Systematic investments in high-level production technology with a high level of system automation characterise the history of SMB Schnekenburger GmbH. The company is based in Öfingen, a district of Bad Dürrheim in the German region of Baden-Württemberg. SMB Schnekenburger and AMADA have been technology partners for more than 20 years.
Thomas Schnekenburger, Managing Director since 1995, describes the original purchase of AMADA CNC bending technology by his father and current company head, Heinz Schnekenburger, in 1987 as a milestone in the company’s development. This was followed two years later by the first CNC punching machine, at that time an AMADA ARIES-222. “Both steps still have a strategic significance for us because they led us to focus on sheet metal processing,” explains Schnekenburger. “This means that we do not manufacture whatever can be produced from sheet metal but instead concentrate on material thicknesses of between 0.5 and 3 millimetres and never exceed 5 millimetres. Our core skills lie in the field of technical modules which demand machining steps involving a variety of techniques – including assembly work.”
The latest investment: combination technology
A large amount of the products supplied by SMB Schnekenburger consist of housing components for technical equipment. Electronics and electrical engineering, medical and laboratory technology as well as measuring technology are the three largest target sectors. This represents an attractive starting position because these sectors are relatively independent of economic circumstances. And, especially in recent years, SMB Schnekenburger has invested heavily. Since 2008, the company’s production operations has grown to an area of 4,000 square metres. During this year, Schnekenburger purchased its first fully automatic AMADA EML Z-3610 NT punch-laser system. The company, with 60 employees, started working with a second punch-laser combination system in the summer of 2010. One of the first systems of its kind, it is equipped with the PDC II automatic tool changer. “Our customers expect high-tech products and we insist on manufacturing these on high-tech systems. And AMADA is able to supply us with these systems coupled with excellent service at a price that represents a good cost-performance ratio,” maintains Schnekenburger.
SMB Schnekenburger has long employed state-of-the-art technology in the fields of logistics and system automation. In 1998, an automatic storage system was taken into production in Öfingen – a risky investment for a company which at the time had approximately 40 employees. Located at the heart of the plant, some 120 different sheet types are available for all production machines. The process results are products of proven quality. On request, the company is able to produce test documentations for each individual part and will even perform incoming goods inspections on behalf of its customers. A typical example of this process is the part shown on the front page of this edition of MARKER. This complex application earned the company award from AMADA Co., Ltd. 2010. Christof Behrendt, Director Sales and Marketing of AMADA GmbH, officially handed over the award in Bad Dürrheim-Öfingen.
SMB Schnekenburger GmbH can look back over 33 years of experience in the field of metal working. After initially focusing on toolmaking and casing construction, company founder Heinz Schnekenburger and his son Thomas systematically concentrated their business activities on fine sheet machining as of the late 1980s. They did not, however, entirely turn their backs on mechanical cutting processes. These are now the responsibility of the in-house toolmaking shop. Together with its development department and the assembly and surface finishing work which follows the metal working activities themselves, SMB Schnekenburger can now provide its customers with single-supplier solutions for the entire sheet metal machining process chain.
Pictures: SMB Schnekenburger, Werbefotografie Weiss/Daniel Mühlebach