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„Faster and more flexible“

Scherdel: Highly complex components for the automotive industry

When it comes to producing highly complex components for the automotive industry, the US company Scherdel Sales & Technology has been putting its trust in Bihler stamping-and-forming machines for over 20 years. To achieve greater flexibility and cut setup times, the company is now using a servo-controlled GRM-NC together with Bihler’s innovative tool concept.

“Progress based on tradition,” is the principle of the Scherdel Group and is also the philosophy of the US manufacturing subsidiary, Scherdel Sales & Technology, which primarily produces highly complex stamped-and-formed parts such as tension springs, torsion springs, double-body springs, Miniflex components, stamped parts, bended parts and spiral springs for the automotive industry – always quality-conscious and always looking to the future. After initially settling in Muskegon in the state of Michigan in 1997, the company has now extended its presence to a total of four plants in North America and Mexico. To meet its customers’ demanding requirements, the company works together with strong technology partners – one of which is Bihler. “To start with, we had two GRM 80 stamping-and-forming machines from our German site,” recalls Sander Schoof, CEO Scherdel North America, who adds: “We overhauled the control technology of one of these in 2022 and the other one will benefit from the same treatment at the end of this year.” Since the company was founded, the number of different Bihler machines used for the economical, operationally stable production of large volumes of complex parts has grown to a total of 15. In particular, the company values the high speeds and the accessibility and flexibility of tool use.

Since 1997, the Scherdel Group has also had a presence in Muskegon in Michigan, USA.

Small volumes, short setup times

“As a leading company, we follow market developments very closely. When circumstances change, you have to rethink. Growing numbers of customers now want smaller production volumes and have little sympathy for long setup times. It was becoming increasingly difficult to respond to these demands economically using our MC 120 stamping-and-forming machines for large runs, for example. That is why we wanted to optimize setup times relative to production times,” explains Schoof. The solution that brought the required benefits in terms of both speed and flexibility was the servo-controlled GRM-NC. It is not only the rapid tooling times and the ease of programming but also the adaptable alignment of the NC slide units and the possibility of adding riveting stations or servo-controlled rotary stations for spiral springs that contribute so much in the way of additional value-added. Andreas Strobl, Director of Operations and Sales at Bihler of America explains: “Because it is fully equipped, the machine is set up in such a way that is very easy to activate a second or third movement from behind when required. It is also very easy to switch over from a linear to a radial tool concept. In such cases, the machine performs the changeover almost completely automatically. This provides a level of freedom that is not possible using a mechanical machine or press.”

Sander Schoof, CEO Scherdel North America

Excellent prospects for the future

A first project is now being undertaken in which six different elements of a component are being produced. The experience gained from the production of the first two of these elements makes Schoof “very optimistic about the future. The standard toolholders are exceptional. Just four screws and the tool is installed.” The LEANTOOL principle will increasingly be used for the remaining elements. Scherdel calls on the expertise of the Florida-based company D&C StampTec for the design of the tools. This subsidiary of vr-konstruktionen, which has its headquarters in Pfronten, Germany, has more than 30 years’ experience of Bihler technologies and, as a contract manufacturer, not only extends the capacity available at Scherdel but also contributes new ideas. Strobl adds: “Collaboration with Bihler of America has also become more intense as a result of this decision. As a result, Scherdel Sales & Technology now benefits in the fields of production consulting, technical service, remote service and the procurement of spare parts, which were previously obtained from the German parent company.”


Scherdel Sales & Technology, Inc.

Scherdel Sales & Technology, Inc. in Muskegon, Michigan/USA was founded in 1997 and is a subsidiary of the Scherdel Group, which has its headquarters in Marktredwitz in Germany. As a mid-sized, owner-managed family company, this globally active Group has been setting standards in the metal-forming field for more than 130 years. Its core skills lie in the production of technical springs as well as vehicle parts and components for the medical market. It has slightly over 800 employees in North America, where it primarily manufactures highly complex stamped-and-bended parts for the automotive industry.



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