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Spindle time maximized:
14 hours more running time per day

Schöbel Hermann CNC-Milling Technology GmbH…

is the preferred choice of many well-known companies in the field of machining technology, especially for prototypes and series of 1 – 10,000 parts. This is even more true since Johannes Seilbeck and Martin Herzog took over the company from its founder. In the course of this takeover, the two recognized the potential to turn a small jewel into an even bigger one through digitalized automation.

Before automation…

Only 5 employees worked in production. Despite their many years of experience and expertise in the fields of medical technology, mechanical engineering and the consumer industry, they were reaching their limits due to capacity. The spindle of the 5-axis machining center MIKRON HEM 500 U was only utilised at 75% capacity and was idle for 18 hours a day. The challenge was to double the spindle hours without hiring additional staff.

The solution…

As part of the takeover, the first robot was deployed – the entry into a technology that the previous owner had not yet considered useful or dared to use.

The existing machine type MIKRON HEM 500 U was not prepared for automation in any way. It had neither an automation interface nor a door drive. In addition, there were no free channels for the media feedthrough on the 4th and 5th axes, which would have been necessary to operate a pneumatic or hydraulic clamping device. Retrofitting by the manufacturer was not an option due to the delivery time and costs. SHERPA convinced with a complete solution from a single source, consisting of a SherpaLoader® M20, equipped with an electric torque screwdriver, and an electric door drive and a robot interface for the processing machine. The existing clamping technology could be seamlessly integrated into the automation and proven processing parameters retained, which made it easy to get started with automation. Automation starts with a batch size of 10 parts. Thanks to the robust operation of the automation, series of up to 50,000 parts per year can now be offered.

Within a year, the effective spindle time was increased from 6 to over 20 hours a day. For example, the automation ran over many weekends without the need for personnel. Schöbel is a perfect example of how even small companies can use robots and thus become significant competitors.

Johannes Seilbeck, Managing Director:

“The automation has more than doubled our turnover at the plant. That is both a success and an incentive. That is why we have just invested in a new processing machine from HERMLE. And in a second SherpaLoader. Now we are ten: eight people and two robots.”