It has been the best year since Fritz Studer AG was founded. In 2018, STUDER attained record sales in almost all markets. Precision cylindrical grinding machines were supplied to customers in over 40 countries worldwide. And now STUDER presents its latest highlight.
On March 14, 2019, over 60 journalists from all over the world will be going down into the depths of the Swiss mountains. In the gallery of Hagerbach mine, in the canton of Graubünden, you feel the power and elemental force of the Alps. This test gallery and research lab is a place that has produced pioneering work and innovative power. A perfect place to take the new STUDER machines out of the dark and into the light and to present to the world the successful business development in cylindrical grinding of this traditional company from Switzerland.
Machine portfolio and sales
The shortage in worldwide procurement markets and a simultaneous increase in incoming orders posed the company with a considerable challenge. The same period of time saw the further development of new machines to series production.Strong growth was reported by STUDER in 2018 in central European markets as well as in northern and southern Europe – with the highest-ever incoming orders in the company history. Latin Europe experienced a very strong year for the third time running. STUDER has shown strong growth in China too in 2018. Demand was high, particularly for internal cylindrical grinding machines – 2018 saw record incoming orders in this segment.
STUDER achieved its biggest sales with the S33, the favorite, and the S41. The manufacturer of cylindrical grinders supplied its S31 for the 1000th time. “This shows that the machine has been providing top quality in reliability and precision for years,” says Sandro Bottazzo, CSO of Fritz Studer AG. And last but not least, the small S11 production cylindrical grinding machine also reported a new sales record.
Close to customers, worldwide
STUDER is at home worldwide, servicing all of the world markets with specialized representatives. “We speak our customers’ language: with over 150 sales partners, we have the densest international network of consultants in grinding”, says Bottazzo, clearly proud. STUDER customers are particularly active in the following segments:
- Automotive industry: After showing extremely strong growth in 2017, this sector grew less rapidly last year.
- Machine manufacturers: important and consistently strong
- Tool and die making: For the second year running, this division has reported a
- Job Shopper: an extremely important segment for STUDER. It is characterized by a high level of loyalty and long-term commitment
- Aerospace: This sector continues at a consistently high level. STUDER benefits here, too, from a high demand in worldwide air traffic.
STUDER also suppliers smaller markets, such as the medical sector, for example. STUDER is the preferred partner of many manufacturers of implants or medical tools.
STUDER supports its customers with 200 employees in Customer Care, of which 130 local service technicians operate worldwide. Customer proximity is also evident in the company’s language diversity. Overall, Customer Care provides helplines in ten different languages.
“At our customers’ side quickly and competently. That is the STUDER aim,” explains Bottazzo. In order to provide even better support, Solution Support has been introduced. This measure helps the company to counteract any shortages in skilled employees and further improve the inter-company dissemination of knowledge.
Customer Care is growing in the two-digit range. STUDER achieved a new record for all Customer Care services.
Technology and Operations
“Precise grinding machines require precise components,” reinforces Jens Bleher, CEO at STUDER. That’s why STUDER is further expanding its core competence in machining. Several millions were invested in three large 5-axis milling machine centers with integrated rotational functionality. As well as higher efficiency, these new machines will enable even better precision through complete machining and reduced clampings. The system offers ideal prerequisites for digitalizing manufacturing in accordance with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 standards. In all VDA and ISO certifications, STUDER has been audited and successfully recertified with all the latest standards.
The heart of production is the continuous “Fliessmontage+” flow assembly. Having reported record production levels in 2017, this revolutionary system for machine manufacturers enabled an additional increase in 2018, setting new productivity standards in efficient machine manufacturing. Thanks to this, STUDER was able to continue to maintain the shortest delivery periods in the grinding industry. An excellent selling point for customers of Fritz Studer AG.
Outlook for 2019
The key indicators have taken a downward turn in the past year for all regions of the world. “We expect demand to ease in the course of the year,” forecasts Bleher. However the Swiss cylindrical grinding specialist remains ambitious and continues to aim for growth.
The primary goal at STUDER is to make its customers even more successful. STUDER intends to achieve this with consistent further development and improvement. With the unveiling of two new machines, the S33 and S31, STUDER is quick to demonstrate that they mean what they say.
Invitation to compete for the “Fritz Studer Award 2020” research prize
STUDER is awarding its research prize, the “Fritz Studer Award”, for the sixth time. Students from European universities and technical colleges are invited to participate. The winners will receive a reward of CHF 10,000.
Fritz Studer AG produces standard machines and individual system solutions in high-precision cylindrical grinding for machining small and medium-sized workpieces.
STUDER is awarding the “Fritz Studer Award” for the sixth time. Participation in this competition provides young researchers with a platform for their creative solutions. The goal of the award is to advance and strengthen innovative developments in the machine industry.
For this competition STUDER is looking for work and research results with the following content:
- Innovative machine concepts or components for precision machine tools
- Alternative materials in machine construction
- Simulation models for dynamic and thermal behavior of machine tools
- Control and sensor concepts for machine tools
- Digital Solutions to support the grinding process
- New or advanced manufacturing technologies, especially in precision machining, such as grinding, hard turning etc.
