02/22/2018|Customer Story KWS Kölle GmbH

Highly sophisticated parts with technology from DMG MORI

From highspeed cutting to turning-milling – KWS Kölle produces components of highest quality thanks to powerful machine park

Helmut Hübner, Managing Director of HWS Kölle GmbH

After SIEMENS had closed its tool and machine factory in Kaufbeuren, seven former employees founded the KWS Kölle GmbH in 1978 under the leadership of Karl Kölle. Following substantial investment into CNC technology, the company moved to a larger site in Mauerstetten. A total of 56 highly qualified employees work there today in the field of tool making and special production. The range of services includes planning and construction, development and manufacturing as well as quality assurance and maintenance. For many years, KWS has relied amongst others on machine tool technology from DMG MORI in its sophisticated production. In addition to a DMU 75 monoBLOCK, a HSC 30 linear and a CTX beta 800 TC are the most recent highlights of the machine park.

KWS has been benefiting from dynamics and precision with the HSC 30 linear since the beginning of 2016.

"The more sophisticated, the better" is a very good description of the manufacturing philosophy of KWS. The company has made its name amongst others in the automotive industry as competent partner in tool manufacturing and the production of special parts. Managing Director Helmut Hübner states: "We can only distinguish ourselves from the competition with this high standard." For this reason, simple components do not have a high significance in the service portfolio of the company from Ostallgäu in Bavaria. “We like to start where others give up."

The range of KWS far exceeds pure manufacturing. "As competent partner, we must also be able to advise our customers across the whole process", Helmut Hübner believes. For example, they are already consulted in the development phase particularly by their numerous long-standing customers. "Based on our experience, we can manufacture many components significantly more economically than a pure designer would specify in his draft."

Experience is the result of good training, as the highly qualified specialists at KWS were usually trained in the company itself. Helmut Hübner sees the future in the junior staff: "Good training is the be all and end all." A look into the training history reveals that this is not just an empty phrase: On the one hand, KWS has received numerous awards for its high quality of training. On the other, the company has produced countless graduates over the past 30 years who came first in regional and national competitions among young craftpersons in the training professions of toolmaker and precision mechanic.

Implementing machine performance with know-how

KWS already invested in a CTX beta 800 TC in 2014 for complex turning and milling parts.

The high-level expertise of the workforce also ensures that the potential of the machine tool technology is fully utilised in production. "Considering the 5-axis machining centres and high demands on precision, the demand is enormous", says Helmut Hübner with regard to the DMU 75 monoBLOCK and the HSC 30 linear from DMG MORI. The versatility of the machines, the high-speed machining and the high precision of the linear drives require a high degree of sensitivity in manufacturing.

KWS made a big step into the future at the beginning of 2016 with the HSC 30 linear. Up to 40,000 rpm and the linear drives impress Helmut Hübner and his employees: "The dynamics of the machine are unsurpassed, particularly where 5-axis simultaneous milling is concerned – regardless of the material we are processing." Tool wear is also considerably reduced - after all, KWS frequently processes highly alloyed steels up to HRC 68. Added to this is the high degree of accuracy of the HSC 30 linear: "We now often save ourselves the final, and normally obligatory, grinding process as we can manufacture to an accuracy of a few microns."

Highspeed cutting with 40,000 rpm and linear drives ensures highly accurate manufacturing results, even with materials which are difficult to machine, such as tungsten and copper.

CTX beta 800 TC: 6-sided complete machining for maximum flexibility

KWS already invested in a CTX beta 800 TC in 2014 for complex turning and milling parts.

With the CTX beta 800 TC, DMG MORI has brought the right machine onto the market for KWS in 2014. "Before, there was only the CTX beta 1250 TC, which was too big for us. But the smaller model was perfect", Helmut Hübner reflects back on the purchase. "The ability to completely turn and mill complex workpieces in a single setup constitutes an enormous gain for KWS." Previously, the availability of two machines always had to be checked. The gain in flexibility also benefits KWS insofar as it is almost exclusively batch size 1 that is being produced.

The central element of the CTX beta 800 TC is the ultra-compact turning/milling spindle compactMASTER. The compact design of the spindle with integrated release cylinder for tool changing enables a torque of 120 Nm with a length of just 350 mm. "This provides significantly more space for machining than would be available with a model with turret", says Helmut Hübner. KWS also benefits from the compact outer dimensions. The footprint of the turn-mill centre is 8.5 m².

Investments in the future

As DMG MORI uses the compactMASTER instead of a turret for the CTX beta 800 TC, there is significantly more work space.

With the high focus on good training and regular acquisition of modern machines, KWS is proactively investing in the future. The production area is expanded as required as well, most recently in the past year. Helmut Hübner knows: "Our capacities with regard to know-how, technology and production volume are the capital that will keep us competitive in the long-term."

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