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„Increased operating efficiency“

Mi Me: New servo stamping and forming machines for the efficient production of small batches

To meet the increasing demand for shorter runs, Mi Me S.p.a. in northern Italy has chosen to go with the latest technology – two Bihler stamping and forming machines, an RM-NC and a GRM-NC, along with the LEANTOOL system for toolmaking. Reducing costs and improving operating efficiency were the key factors behind the decision.

Mi Me manufactures complex precision stamped parts such as arc-welded contacts, assemblies and co-molded parts in its 20,000 square-meter facilities at its headquarters in Bonate Sopra in the province of Bergamo. The company supplies customers in a variety of industries, including the electric power sector, and the electronics, household appliance and automotive industries. Mi Me currently exports around 90 percent of its production to markets around the world. The company was founded back in 1950. Over the decades, Mi Me has constantly expanded its range of services and products to match market developments and customer requirements. The company’s success is based on clear goals and targets: “Our outstanding quality and our one hundred percent service to our customers are the driving force behind us,” explains General Manager Massimo Carrara. “Of course, our high technological standard and manufacturing expertise are also crucial, and we are constantly expanding these together with leading strategic partners. This means we can always implement the ideal manufacturing process, providing optimum quality and cost-effectiveness.”

CEO and Mi Me owner Raffaele Meles considers his company to be extremely well-positioned thanks to the adoption of Bihler servo technology and the Bihler LEANTOOL system.

Existing machine pool

The decades-long cooperation with Otto Bihler Maschinenfabrik and the current Bihler machine pool are impressive evidence of this company strategy. “We received our first Bihler machine, an RM35, in 1979,” says CEO and owner Raffaele Meles. “After that, we acquired up to three more Bihler machines each year. These machines and the Bihler technology that goes with them have made a decisive contribution to our growth and success.” Today, the company has a total of 55 Bihler systems, ranging from the RM series and GRM models to BZ processing centers and MC Multicenters, as well as two RM-NC and GRM-NC servo stamping and forming machines. There are also a large number of Bihler welding controllers of the types B1, B4, B 1000, B 5000 and B 20 K for some 30 welding machines in the company. Most of the mechanical Bihler systems are still running today: “They are extremely durable and still deliver the precision we need,” says Raffaele Meles. A large part of this is down to the maintenance and servicing department at Mi Me, which goes to great lengths to keep the machines and associated tools in tip-top condition. “The investments in maintenance and upkeep are still worthwhile for us,” says Massimo Carrara. The machines are used primarily to produce high volumes of parts that the company constantly manufactures and that do not require frequent tool changes.

Faster setup and production

But times are changing: “The demand is increasingly for shorter runs, which require more frequent retooling,” says Massimo Carrara. That’s why Mi Me opted for a RM-NC servo stamping and forming machine in 2018 and a GRM-NC in 2021. “This allows us to adapt our production at extremely short notice and to manufacture small batches efficiently and economically,” Raffaele Meles explains. The main advantages: “The setup times are only about a third of those of our mechanical machines. At the same time, the NC systems have allowed us to increase production speeds by an average of one third.” And Mi Me was able to successfully adapt many existing tools to the new NC systems.

For General Manager, Dr. Massimo Carrara, the clear cost-effectiveness increase resulting from the reduced setup times and higher production speeds were decisive factors.

More cost-effective tool production

Mi Me has recently started using the LEANTOOL system to build new tools for the RM-NC and GRM-NC. The company has already produced around six tools with this system. And the benefits are clear: “The smaller number of parts and the use of standard parts make the production of tools with the LEANTOOL system particularly cost-effective,” Raffaele Meles points out. “At the same time, toolmaking has also become far simpler and faster than before.”

Geared up for the future

“Our adoption of Bihler’s servo technology and the LEANTOOL system and our ongoing partnership mean that we are very well positioned, particularly for the production of small runs. At the same time, in order to be able to cope with complex manufacturing tasks in the future, we have already made firm plans to acquire a new BIMERIC servosystem,” says Raffaele Meles in conclusion.

Mi Me - Minuterie Metalliche Meles S.p.A

In 1950, Pietro Meles founded a company producing metal wire articles in Lecco. In 1964, the company moved to Presezzo in the province of Bergamo. In 2001, production was moved to Bonate Sopra, where the warehouse and toolmaking shop were also added in 2009. In 2011, the headquarters were also relocated there, and today the company produces precision stamped parts for a wide range of industries and exports to the major industrialized countries across the globe.



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