Requirement: Substantiated results and feasibility
The research prize is aimed at graduates from European universities and technical colleges. Anyone who has focused on scientific topics or applied research areas in their student research project, college work or dissertation is invited to participate. The applicant should also be able to produce substantiated results or partial results from their research work. What is crucial for the assessment? Firstly, the feasibility of the findings in the machine industry. Secondly, the approach must be new. Scientific content, form and accuracy of the statements will also be assessed.
Award of CHF 10,000
A prestigious jury will assess the submitted entries and choose the winner or winners. The jury includes:
- Prof. Dr.-Ing. Konrad Wegener, Director of the Institute of Machine Tools and Production at ETH Zurich
- Dr.-Ing. Hans-Werner Hoffmeister, Head of Production Technology Department at the Institute for Machine Tools and Production Technology at TU Braunschweig
- Dr.-Ing. Frank Fiebelkorn, Head of Research and Technology at Fritz Studer AG.
The winners will receive a reward of CHF 10,000, the Fritz Studer Award and a certificate. The award ceremony will take place in mid-February 2021.
A new lease of life for your machine
45,000 operating hours. This is how long – or even longer – a 15-year old cylindrical grinding machine is in use. Anything that does this much will wear, and this particularly shows itself in the geometry and precision. High time to give the machine a good overhaul. A machine overhaul at STUDER makes an old machine into one that is as good as new; in other words, a machine that has the same tolerances as when it was first delivered. If the requirements on the machine have also changed, the machine can be configured and retrofitted to the customer’s requirements during the overhaul.
The S40 was in use at LMT Kieninger for 14 years. The company specializes in highly demanding machining tasks and manufactures special tools for die and mold making. “The S40 was the Rolls Royce of grinding machines. But the machine still wears over time and after intensive use”, admits Heiko Braun, Group Manager of Cylindrical/Surface Grinding and Assembly. It was clear to LMT Kieninger that they should send the cylindrical grinding machine to the STUDER factory in Switzerland for an overhaul. STUDER provided them with a loan machine for around three months and took care of everything from A to Z – from collection through to customs formalities. “We were very satisfied with the loan machine. Apart from a few little things, we were able to continue grinding as usual”, sums up Braun. The special feature about a machine overhaul at STUDER? It is the only company to refurbish the machines’ guideways to the original specifications. After the assemblies have been reinstalled, the machine geometry is equivalent to that of a new machine. Braun’s view: “This point in particular really convinced us. We notice the difference. Since the overhaul we have been grinding with the precision of a new machine. I can only recommend a machine overhaul. Everything went without a hitch, the investment has paid off and a 1600 mm machine is worth its weight in gold for us.”
Rebuild – new from old
A rebuild, or a machine overhaul, makes sense, and not just economically. The operator gets his familiar machine back and continues where he stopped before the overhaul. But he is full of enthusiasm! Because his old machine is like new. In the STUDER factory the specialists disassemble the machine into all its individual parts. The guideways are completely refurbished, the assemblies overhauled, the wear parts in the electric cabinet replaced, hydraulic and lubricating system as well as all valves replaced. If old spare parts can no longer be obtained, STUDER provides an alternative solution. The casing and components are sand-blasted and then given a fresh coat of paint. After assembly the geometry is like that of a new machine. Commissioning is carried out by STUDER Customer Care, including a functional and geometry inspection, all CE-compliant. “Over 20 people work on machine overhauls at STUDER. This shows the value of rebuild and retrofit at STUDER. The customers are always enthusiastic about the transformation and are delighted to put an as-new machine into operation at an excellent price-performance ratio”, says Marcos Cotarelo, Divisional Head and Customer Care Consultant.
Expanding the component range
If the customer wishes to expand his component range at the same time as the overhaul, he does this with a retrofit. During the machine overhaul the machine can be modified or retrofitted to the customer’s requirements. This opens up new production possibilities on the same machine. Ingold Tools AG has taken advantage of this STUDER service.
Ingold Tools AG has been producing high-precision and complex parts for spindle, compressor, hydraulic and general machine manufacturing with 25 employees since 1946. The machinery includes a variety of CNC-controlled and conventional machines, including robot-automation solutions for turning, milling/drilling, honing, lapping, barrel finishing, sand-blasting, laser marking as well as surface and cylindrical grinding. The cylindrical grinding shop already has several conventional and CNC STUDER machines. A further machine is currently being overhauled in the STUDER production halls. This is an 18-year old S21 with two external spindles and continuous fine adjustment of the turret wheelhead (B-axis fine), which the two managing directors Christoph Jenzer and Edgar Stich recently took on as a second-hand machine. The S21 will not only be updated in line with the latest developments, but will also be retrofitted to suit the needs of Ingold Tools AG. The cylindrical grinding machine will have an additional internal grinding spindle for internal cylindrical grinding and the relevant fixture for swiveling the tailstock into the park position. The S21 will also have a new spindle cooling system with its own circuit, as well as a hydraulically swiveling dressing unit. So that all grinding machines have the same mounting, the universal tool headstock will also be upgraded from MK4 to MK5. “This deal is perfect for us. Thanks to the retrofit, we get the second-hand machine with 50 percent new hardware”, enthuses Jenzer.
