He who brakes, wins

01/10/2012 - Oliver Hagenlocher

Brakes are used in diverse branches of industry and for a variety of applications – from forklifts to crane systems and from industrial washing machines to stage technology and wind turbines. It is these braking systems in which Precima Magnettechnik GmbH in Brückeburg specialises.

Brakes are used in diverse branches of industry and for a variety of applications – from forklifts to crane systems and from industrial washing machines to stage technology and wind turbines. It is these braking systems in which Precima Magnettechnik GmbH in Brückeburg specialises.


Reliability and longevity are for Precima the two most important requirements for brakes. “Our brakes are often used in safety-relevant systems such as lifts and cranes. When it comes to this kind of application, any failure would meet with little understanding. Since its inception, Precima has not experienced a single failure of its safety-relevant braking systems. This fact highlights the quality of our products, of which we are very proud“, says Andreas Nagel, Manager Operations CNC at Precima.


Over 40,000 brakes a month
The company makes over 40,000 brakes a month. To be able to produce these kinds of quantities at the highest quality Precima relies on cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. In 2009 the company invested in four vertical pick-up turning machines from EMAG. These machines produce housings for brakes used, primarily, in wind turbines. Production consists of two islands with two vertical pick-up turning machines and a machining centre each. The first VL 5 was bought in 2009, quickly followed by another VL 5, a VSC 7 and a VSC 315.
Precima was soon convinced they had the right machines, when their high degree of efficiency surprised everyone. „We had tried vertical pick-up turning machines from other manufacturers before, but were repeatedly faced with quality issues. Quite simply: they all showed a lack of power! Now, with the EMAG machines we are completely satisfied. Series production was up and running in an amazingly short time; and since then we have been producing.“ Above all, it was the vibration characteristics of the machines that convinced Andreas Nagel. The housings are made of steel „St52-3“, a material that places great demands on the machining process. “In the past we were again and again faced with the problem of vibrations that had an instant, negative effect on tool life and surface finish. Where these housings are concerned our customers are so sensitive about quality that even a little scratch is unacceptable, despite the fact that it would have no effect on the efficiency of the brake. They quite simply expect absolute perfection”, explains Andreas Nagel. The EMAG turning machines met these requirements. The high degree of rigidity of the machines and the outstanding vibration damping quality of the base in Mineralit® (six to eight times better than that of cast iron) allows for the application of the very high feedrates and cutting speeds required in precision hard-machining.


Working towards a common goal
As is well known, a machine is only as good as the person that operates it. For this very reason Precima decided to have their staff undergo a thorough training process. Andreas Nagel explains: “Our people were at EMAG’s for three days intensive training. I was particularly impressed by the high proportion of practical training. After only three days we were almost ready to operate the machines on our own. But in an effort to solidify the operating staff’s knowledge base and to give them a sense of security during the initial phase, we opted for some production handholding.” EMAG provided Precima with two service engineers who – together with the Precima staff – set up the machines on their workpieces and answered any questions that came up. “In addition to that we had an apprentice attend right from the beginning – i.e. from the installation and commissioning stage onwards – so that he could acquaint himself in detail with the machine concept. He is now operating the machines almost with his eyes closed.“


Speed plays a decisive role
The high productivity rates of the machines did, of course, play a pivotal role in the decision to invest in EMAG machines. The workpieces are produced in families, at a rate of 2,000 components per week, in 3 shifts + 8 hours on Saturday. Process design too had to be completed in as short a time as possible. Andreas Nagel states: “We deal in top-quality products, which are in high demand worldwide. Because of the heavy demand we had to massively expand our production capacity. And that is only possible with a partner competent enough to react with the same dynamic. We found that partner in EMAG.” In the end, it took just 3 months from project design and decision making, commissioning and staff training, to fully functioning 3-shift production.


PRECIMA Magnettechnik GmbH
PRECIMA Magnettechnik GmbH was founded in 1981 and now ranks among the most innovative of the classical, family-run, medium-size companies. A staff of approximately 150 is developing and manufacturing a wide range of electrically operated clutches and brakes for all sectors in machine and plant manufacture. The program is divided into a number of design variants and covers, depending on application, a torque range of 0.5 – 1200 Nm. Precima’s R&D department develops customer-specific solutions of the highest technical standard. A modern CNC production facility and process-optimised assembly lines turn out over 500,000 units per annum. A high ratio of in-house production ensures maximal flexibility and short throughput times.


Oliver Hagenlocher

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