„What makes you successful?“

The individual makes the difference!

Human beings are the crucial factor when it comes to creating value-added and ensuring a company’s success. However, they need the right partner – one that is able to provide comprehensive support and deliver the technologies that are vital for meeting their own specific requirements. Together, they are able to give life to large-scale, pioneering projects and rise to the many tasks currently facing the metalworking industry.

The steel and metalworking industry in Germany numbers around 5,000 companies employing a workforce of approximately 500,000. The industry is one of the country’s ten largest economic sectors and is characterized by an extremely high proportion of mid-sized businesses. It is responsible for machining some 20 million tonnes of steel per year and generates turnover of approximately 80 billion euros. Employees play a central role in all this: They form the backbone of any company and are the most important factor in creating value-added and ensuring commercial success. Thus the employees in metalworking companies bring with them broadbased technical expertise, often coupled with many years of experience. They have a precise understanding of the different working processes, methods and materials and are therefore able to work with efficiency and precision to manufacture high-quality products. However, they also play a crucial role in increasing manufacturing efficiency. This is because they are deeply familiar with the machines and tools and know how to use them to the best possible effect. In addition, employees are an important source of new developments, which are often the result of the improvements they suggest. They also make a decisive contribution to customer satisfaction. They strengthen this satisfaction through their everyday work, since they are often in regular direct contact with customers and are therefore able to deliver tailor-made solutions and precisely focused support services particularly quickly, especially when they are also backed up by digital tools. It is therefore clear that employees, and particularly those in the metalworking industry, play a vital role in creating value-added and ensuring business success.

A range of tasks

At present, the men and women who make up the metalworking industry are confronted with a number of major tasks. These include changing market requirements, personnel shortages and high energy and raw materials prices. As far as the new challenges imposed by the market are concerned, the demand is not only for greater economic efficiency but also, and primarily, for more flexible manufacturing solutions offering increased scalability in order to be able to cater for larger volumes and ever more complex components. It is also crucial to improve the modularity of the solutions in order to simplify system operation in practice. At the same time, there is a need to drive digitalization forwards and, last but not least, the importance of durable, high-quality materials and sustainable production concepts is constantly growing. The second most important task relates to the lack of skilled workers. This shortfall is making it difficult to fill vacant positions and weighing on productivity. Demographic trends are exacerbating this problem because many experienced employees are approaching retirement age. Another problem is that younger people, in particular, see technical professions as unattractive. At the same time, businesses are having to cope with greatly increased raw materials and energy prices. And here again, the onus is placed on the people working in these businesses: They have to design more material-efficient processes in order to overcome increasing cost pressures.

Top priority

Bihler is the ideal partner when it comes to getting to grips with the complex tasks facing the metalworking industry. This is because the global market leader for systems technology in the world of forming, welding and assembly is fully focused on people as the most important factor of corporate success: “For us, people have always been right at the heart of things and our customers’ and partners’ needs and requirements are our top priority,” emphasizes Mathias Bihler. True to this philosophy, Bihler delivers not only the required technology but also the necessary expertise. In this way, it is able to supply customized, innovative manufacturing solutions that allow users to fulfill their own specific requirements and assert themselves in the competitive global environment.

Success in modular form

As a result, Bihler customers benefit, for example, from new, high-performance systems and technologies that allow them to respond effectively to changing market requirements. The corresponding Bihler systems, such as the new LM 2000-KT, are primarily designed to deliver high manufacturing speeds and with throughput of up to 500 parts per minute, they ensure outstanding productivity. However, since they are equipped with modern Bihler technology, they also provide the efficiency needed to achieve shorter times-to-market. They are supported in this, for example, by the vital benefits provided by Bihler design software in combination with the LEANTOOL system for tool manufacture. However, Bihler systems also offer the required flexibility, which is becoming ever more important in competitive global markets. For example, customers can use a GRM-NC to manufacture prototypes and small runs and when the required volumes increase or more complex components are demanded, they can move production over to a LM 2000-KT/-NC or BIMERIC.

Automation instead of bottlenecks

At the same time, enterprises can count on Bihler’s very highly automated manufacturing solutions when faced with the need to overcome labor market shortages. These include, for example, the BIMERIC modular servo production and assembly system, a GRM-NC or RM-NC or the LM 2000-NC and -KT. These systems can run autonomously for up to 48 hours and, starting with the coil material, output end products that are practically ready for shipment. They reduce the effort required on the part of human operatives while simultaneously increasing product quality because human errors are excluded. Of decisive importance is the intelligence of the machines, which practically monitor themselves and make adaptations as required on the basis of countless measured values. This makes it possible to employ the available workforce more efficiently and allows them to focus on more highly qualified, value-creating activities. One positive side-effect: Automation solutions of this sort represent the current state-of-the-art. Companies that use these technologies are therefore considerably more attractive to the young potential employees of the future.

The simple way to save resources

Another vitally important advantage is that modern Bihler manufacturing solutions can also effectively help counterbalance increased raw materials prices. This is because Bihler technology offers simple ways to optimize production in order to make manufacturing methods more material-efficient and less resource-intensive. This is impressively demonstrated by Schürholz Stanztechnik, which has been able to cut the amount of material needed to manufacture housings by approximately 30 percent, or Freudenberg Stanz- und Umform-Technik, which is now able to produce sealing rings using up to 85 percent less material. Other ways to save both resources and materials are to use the LEANTOOL system for the development of stamping-and-bending tools or to produce digital twins of systems. This latter solution permits virtual commissioning and minimizes time-consuming troubleshooting iterations without needing any real components or parts. And to ensure greater sustainability, Bihler not only offers new energy-efficient, resource-saving machines but also undertakes the modernization, general overhauling or extension of existing systems. This means that even older systems can be upgraded to current engineering standards and continue to be used in the future.

For the present and the future

The examples presented here show that Bihler offers a wealth of innovative, high-performance technologies, products and services that allow all its customers and partners to deal effectively with the tasks currently facing the market. It is then up to them to make the best possible use of them. Naturally, investments are required for this. However, these are worthwhile because they allow users to make their production operations vastly more efficient and economical, in particular in the light of the current requirements. In this way, they ensure that they are optimally equipped for a future in which these requirements will presumably become even more exacting. And it is also important to remember that Bihler provides all its customers with comprehensive support during the introduction of new technologies and solutions, from the initial inquiry right through to live production. This means that customers benefit from Bihler’s proven support service during every phase. All in all, Bihler therefore supplies exactly the solutions that people working in today’s businesses need and that will allow them to maintain their performance and competitiveness in the future.


> more