Hetschel GmbH & Co. KG, based to the north of Stuttgart, has been an established player for more than 40 years. The company is mainly active in the world of motor sport and has its own machining department for that purpose.
With 11 CNC machines, the operators in the machining department have to push themselves to the limit. A quick calculation shows that they each have to serve nearly 2 machines, something rather more suppliers strive for today. The workload is high. And that’s where automation should bring a change.
Andreas Hetschel, Production Leader: “For some time now, my brother and I have been saying that we should automate in order to get more output from our machines, whilst also keeping the workload humane for our operators. Easier said than done. We have always been busy with innovation, and even for a while toyed with the idea of buying a robot, and then programming it ourselves. We didn’t have a standard solution for this. Until we simply came across a film clip from RoboJob on Youtube. That changed everything.
Although we’d been playing with the idea for some time, it turned out to be pure coincidence that we came to know RoboJob. Together with my brother I watched a lot of RoboJob film clips wherein it caught the eye just how compact their solutions are. We contacted their Commercial Department, and from then on it went really fast. We sat together with their salesman a number of times, also went to visit some of their customers in our region and made the comparison with other providers. No other provider could match what RoboJob could offer and furthermore the other RoboJob customers in our region managed to convince us to go for it. Our Turn-Assist 250 was installed on a Mazak Quick Turn Nexus 200 N in April.
This is a pilot project for us. Apart from a bar loader, we don’t have any automation as yet. We have a lot to learn from this first experience. “Ultimately, it is our intention to get more output from our CNC machines with the same amount of people. Because unfortunately you can’t just pick them up off the street.
Of course our operators were somewhat sceptical about this new step but they are now very excited about it. The fact remains that we clearly communicated that this step was necessary in order to survive and continue to grow and the fact that RoboJob has so far met all expectations has obviously helped a lot.
We had NEVER expected that our Turn-Assist could be installed in just 3 days and we that could then get to work unmanned and independently on day 4. This really blew the socks off us. We are now already working on more complex pieces, and that appears to be working without any problem. We could never have dreamed of this.”