Manufacturing solutions from the EMAG Group – a partner in emerging markets
20.06.2013 - Oliver Hagenlocher
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the world economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year, with the impetus coming less from Europe but rather more from dynamic, newly industrialised countries. One example is the automotive industry. According to the association for the German automotive industry (VDA) China’s share of the market in passenger cars increased by 59% and that of Brazil by 18% during the first few months of 2013. The same market is also growing apace in India and Russia. For a long time, new production facilities have been planned or are under construction, providing great opportunities for the mechanical engineering industry – as the example of EMAG proves. Specialists are developing turnkey manufacturing systems that are tailor-made to suit specific market conditions, with the new production facilities in particular gaining massively from the activity.
Whether automotive or energy supply industry, the development of industrial key sectors within the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India, China) has a direct influence on the mechanical engineering industry, as it is this branch that, in the end, has to supply the necessary manufacturing solutions. There are numerous indicators for this. For instance, according to Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad will – over the next 3 years – will see an investment of 3 billion Euro in six assembly facilities and fifteen sub-supply companies for the national automotive industry, with more international sub-suppliers also establishing outlets in the market. Similar activities are reported from Brazil. According to Anfavea, the country’s automobile association, approximately 22 billion USD are to be invested in production between now and 2015. In India, economic growth is generally attracting “an abundance of investment projects in the country’s infrastructure, as well as in new industrial complexes”, states GTAI.
That the German mechanical engineering industry is prepared for such a dynamic development and the opportunities it provides can be seen in the textbook case of EMAG. Their specialists see themselves as “partners in solutions” for the metalworking industry. Such an approach is of great importance, especially in the emerging markets. “As it happens, we don’t just deliver a machine tool. We deliver closely pinpointed manufacturing solutions that are, in every respect, tailor-made to customer requirements”, explains Dieter Kollmar, Managing Director of EMAG Holding GmbH. “This applies, of course, to typical factors such as batch sizes, component variants or, more generally, the flexibility of the processes applied. At the same time, we determine locally the technologies, automation equipment, interfaces and control systems required.“ The advantages for the customer are obvious, especially so where an existing production line is extended or where a manufacturing facility has to be created from scratch in a new market place. Our manufacturing systems are always „from a single source“. Even complex processes with peripheral machines and equipment are presented as turnkey projects, thus considerably reducing the efforts of local production planners.
VL 2: Highly effective, truly outstanding space saver
That this requirement is an important part of an impressive development becomes clear with the VL 2 and the VT 2-4 machines. The VL 2 is a pick-up turning machine with which the EMAG engineers are fulfilling a combination of two extreme demands: highest possible output rates on the smallest possible footprint. “This is a truly all-important aspect”, confirms Dieter Kollmar. “Although the floor space requirement for this vertical turning machine is just about 5 square meters, it is of an all-embracing specification, including fully comprehensive automation concept with conveyor belt, workpiece storage and pick-up spindle. In combination with vertical turning, this results in very fast machining processes.“ In other words: short loading travels guarantee lowest possible component costs. Compared to horizontal turning machines, productivity rates increase quite noticeably. And handling the VL 2 is simple. All service units are freely and quickly accessible. The user can set up the machine in one go. „That too is important when productivity levels enter the equation. Operators without prior experience, working at a new and unfamiliar location, will be able to quickly familiarise themselves with the machine. All in all, this is an optimal solution for those who want to extent production with as little investment as possible.“
VT 2-4: For demanding shaft production
A pretty similar approach is shown with the VT 2-4 Vertical Turning Machine with which the specialists have created an equally fast manufacturing system for shaft production. Even demanding machining processes can be realised on it. When machining shafts of up to 400 mm length and 63 mm diameter component costs reduce massively, with extremely short chip-to-chip times (as with the VL 2) being the reason. Workpiece grippers transport the raw-parts into the machine and remove them again once they have been machined. Depending on the workpiece, the changeover can be accomplished in just 6 seconds. And the actual turning process is fast too. 4-axes machining allows for the component to be machined from two sides simultaneously. Vertical alignment of the workpieces provides for consistent process integrity, as the unhindered chip flow prevents the formation of clusters in the machining area.
Central project management
„We are convinced that EMAG’s typical solutions are optimally designed to cover not only the specific requirements of an emerging market, but also those of Europe and the USA“, justifies Dieter Kollmar the approach. Everything is greatly simplified, starting with production planning, as there is no need for separate raw part and finished component storage, with the added advantage of a reduced floor space requirement. At the same time, the EMAG Group engineers act as central project developers, having access to machines with optimal interfaces. This guarantees a fast run-in and makes the machines maintenance-friendly. “When it is a question of arriving quickly at a wholly integrated, highly effective manufacturing solution, this approach must – from our point of view – be the first choice.“