The S21 is the second factory-rebuilt STUDER machine at Ingold Tools AG. In 2016 the company took on a second-hand S31 machine, which STUDER overhauled. “We grind to a bearing tolerance and diameter of 1my. STUDER guarantees this accuracy after the overhaul. Either way: An overhauled STUDER will run just as long as a new machine”, attests Stich. Jenzer and Stich see a further advantage of the machine overhaul in the operation: “The employees don’t have to get used to a new machine with a new control system.”
Ingold Tools has relied on STUDER since it was established in 1946. The first external cylindrical grinding machine was a type 01 from the year 1955. This was still in use when Christoph Jenzer joined the company 13 years ago. “We like working with STUDER. The service personnel are quick to respond, and our Customer Care Consultant supports us wherever he can. It’s not without reason that we have so many STUDER machines.” A new machine? Jenzer and Stich say: “We wouldn’t rule it out – a new machine always offers advantages which an old one doesn’t have, such as faster travel in all axes, simpler set-up of the machine, and easy programming with less technical knowledge.” But the employees are looking forward to the overhauled S21, which will soon be on its way to Inkwil in Bern.
Machine overhaul at a glance
- Machine base: Completely overhauled, ribbed guideways milled, recast and repainted.
- Control cabinet: Replacement of wear parts in the electric cabinet.
- Pneumatics: New valves, hoses and filters.
- Hydraulics: New hydraulic and lubricating system, all new valves and hoses.
- Tool headstock: Completely overhauled.
- Wheelhead: Completely overhauled.
- Tailstock: Completely overhauled.
- Axes: Tables as new, installation of new recirculating ball screw and bearings.
- Component casings: Sand-blasting, repainting, color according to STUDER design or customer requirement.
- Control system: Existing control system is retained.
- Delivery: Always with precise measurement of new machine tolerance including test certificates.
- Loan machine: We can provide a loan machine on request.
- Renewed original CE certificate
The new S33 – The productive machine for individual requirements
Universal and flexible. These are the features of the new S33, the CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine from STUDER. With distances between centers of 400, 650, 1000 and 1600 mm and a center height of 175 mm, it can be used for grinding small, medium-sized and large workpieces up to 150 kg in individual, small batch and high volume production. The changeover from grinding between centers to live spindle grinding is achieved in record time. Complex workpieces are ground in a single clamping without any problem.
The foundation of the S33 universal cylindrical grinding machine is the machine bed made from solid Granitan®S103. Thanks to its favorable thermal behavior this provides high dimensional stability, while short-term variations in temperature are largely equalized by the mineral casting. STUDER has redesigned the machine base geometry and added an innovative base temperature control. This ensures quick and stable production. The fixing of the dressing device on the double T-slot of the longitudinal slide drastically reduces the complexity of setup and changeover.
Wide range of wheelhead variants
The S33 is based on the STUDER T-slide concept. It now has an extended X-axis stroke of 370 mm. STUDER offers a number of wheelhead variants. The turret wheelhead can take up to two external and one internal grinding spindle and enables automatic swiveling with a 1° Hirth coupling. It is also equipped with the latest generation of gap control. The external wheelhead with a wheel on the right can be set to 0°, 15° and 30°. Setup and changeover costs can be reduced thanks to the turret wheelhead with several grinding wheels and quick setup with the Quick-Set software. Internal, external and surface grinding in a single clamping is child’s play for the S33 and leads to even higher efficiency in complete machining operations. Grinding of forms and threads is made possible by the C-axis with indirect or direct measuring system. The S33 can also be equipped with a chuck workhead for grinding chuck components.
Over a hundred years of grinding experience are invested in StuderWIN, which enables reliable programming and efficient operation. StuderTechnology also automatically calculates the exact grinding parameters in a matter of seconds, based on just a little information. This means good quality and a stable process at the first attempt. The optional integrated modules such as StuderForm, StuderThread or StuderContourBasic extend the functionality of the machine.
The PCU manual control unit enables setup of the machine close to the grinding process. Non-productive times can be reduced to a minimum with the electronic contact detection function. In addition, the standardized loader interface enables automation of the S33.
Advantages at a glance
- Distances between centers 400, 650, 1000, 1600 mm
- Center height 175 mm
- Maximum workpiece weight 150 kg
- Thermal stability thanks to innovative base temperature control (dbc 650 to 1600 )
- Double T-slot for dressing systems
- Numerous grinding head variants
- Motor spindle including frequency converter for turret wheelhead
- Constant cutting speed as standard
- StuderWin software with StuderTechnology
- Reduced setup and resetting times with STUDER Quick-Set
- Can be flexibly extended with integrated software modules
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