Tool Technology Schaeffler expands with new tool technology centre
Schaeffler has officially opened its new tool technology centre in Höchstadt. One focus is also on digitalisation and automation. Read more here.
The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has opened its new tool technology centre at its Franconian location in Höchstadt an der Aisch. Precision tools for Schaeffler's global network of plants are now produced on an area of around 8,000 square metres, according to the statement. The tools will then be used in particular for the strategic future fields of e-mobility and robotics, but also for mechatronic chassis applications. Against the backdrop of the technological transformations of our time, the new tool technology centre is of outstanding importance for Schaeffler.
Stamping and forming tools made in Höchstädt
Schaeffler has invested an amount in the double-digit millions. The new centre will mark a unique selling point for Schaeffler across all divisions. It also concentrates Schaeffler's toolmaking expertise, which has been accumulated over many decades, in one location. Since September 2021, around 100 machines have been brought together in an existing hall at the Höchstadt location, it adds. The systems are used, for example, to manufacture punches and moulds, which, combined as assemblies, are used to punch and form strip steel.
Central data source shortens development time
According to Schaeffler, the highlights in the tool technology centre include three fully automated robot lines and 50 processing machines that are digitally linked to each other. The machinery also includes a press with servo drive that achieves a press force of the equivalent of 630 tonnes. With this press, which is one of the most modern systems of its kind, all requirements, such as those regarding installation space and other technical properties, can be mapped on all of the customer's presses. Schaeffler in Höchstadt is also focusing on digitalisation. Therefore, the use of so-called "model-based definition" will be a focus in the future. This is a method that is used to describe all manufacturing and process-relevant information directly on the 3D CAD model, as Schaeffler explains. All data for digital processes can be found here in one source, which significantly reduces development times.
Manufacturing power to secure the future
The tool technology centre in Höchstadt comprises 7,000 square metres of production area and around 1,000 square metres for offices. This means that development, production and toolmaking are all in one place. And thanks to automation and digitalisation, high machine utilisation is possible at all times, they continue.
This creates a very profitable operation for Schaeffler toolmaking in Germany. Processes such as aluminium die casting, plastic injection moulding or stamping are critical to success, especially in e-mobility, because other types of material have to be processed in addition to steel. This is now being actively supported.