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„One Bihler BNC 4 for four MRPs“

Vitz: New servo machine boosts production

Significantly shorter setup times combined with noticeably higher performance – for Johann Vitz GmbH & Co. KG in Velbert, Germany, these were the main arguments in favor of a new Bihler BNC 4 production system. However, the servo-controlled system also impressed due to its full compatibility with the MRP systems which are already installed at the site and which will be replaced by further BNC 4 systems in the future.

Vitz was founded in 1908 and now has a workforce of some 270 employees manufacturing springs, punched and bended parts. The company not only has more than 350 modern production machines but also possesses its own toolmaking shop with engineering and prototyping departments, an inhouse tempering station, as well as state-of-the-art testing equipment for its manufacturing and quality assurance operations. The products manufactured by this spring specialist are used in practically every area of industry, such as the automotive, telecommunications, mechanical engineering or consumer electronics sectors.

A key strategic decision

“Our products stand for flexibility, innovation and high standards,” explains Managing Director and graduate engineer Michael Vitz. “Our strengths come from our state-of-the-art production equipment which allows us to implement individual, cost-effective production solutions for our customers.” And it is precisely in this area that Johann Vitz GmbH & Co. KG will further increase its performance in the future because the company has been able to boast a new Bihler BNC 4 in its portfolio since the start of 2017. This represents a modernization of the machine pool, which includes a number of Meyer, Roth & Pastor (MRP) type UB systems, some of which are already several decades old. “These no longer meet modern safety requirements, setup times are disproportionately long and the performance is too low”, is how Michael Vitz assesses things. “At the same time, it is becoming ever more difficult to find qualified personnel for these purely mechanical machine types.” This, together with its excellent experience of NC systems, for example for the manufacture of torsion springs, is why the company decided to opt for the Bihler BNC 4 production system. And of course, the outstanding quality of the Bihler systems was another selection criterion – because Vitz also has a number of older systems from Halblech which are still greatly appreciated during everyday manufacturing activities due to their unfailing high precision. And, last but not least, the Managing Director is very well acquainted with Bihler after completing his training as toolmaker there in 1979, emerging as one of the best in his year.

Expectations confirmed

The new BNC 4 started productive operation in early 2017. And the initial expectations in terms of enhanced performance and shorter setup times have been completely confirmed. Vitz: “Thanks to the shorter setup times, we can now manufacture small products runs just as well as large series, which are worthwhile simply due to the time saved as a result of the boost in performance.” More specifically, the previous setup time, which averaged between four and six hours, has now been reduced to approximately one hour. All the setup operations can be performed precisely and simply and are one hundred percent reproducible. At the same time, performance – even without any tool optimization – is four times that of the old mechanical machines. “The bottom line is that the new Bihler BNC 4 replaces four old MRP systems,” says Vitz.

Building on the competitive advantage

Thanks to full compatibility with the MRP standard and the ease of tool adaptation, which was successfully demonstrated at the Bihler site in Halblech prior to the purchase, the new BNC 4 was able to start productive operation without any difficulty. “The machine ran smoothly right from the very start and our employees enjoy working with it,” is how Michael Vitz sums things up. “We will gradually replace all the old MRP machines with further BNC 4 systems and in this way further extend our competitive advantage in the international environment.

Vitz was founded in 1908 and now has a workforce of some 270 employees manufacturing springs, punched and bended parts. The company not only has more than 350 modern production machines but also possesses its own toolmaking shop with engineering and prototyping departments, an inhouse tempering station, as well as state-of-the-art testing equipment for its manufacturing and quality assurance operations. The products manufactured by this spring specialist are used in practically every area of industry, such as the automotive, telecommunications, mechanical engineering or consumer electronics sectors.


www.vitz.de

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