Efficient use of available machine time
“Over the last long weekend, machine spindles were spinning 68 of the 72 hours. These figures show that we chose the right direction and that, even though we only run short series, our investment in an automated production cell was correct,” states Andreas Schlicht, department manager at Deismann GmbH in Asslar, Hessen.
More than 40 years ago, Erich Deismann started business with three turret lathes. Right from the very beginning, and particularly for the optical industry, the company gained a solid reputation as a subcontractor that delivered high precision and quality. In recent years, this reputation has, if possible, grown even stronger.
Andreas Schlicht and Sebastian Ligeti are clearly satisfied with the automated production cell.
The investment in at least one new machine every year since 1988 is one example of the farsightedness that pervades the company. Another is the early 1980’s shipping to the Czech Republic of four machines for the production of large series of simple components. The company recently dropped these from its operations – it has now been decided to concentrate exclusively on prototypes and high precision, complex components. It goes without saying that Deismann GmbH is quality certified.
A third example is that, to ensure access to qualified manpower, the company runs a comprehensive training programme. This lasts three years and involves a great deal of time at the machines.
For the past four years, the company has been divided into two units. The bigger of these, a production unit, has more than 20 employees. Here, to a certain extent, there is also some partial assembly of produced components. An illustration of this is the assembling of the mechanical parts of the welding head for a customer that produces fasteners for the automotive industry. Other large customers are active in metrology and medical technology.
Automated milling cell for short series
The other unit, led by Andreas Schlicht, has 8 employees and is devoted entirely to milling. Andreas Schlicht continues: “Our operating conditions are one-off production or series of no more than 100 items – more complex than before, shorter delivery times and increased price pressure. We work in a tough industry. Thus, you can’t be set in your ways. You have to act.”
The decision was made to invest in a Deckel Maho DMG 70 eVolution. A capable machine, but how to use it to the full when average machining time is under 25 minutes and there is only one full shift and a reduced evening shift available? The answer was automated handling of workpieces.
Consequently, a WorkMaster was brought in to serve the machine. The system uses a GPS240 on the machine table and a Macroadapter that can automatically change over to the GPS240 chuck. On top of this, the magazine can hold 14 GPS240 palettes for large workpieces and 60 Macropalettes for small workpieces. Around 80 percent of the work is done on the smaller Macropalettes.
Sebastian Ligeti operates the new automated production cell. He was handed this responsibility directly on finishing the training programme.
“That’s how it was,” confirms Sebastian. “I don’t really spend much time at the machine, 20 percent of my working hours at most. Most of my time goes into programming. If we now have any bottlenecks, that’s where they occur. Once you’ve loaded the cell with its program and workpieces, it takes care of itself. It’s awesomely efficient. Coming to the workshop on Monday morning to harvest what the machine has produced over the weekend is rather exciting!”
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Automation in general