PB MeTech GmbH recently extended its AMADA machine pool with a new AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ laser cutting system, an AMADA HG-2204ATC press brake and the AMADA FLW-ENSIS fiber laser welding system. The company is now able to cover the entire sheet metal working process chain as a single-source provider – from cutting, through bending, and on to welding. The latest generation of AMADA technology ensures that it delivers perfect quality, while also guaranteeing economic efficiency and outstanding levels of reproducibility. At the same time, it also provides the versatility and speed that will be decisive for future success.
The large production hall of PB MeTech GmbH in the Swabian town of Alfdorf is running at full capacity. With practiced ease, an employee removes the finely perforated steel sheets that roll out on the conveyor of the laser cutting system. Right next to him, a user is laying out large metal plates on another laser cutting machine. During all this, a machine operator is programming the automatic tool changer at the adjacent press brake. This will then position the upper and lower tools in the press beam at exceptionally high speed. By contrast, in the rear part of the hall, a welding cell is working completely without human intervention, as its robot arm welds perfect seams on three components in a single pass. And at the computer screen in the factory office, two technicians are creating the program for a completely new part. “As a single-source provider, we cover the entire sheet metal process chain from cutting, through bending and on to welding,” says Managing Director Günter Pflüger not without pride. “This is all based on AMADA’s machine technology on which we, as a satisfied customer, have relied for decades.” That is why Pflüger has continuously expanded the machine pool ever since the company was founded in 1999 and has consistently invested in AMADA’s latest system technology.
Good reasons for AMADA
The most recent investments made by PB MeTech GmbH include three AMADA systems: an AMADA
ENSIS-3015AJ laser cutting system, an AMADA HG-2204ATC press brake and the AMADA FLW fiber laser welding system. And in the near future, these solutions will be joined by an AMADA HFE-5012 press brake. Pflüger decided on these investments for a number of reasons: “All the new systems are equipped with the AMADA 3i control unit and are therefore standardized in terms of software and control. This means that we can handle all the machines with a single piece of software.” This greatly simplifies manufacturing operations and saves us a lot of time in our everyday work. The systems themselves also further contribute to the coherence of the AMADA machine pool – bringing a number of highly practical benefits: “We work closely together with AMADA on the basis of mutual trust and confidence. And if a problem arises, I know that an AMADA technician will soon be on site so that we can solve the difficulties together,” explains Pflüger. Another criterion was naturally the outstanding performance of the systems which is unsurpassed in terms of quality, reliability and efficiency. And this is very much appreciated by the customers of PB MeTech GmbH who are already explicitly asking for their products to be manufactured on the new systems. In order to be able to take advantage of all the performance capabilities, the employees of PB MeTech GmbH benefit from various training events and courses given by AMADA’s experts. “With the new AMADA systems, PB MeTech GmbH possesses the most modern sheet metal processing technology available on the market and can therefore extend its performance and product portfolio in specific areas,” is the opinion of Frank Prokosch, Sales Executive for Tool Technology and Accessories at AMADA.
Inhouse portfolio and contract manufacturing
PB MeTech GmbH’s product portfolio is subdivided into two sectors of approximately equal importance. The first comprises highly complex proprietary products in the form of removable components for ambulance vehicles. These include, for example, retractable stretchers together with their substructures in the vehicle. These components are all tested in compliance with standards and are marketed by the company worldwide. In its second sector of activity, PB MeTech GmbH acts as a service provider manufacturing components for its customers. In this case, the focus is placed on the production of special parts involving the construction of one-off parts and prototypes in runs of between 1 and 3,000. In both product sectors, the three new AMADA systems will open up completely new potential. Pflüger: “With the fiber laser in the AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ, we are now able to process even very thin materials extremely quickly, but also, and more importantly, we can also cut nonferrous metals such as copper, brass and titanium. And with regard to new technologies and materials in the field of accumulators and batteries in particular, we can now also address new customer groups.” And these different materials can be welded together perfectly and extremely quickly using AMADA’s FLW fiber laser welding system. “We can even weld together highly polished parts without difficulty using the FLW. What is more, there is practically no reworking because there are no welding distortions.” Last but not least, the new AMADA HG-2204ATC also opens up new possibilities in the field of bending. “Alongside the automatic angle measurement system, the automatic tool changer is naturally also of crucial importance. It saves the employee an enormous amount of work and reduces setup times from an average of an hour to less than five minutes. At the same time, we can now manufacture complex components in a single pass. Not to mention the fact that the number of nonconforming parts is practically zero with the HG-ATC,” continues Pflüger.
Example component: Lock case
One example of a component that is manufactured using all three new AMADA systems is the lock case that is used to lock the stretcher onto the corresponding table in the ambulance. And the advantages of AMADA technology can be seen at a very early stage, namely in the simple, fast, software-driven creation of the component file. This file forms the basis for all subsequent steps and is loaded onto the relevant machines from the server. For the purposes of the lock case, this is the AMADA ENSIS-3015AJ whose fiber laser cuts the 3-mm thick stainless steel extremely quickly and with outstanding precision. The component is then passed on to the AMADA HG-2204ATC which performs all the necessary bends with total accuracy. To finish, the component is welded using the FLW fiber laser welding system. The lock case is now finished – with unsurpassed speed and in perfect quality in compliance with standards. Pflüger sums up as follows: “In the past, manufacturing such lock cases was considerably more time-consuming. We are now thirty percent faster and benefit from one hundred percent reproducibility with no reworking.”
Investing in the future
The example of the lock case shows how the new AMADA systems are already proving their value in practice. “However, they are also an investment in the future, in particular because they will allow us to be more versatile and react faster. At the same time, they are the ideal basis for automated production and networked manufacturing in accordance with the IoT principle,” explains Pflüger. “All in all, we enjoy a unique position thanks to the new systems in combination with our existing machine pool. With all this, we possess comprehensive process expertise that allows us to successfully perform today’s tasks and also rise to the challenges of the future.”
Images: Udo Schönewald