C 22 U | Schütz GmbH | Metal and Plastics Processing
Schütz GmbH, a medium-sized service provider for CAD/CAM, prototype and machining technology, has relied on the performance of Hermle CNC machining centres from the very beginning
When a creative and competent employee with abundant knowhow is feeling insufficiently challenged in his professional environment, or hemmed in in terms of what he would like to accomplish, the only way open is to strike out independently. This is the starting point of many success stories and one of them is about a typical medium-sized technology company, Schütz GmbH, located in the Bavarian town of Wiesenfelden Germany 94344. Reinhard Schütz, former frustrated employee with abundant knowhow and now owner of a company with 20 specialised employees, came to the conclusion near the end of the last century that he was stuck in a rut, unable to evolve as he should. So he took the risk and with little capital but a lot of (realistically tempered!) enthusiasm, he started a company working in everything related to CAD/CAM applications, manufacturing of prototypes, building devices and injection-moulded model tools as well as complete machining of challenging individual parts and small series. Not much has actually changed since then until the present day, although the earlier requirements of 3 and 4-axis machining, considered technologically sophisticated at the time, have now been far exceeded by today's challenges in terms of integrated 5-axis complete/simultaneous machining. Driven and inspired by the basic concept of always offering customers comprehensive services in design, programming and manufacturing technologies aligned to the latest technologies, Schütz decided from the beginning to enter into close collaboration with the "best" in terms of machine tools and other equipment as well.
Premium equipment for reproducible quality services
"In a company where I worked for many years, the time came to find a replacement for a milling machine, and a Hermle machine was chosen. It turned out subsequently that this was absolutely the right decision and so it was clear to me that I would also work with Hermle machine in my own company. To be able to cover the necessary investment, we purchased a used Hermle UWF 1002 H universal milling machine as our first machine. This was soon followed by the next machine, a U 630. With the two precision tool milling machines, which already provided a partial degree of automation, it was full steam ahead for a couple of years. Then in 1999 we forged new paths with a C 600 V CNC machining centre," according to a statement from Reinhard Schütz describing the phases of development of his company. The construction of a new production hall and further investments in universal milling machines and Hermle CNC machining centres (a U 1000 A and a C 800 V in 2001) were in response to very clearly satisfied customers who were asked for expanded capacity, both in terms of machining capacity as well as metal cutting on very large workpieces. The practically oriented specialist at Schütz experimented subsequently with the existing 3 and 4-axis universal milling machines and CNC machining centres and auxiliary equipment as well as creative clamping and tool solutions, tapping the capabilities of the Hermle machines to the limits of feasibility before opening up whole new possibilities with the acquisition of a C 40 U 5-axis CNC high performance machining centre in 2003.
A major success factor: Expanding the range of 5-axis machining
Forearmed with the experience of the preceding years of expansion and consistently eying the future, the company successively built up 5-axis/5-sided complete/simultaneous machining, purchasing an additional Hermle C 40 U CNC machining centre (2004) and two C 30 U CNC 5-axis high performance machining centres (2006 and 2009). The latest "baby" to join the steadily growing Hermle family in the Schütz powerhouse is a C 22 U CNC 5-axis high performance machining centre purchased in 2011. Reinhard Schütz noted at this point: "With the five 5-axis machining centres currently installed, we have reached a very high level of 5-axis machining capacity as well as manufacturing capacity, at least for the moment. For our customers and of course those who choose to become our customers in the future, this offers security in knowing that challenging workpieces and solutions will be delivered to them on schedule. Of course the very high technical availability of the Hermle machines played a major role, as did the excellent and reliable service. Hermle has provided dedicated support for us through all the years, once even practically placing a machine at our disposal when we were under great delivery pressure due to low machining capacity." The close collaboration with Hermle as supplier and service partner for CNC machining centres is also typical of the company philosophy of Reinhard Schütz who always takes thing "calmly, but with determination" and involves employees in many strategic deliberations. This applies not only to investments in machines and equipment, but also rules for work schedules. That is why production (17 of the total 20 employees) at Schütz "only" works 1.5 shifts, even though Hermle machining centres can easily run in multi-shift operation.
The "other" work philosophy: Give employees space and time
But Reinhard Schütz has an explanation ready for this: "Our employees are each completely responsible for one project, from initial discussions of the project through to delivery of the finished parts with documented quality. Since we are usually working with individual workpieces made of many different materials and typically involving highly challenging 5-axis/5-sided complete/simultaneous machining, rather than day-to-day CNC machining, the demands on our employees are also higher. When our customers from the automotive segment demand elaborate prototypes and parts at rush speeds, as is typically the case, because important winter and summer tests are scheduled or have been interrupted for the latest generations of vehicles, the key element is speed in the form of available capacities. But it is just as important or more to provide the right part accuracy and quality, and there can be absolutely no compromises in those areas. Every shot has to count and to do that requires a certain amount of concentration. We are working profitably for our customers and for ourselves when the employee does everything right and the machine works exactly according to specifications. Too much pressure is not beneficial, and in the end the final quality is not impressive."