Productivity lights the way
Autopal s.r.o. of Novy Jicin, in eastern Czech Republic, established some 125 years ago and currently employing 4000 people, has been part of Visteon since April 2000. Their main products are headlight and rear light clusters for the international automotive industry, exporting over 95 per cent of production.
The Macro system at work in die-sink EDM operation
150 employees in the toolroom operate five Charmilles Roboform die-sink machines and two Robofil wire-EDM machines – all using reference systems from System 3R – producing mould tools up to 12 tonnes.
The Macro system was introduced in 1987 when a new die-sink machine was installed and in the last five years the MacoJunior system has come to be used for more than half of the graphite electrodes produced.
Pavel Chalupa, the engineeer responsible for the toolroom, explains: “Autopal is focused on productivity. Standardising on one reference system and palletisation are our guiding principles. They not only allow us to make more complex mould, but also ensure that the user-friendliness of the Macro system makes life easier. Our customers demand ever shorter lead times and we can’t afford expensive scrap, nor to lose time or money.”
Milling graphite electrodes in MacroJunior holders
Because of this success, Autopal is now considering the next step to remaining efficient and even more competitive – full automation. Today some 40 per cent of their electrode manufacture is sub-contracted so the need to become self-sufficient is an added incentive. They therefore plan to investment in a WorkMaster robot serving a machining center, producing an automatic production cell which can run around-the-clock!
printer friendly version