With a new AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ fiber laser cutting system and a new AMADA HFE3i-2203L press brake, Thaler GmbH & Co. KG in Polling has extended its wheel loader manufacturing capacity. The two systems are employed at the very beginning of the vehicle manufacturing process and supply approximately 90 percent of the installed components – quickly and with outstanding precision and a high level of automation.
The fiber laser slices smoothly and quickly through the 25-mm thick sheet and cuts out a range of very different intricate, high-precision parts. Next, the fully cut sheet travels automatically into the neighboring loading and unloading tower, which supplies a new sheet to the cutting system while it is still running. At the same time, an employee is already picking the parts and starts the bending process at the nearby press brake. After a few manual operations, the component is ready – in this case, an engine strut which is then sand-blasted and painted. This process is characteristic of everyday production at the Polling-based company Thaler GmbH & Co. KG which, as Europe’s third largest yard loader manufacturer, produces approximately 2,000 wheel and yard loaders every year using such components. “The driver’s stand, the rear and front chassis and the lifting arms of every one of our loaders are manufactured exclusively using AMADA technology. That represents 90 percent of all the components in the vehicle,” explains Managing Director Manfred Thaler. “They form the basic structure for our yard loaders, which we then equip with electrical, hydraulic and plastic components and tires.”
Since 2019, Thaler GmbH & Co. KG has been using a new AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ fiber laser cutting system with an AMADA ASF 3015-EU loading and unloading tower and AMADA HFE3i-2203L press brake to cut and bend the sheet metal parts. With its 9 kW of laser power, the new fiber laser cutting system has now replaced the 2-kW predecessor model. “Even with our first ENSIS, we were convinced not only by the system’s high level of automation but also by the quality of the cuts produced by the fiber laser and, in particular, by its low energy consumption and the resulting economic efficiency,” says Sonja Thaler, Head of Production at Thaler. “Our decision in favor of the new 9-kW model was based not only on the optimized features, for example the even better penetration time of under a second, but naturally also on the improved performance. The system simply cuts much faster than our previous model and creates valuable capacity for us.” As a result, Thaler GmbH & Co. KG was able to replace its costly 3-shift operation to a much more manageable one and a half shifts. At the same time, cutting the particularly thick sheets, which can measure up to 25 mm, is absolutely no problem for the new system. Another advantage: Thanks to the precise penetration point, Thaler GmbH & Co. KG can also use the AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ for part-in-part cutting and thus make optimum use of its raw materials.
“For us, the proximity to the AMADA Technical Center in Landshut was, and still is, a decisive factor. There, we always have an expert parter who supports us quickly and effectively if we ever have any questions or problems. Unlike the case with other vendors, we were able to perform a number of successful joint test runs there, including before the purchase, and this also helped persuade us to purchase our first fiber laser system,” says Manfred Thaler. “At the AMADA Technical Center in Landshut, we not only research and develop new AMADA solutions but we are also able to provide optimum support to our partners and customers in southern Germany and work on appropriate solutions for them together – both before and after they have acquired an AMADA system,” confirms Rainer Freudlsperger, Branch Manager at the AMADA Technical Center in Landshut.
From a single source
Another advantage for Thaler GmbH & Co. KG lay in the fact that the existing AMADA ASF 3015-EU loading and unloading tower was compatible with the new fiber laser cutting system. “All AMADA systems have a modular structure and, on request, the individual units can be custom configured to form a harmonized, highly productive overall solution,” says Franz Tafelmaier, Sales Executive South at AMADA. All this is backed up by the AMADA VPSS 3i programming software which, as the latest cross-platform software solution, integrates all the AMADA systems in a single end-to-end manufacturing process and provides a virtual step-by-step simulation of the entire production process in advance. Here, the new AMADA HFE3i-2203L press brake naturally also has a role to play. “Our new press brake not only offers outstanding manufacturing speeds and extreme precision but, like the ENSIS, is also integrated in the AMADA sheet metal processing network via the VPSS 3i software,” explains Manfred Thaler. “The automatic generation of the bending sequence, in particular, saves us a lot of time and effort.”
Independent and flexible
With the two new AMADA systems, Thaler GmbH & Co. KG has acquired significant new capacities that will ensure successful production operations at its Polling site in the future. Sonja und Manfred Thaler agree: “This not only means that we are independent of suppliers in terms of both timing and quality, but it also gives us flexibility, in particular when it comes to changes or adaptations during production.” Thanks to their excellent experiences of AMADA’s systems, they are already thinking of acquiring a new machine in the form of an AMADA FLW ENSIS welding robot. “That would enhance both our range of capabilities and our capacity.”
Images: Conny Kurz