Vollmer is only name on the list

Just one year before Great Lakes Custom Tool Manufacturing Inc (GLCT) celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019, the Wisconsin-based specialist in custom saw blades was marking other milestones in its prestigious history with the opening of a 20,000 sq ft factory extension and the arrival of five additional Vollmer machines.

With more than 80 staff, 50+ CNC machine tools, a multitude of manual machines and inspection and measuring technology, one brand that has lasted the distance at GLCT is Vollmer.

Vice-president Ray Martin says: “We bought our first Vollmer machine back in 1979 when we started and this was followed by a Vollmer CHC22H saw grinder for face and top grinding in 1982. We then bought a manual side-grinding machine in 1985 and this machine is still in service today for some of our repair work. It wasn’t until 1999 that we bought our next Vollmer machine, a CX100 for top and face grinding of carbide-tipped circular saws. Since the turn of the century, we’ve added two CHD270 machines, a DES300, a CHF270, a CHF840, a CHC840 and even the ND250 robotic loading system.”

With average saw blade order quantities ranging from 4 to 6-off, and even up to 20 and 50, the Vollmer TCT machines are producing a substantial quantity of new saw blades every week; with an additional large quantity of saw service, re-grind and repair volumes passing through the company as well.

The Vollmer machines that arrived at the factory recently included a QF270 for machining the tooth sides of PCD-tipped circular saws via disc erosion.
“When it comes to manufacturing saw blades, as well as PCD cutting tools, Vollmer is our go-to solution,” concludes Martin.

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Takeover at Vernet-Behringer

The 100% integration of Vernet-Behringer (VB) into the Behringer Group is part of a long-term relationship between the two companies. For over a century Behringer GmbH has been synonymous with steady growth, new innovations and continuity. Together with the existing management team, these goals will continue moving forward.

Since 1996, Behringer GmbH has been the key shareholder and strategic partner of VB, in particular for the supply of bandsaws integrated into VB’s automatic drilling-sawing lines.

The transition will allow VB to continue its development in France and internationally, as well as to conduct larger technological projects to meet the growing expectations of its customers around the world for ever-more integrated and automated lines. This merger will also make it possible to develop technological, industrial and financial synergies to meet the requirements imposed by exacerbated global competition in the current context and accelerating the transformation towards Industry 4.0.

Pascal Denis, president and CEO of VB, says: “The Behringer-Group is the ideal partner for the future of VB, in terms of both corporate culture and our complementary activities. I’m delighted with this merger, which marks a new stage in our more than century-old history. The strength of the group will undoubtedly enable us to promote our know-how and our cutting-edge technologies in terms of industrial processes, software and automation.”
Christian Behringer, managing director of Behringer, adds: “We’ve been supporting VB for many years and believe more than ever in the technological progress developed by the company. This integration is therefore a natural evolution of the group, which will benefit from the sharing of skills and the complementary product ranges in an integrated long-term approach.”

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New financing models from Meba

Metal bandsaw specialist Meba is now offering new, independent financing options to customers from Germany and Europe. The company will no longer pursue the usual industry approach of working with a fixed financial service provider. Instead, Meba is co-operating with Mietfinanz, a leading provider of corporate finance consulting. Mietfinanz is not bound to specific providers, but independently attains the best solutions available from the market for Meba customers.

Leasing, hire purchase or investment credit? Especially for small and medium-sized companies it is often a challenge to procure machinery in order to survive in the market and at the same time remain liquid. A tailor-made financing solution can be a decisive component in this respect.

Carsten Oberwelland, managing director of Meba, underlines the importance of individual financing concepts: “The financing of production machinery requires flexibility and individuality. What makes sense for one company does not always fit for another. Financing strategies are different. We decided to work with Mietfinanz because they enable us to offer our customers this necessary differentiation and individuality. In addition, the independent position of Mietfinanz ensures the best solutions.”

Using a financing calculator, interested parties can make a quick pre-selection on the Meba homepage. In only five clicks it is possible to find the optimum financing solution. The customer then receives a tailored financing concept from Mietfinanz that is adapted to the existing structure. The system takes the entire spectrum of possible subsidies into account.

Customers receive financing outside of their own banking circles without the future burdening of working capital. Since no negotiations with potential financing partners are necessary, purchasing decisions are quick. The entire process runs confidentially; data protection is secure and support provision is on hand.

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The colour of success at Cutting Blue

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has recently supplied Birmingham-based Cutting Blue Ltd, the newly-created manufacturing arm of engineering consultancy and training specialist, Cutting Blue Solutions Ltd, with a new Doosan vertical machining centre.
The machine, a large-capacity DNM 6700, was delivered and installed at the company’s 2000 sq ft facility in Saltley in September 2020 where it is being used to machine (in mainly small batch sizes at this moment in time) high-precision and high-value components for a range of customers operating in the motorsport and general engineering sectors – to name but a few.

