Added-value for customers: machines, services and more
It is our goal to support our customers in mastering their daily production tasks with our comprehensive product portfolio. To achieve this, we permanently strive to consistently expand our existing product range and to look beyond our traditional business, tapping into new technologies and processes.
With the new 5-axis machining centre model HF 3500, and thus the launch of a completely new machine range in 2016, we have expanded our portfolio. The next larger model HF 5500 was exclusively presented at our HELLER WerkTage in-house event in March this year. The HELLER CBC process technology for the coating of cylinder bores has already been successfully launched onto the market; other topics revolving around electromobility, lightweight construction and Industry 4.0 are being investigated or implemented.
The new HF series: productivity in 5 axes
For HELLER, the development of the new HF series is a logical step in completing the existing range of machines. The HF is a new machine series, enabling high productivity and universal application for medium and larger batch sizes.
With the 5th axis provided by the workpiece, the 5-axis machining centres model HF 3500 and HF 5500 enable a significant reduction in idle times in combination with the powerful dynamics. The main target groups for this new machine concept are automotive suppliers and the general machine building industry.
HELLER4Industry: increasing productivity on workpiece level
In terms of Industry 4.0, HELLER is focusing on even higher machine productivity and on supporting consistent engineering chains. Core aspects are supplementary machine functions, on-demand services and enhanced service capabilities. On three modules HELLER illustrates the importance of ease of operation, customised workpiece manufacturing and enhanced evaluation of existing data.
HELLER4Operation is an easy-to-use, operator-oriented user interface for HELLER machines. The use of touch controls at the tool/workpiece loading station enables fast and robust operation.
The second area, HELLER4Services, comprises digital services. The HELLER Services Interface focuses on transparency of manufacturing and maintenance processes. The module forms the basis for evaluations and statistics, thus providing support in reducing machine downtimes. Additionally, the visualisation of specific information, including status displays of axes, spindles or other assemblies, enables users to determine wear and to take preventive measures in order to avoid unscheduled downtimes.
The third area, HELLER4Performance, comprises the machine analysis for process and performance optimisation, time-synchronous extraction of real-time data into the internet as well as evaluation and graphical display, e.g. using an SAP-HANA cloud platform.
For HELLER, the aim of all considerations, possibilities and solutions remains the reduction of the customer’s cycle times, and thus workpiece costs, by providing high productivity. Already today, HELLER is generating added value for the customer through greater ease of use of the machine, optimal integration into the network and expanded functionalities and service possibilities.
HELLER CBC: Expanding the range of turnkey solutions for crankcases
HELLER has expanded the process chain in crankcase manufacturing – comprising qualification, pre-machining and finish-machining – by the HELLER CBC (CylinderBoreCoating) process. CBC is a technology for the coating of cylinder bores of aluminium crankcases using electric arc wire spraying. This technology used by Daimler is the only dependable process for use in high-volume production. For this new process, HELLER has developed the CBC 200 coating module and brought the coating process to maturity.
This process co-developed with Daimler was nominated for the 2016 German Future Award and is now generating a significant share in turnover. By the end of 2016, more than 30 machining modules of the type CBC 200 had been delivered and installed. Until 2018, a total of 65 systems for the coating of more than 8 million cylinder bores worldwide will be in operation. No other machine tool manufacturer achieves this kind of volume.
Outlook: actively evaluating and developing new trends
The task of Development New Business & Technologies is to explore new technologies and to derive new future fields of business for the HELLER Group by scouting trends in different areas, i.e. ways to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of combustion engines, electromobility, lightweight construction and Industry 4.0. The development division was founded in 2010 with the mission to look beyond the traditional fields of business, thus assuring the company’s growth in further areas of operation.
In collaboration with a team from Application Development, Application Assembly and Sales, New Business & Technologies has successfully established a first project in the market with HELLER CBC. They also developed and launched first concrete solutions in response to Industry 4.0 called HELLER4Industry.
Another current project is metal Additive Manufacturing. The experts are working on a cost-effective process, providing high material application rates in an industrial environment supplemented by downstream machining. The idea is to use this technology for making additions to the component whilst integrating downstream machining operations in order to achieve the required drawing specifications. As with CBC, the goal is to find solutions for relevant applications in series production for the general machine and automotive industry.
Other developments of New Business & Technologies focus on light-weight construction. The demand for lighter vehicles inevitably requires the use of light metals and carbon fibre based plastics. In this context, HELLER is researching the most appropriate machining processes.