extrusion tools in the international marketplace.

Alumat was founded in Ciserano near Bergamo in Italy in 1994. It employs about fifty staff in the design and manufacture of steel dies for aluminium extrusion. The continuous growth led to an expansion of the business resulting in increased production capacity and a tripling of sales within 4 years.

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“The special thing about our activities is the fact that our tools are essentially individual items created specifically for our customers. Not only do we supply individual dies, but also the entire planning and validation of the product," says Emanuele Astolfi, manager at Alumat.

“Reducing lead times has become a fundamental component of our strategy. It is what differentiates us from our competitors. From planning to completion, a tool will undergo up to 15 production steps that we currently realise in about six days This took us as many as 15 days some ten years ago.”

This improvement required the deliberate use of machining centres and the attempt to optimise all processes. The company looked for systems that would avoid any down time and facilitate machine-integrated quality control. In addition, the systems had to allow direct access during each production phase, in order to correct any deviations immediately. Then, six years ago, Alumat decided to confide in the technology and professionalism of Blum Novotest. Since then, the machining centres have been equipped with Blum systems that both check workpiece position, dimensions and also monitor the tools. These instruments soon facilitated the achievement of the desired quality level while delivering reduced lead-times.

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