The creation of Cutting Blue Ltd is the brainchild of owner and managing director, Piotr Parobczy. Having started his working life, first as a machine tool setter and then as a CADCAM programmer, Parobczy used this knowledge and experience, gained from working in a number of different manufacturing environments, to develop and hone a range of specific engineering consultancy skills.

The acquisition of these skills ultimately enabled him to start, and secure, work as a contractor where over the years he was responsible for the design and implementation of innovative and high-value projects for a number of UK- and internationally-based customers.

Following on from this success, and having built up an impressive track record Parobczy, in 2017, set up Cutting Blue Ltd, an engineering service company providing specialist training and consultancy services to blue-chip and progressive manufacturing companies.

Says Parobczy: “Cutting Blue Ltd began its life as an engineering consultancy. However, even back then it was always my ambition and intention to create a manufacturing company – when the time was right.”

That time, as it transpired, was in spring 2020.
“The pandemic had a detrimental effect on the availability of contract work and this proved to be the catalyst I was waiting for,” he says. “As the creation of a manufacturing company was a long held ambition of mine, I wasn’t starting such an undertaking from scratch. To a large extent, much of the preparatory work and planning had already been done.”

These plans covered all aspects of the business, including the location of the new company, the services it would provide, typical customer profiles and so on.

Continues Parobczy: “I chose Birmingham due of its central location and because I knew the area well. From my background and experience the company would not be a ‘jack of all trades’ operation, but instead would offer specialist, high-precision milling services to customers typically operating in the high-end motorsport, automotive and aerospace sectors.”

To realise its ambitions and objectives, Cutting Blue needed access to advanced machine tool technologies and made the decision, from a reliability perspective and to provide a clear statement of intent, to invest in a new rather than a used machining centre. Cutting Blue subsequently approached a number of machine-tool manufacturers with its requirements.

“Several companies I approached sent in literature but didn’t follow things up,” says Parobczy. “I got a different reception and reaction from Mills CNC who, from the outset, adopted a more proactive and partner-led approach. They took time to understand the business and the type of work that would be undertaken, and worked collaboratively with me to identify the optimum machine-tool solution.”

Understanding the type and size of components, the typical materials to be machined (i.e. aluminium, steel, stainless, titanium and engineering plastics), the typical part accuracies and surface finishes that would be required, and the volumes/batch sizes to be machined – resulted in the identification, selection and ordering of a Doosan DNM 6700 – a large-capacity vertical machining centre.

The Fanuc-controlled DNM 6700 installed at Cutting Blue’s facility is a highly-rigid machine that delivers speed, high accuracy and unrivalled process reliability. Equipped with an 18.5 kW/12,000 rpm directly-coupled high-speed spindle, the machine also features a 1500 x 670 mm work table with a 1300 kg maximum table load, a 30-position ATC, roller LM guideways in all axes and thermal error compensation routines. In addition, the machine houses a Blum TC50 workpiece touch probe and Blum ZX Speed IR tool-setting probe.

Concludes Parobczy: “I was already familiar with Doosan machine tools and knew that they were reliable, represented great value and delivered excellent cutting performance. The DNM 6700, with its large work table, will provide much-needed capacity, capability and flexibility now and in the future, enabling us to machine large or multiple smaller parts in one set-up. Although still early days I’m delighted with the DNM 6700 and am already looking at investing in second Doosan machine.”

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Cutting solution for bioprinting

Although medicine has ancient origins, its main goal has always been clear: to help humans live longer and in better conditions. This year, like no other, has raised awareness about the potential of technology and the increasingly important role it plays in the field of health and medicine.

Technology applied to the medical sector is the main application field of a leading Italian group that sawing machine specialist MEP has helped by developing a system to cut titanium used in the production of orthopaedic solutions directly from 3D printing plate. This collaboration with the division involved in the study and manufacture of specific prostheses for patients made of innovative materials, comes from the need to cut off prints of special elements in titanium in a quick yet accurate manner.

This challenge for the engineering team at MEP led to the recommendation of a Shark 350 NC HS 5.0, a dual-column automatic band-sawing machine.
The cast-iron structure of the Shark 350 NC HS 5.0 absorbs vibration and provides the machine with stability while cutting. Moreover, automatic acquisition of the cutting start position reduces operation time, while control of the saw head – powered by a hydraulic cylinder on linear guides with preloaded ball-screw slides – guarantees the reduction of mechanical vibration.

Further advantages of the machine include an adaptive cutting-force control device that facilitates cuts with high surface finish even when using a worn-out tool. The Shark 350 NC HS 5.0 also features a frequency drive that manages the saw-head motor to maximise performance. MEP sawing solutions are available in the UK from ADS Precision.

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