Starrag Group acquires Bumotec SA – Investment in attractive growth markets

In the context of a succession plan, Starrag Group acquired from the founder and sole owner Bernard Ballif all the shares of Bumotec SA which is domiciled in Sâles (Canton Fribourg/Switzerland) as of 29 May 2012.

Thanks to its axis-concept, the new S-191 is able to turn and mill complex pieces in only one setting in watch-, medicinal- and micromechanical industries.

Founded in 1973, the company develops and manufactures high-precision multi-functional machine tools for complete machining of small work pieces as well as offering the full range of after-sales services. Bumotec SA, which has its own subsidiary in China, is a leading European supplier in its market segments. Its customers are mainly companies from growth sectors such as watch and jewellery, medical technology, aerospace and micro mechanics in Europe and Asia.

High order backlog
Bumotec SA – debt-free, with attractive profitability and lean organisation – employs 150 employees and achieved a turnover of over CHF 40 million in fiscal year 2011. Thanks to a high order backlog, full capacity utilisation is guaranteed mid-term. Starrag Group finances the acquisition entirely from its cash on hand. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price

Reinforcement of sales and service network
The acquisition gives Starrag Group access to additional technology know how. Bumotec SA in turn will benefit from Starrag Group’s strong sales and service network in the USA, Europe and Asia. Synergies are also expected in supply chain and manufacturing. Bumotec SA meets all of Starrag Group’s requirements for an ideal acquisition candidate: Strategic and cultural fit, as well as an interesting market and product.

Bumotec SA has a proven management team, which will continue autonomously at the existing location and with its own product line under the well-established brand Bumotec. Bumotec founder Bernard Ballif commented: “I am delighted that an industrial solution for the continuation of my life’s work could be found, and this with a solid and experienced partner who has already realised a successful acquisition in the French speaking part of Switzerland with the prestigious SIP in Geneva some years ago.”

Bumotec can be seen at EPHJ (Booth D60) next week, no doubt there will be many discussions…

Bumotec SA
Les Communs
1625 Sâles
Switzerland
Tel : +41 26 917 84 01
Fax : +41 26 917 81 18
[email protected]  –  www,bumotec.ch

Gold replacement material cuts costs of electrical contacts

A material that can replace gold on electrical contacts has been developed by Swedish company Impact Coatings. Silver MaxPhase™ is a metal alloy that performs like gold in terms of electrical conductivity and resistance to wear and corrosion, but at a fraction of the cost.

This offers significant savings and cost control for connectors and other electrical components. Using Silver MaxPhase is also a substantially better environmental choice than gold plating, as no hazardous chemicals are involved in the process. “We want to challenge the idea that gold plating is the only option for electrical contacts. An average mobile phone, for instance, has five to ten connectors that could be coated with Silver MaxPhase,” says Henrik Ljungcrantz, the company’s CEO.

New coating
The coating is qualified according to the IEC 60512 and IEC 60068 standards for low voltage and low contact force connectors that are normally gold plated, such as battery and I/O connectors for mobile phones. Silver MaxPhase has the potential to be used for a wide range of connectors and other components.
The metal alloy is applied by physical vapor deposition (PVD), a process that takes place in a vacuum chamber where the material is evaporated and condensed to form a thin film on the object. Impact Coatings has developed the material, as well as processes and machinery for applying the alloy in high-volume production.

Turnkey solution
Impact Coatings offers a range of PVD machinery that can easily be integrated into existing production flows, with much smaller footprints than a traditional wet plating plant. With significantly reduced environmental impact compared to plating with gold, Silver MaxPhase production lines can be installed without conflict with environmental legislation. The production is entirely clean and, in contrast to gold plating lines, no special permits are required.
The range of machinery includes systems for high-capacity reel-to-reel coating of metal strips; systems for coating of individual metal parts; and systems for coating of plastic components.

For further information, please contact
Peter Högfeldt, Business Area Manager for Electrical Contacts
Impact Coatings
Westmansgatan 29
SE-582 16 Linköping, Sweden
Tel: +46 13 35 95 01
Mob: +46 708 87 44 34
[email protected]
www.impactcoatings.se

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Vero hosts largest ever reseller conference

Vero Software hosted their largest ever Global Reseller Conference following last year’s merger of the Vero and Planit software groups. Located in Lisbon, Portugal, 171 delegates congregated to see the latest product developments, discuss future product direction and get an insight into the future business plans of the newly combined Vero Group.

Explaining the rationale behind the event, Richard Smith, Chief Executive says: “Our objective is to create the most successful reseller team across the world. We now have a number of key products that service different manufacturing sectors, but share common business drivers. Bringing our resellers together provides a platform to network, share successes and better understand the product positioning for each brand.”

Today’s and tomorrow’s products

  • Highlights from the Edgecam brand conference included a review of the current release (2012 R2), Waveform Roughing, Advanced 5 axis and quill support (secondary z axis), plus a sneak preview of future developments including the addition of wire EDM technology and an exciting new workflow manager.
  • The VISI reseller network for the mold-making industry were provided with an in-depth look at VISI 20, due for release in September. The latest release includes new CAD tools for project collaboration and kinematic simulation plus a number of new ground breaking CAM developments such as new advanced roughing and rest machining algorithms.
  • The Alphacam team welcomed global resellers from as far afield as Australia, Japan and South Africa and presented the group with a strategic look at the 2013 product roadmap, an introduction to Waveform Roughing and a review of Alphacam Art — an artistic application that automatically creates 3D relief models typically used in the woodworking and engraving industries.
  • Cabinet Vision resellers had a glimpse of the future with a review of the product roadmap and an early look at Cabinet Vision V8. There was great excitement over the CV self help community and detailed information on Screen-To-Machine Centre, along with managing machinery / tool vendor partnerships.
  • Finally, Radan successfully launched two new multi-axis laser products, RadM-ax and RadTube. Based on PEPS technology, RadM-ax is a sheet metal 5 axis laser CAM system developed specifically for the general engineering, automotive and aerospace industries. RadTube is a laser system for rotary and multi-axis cutting machines developed specifically for tube cutting industries. As well as all this, there was an overview of the new, fully integrated quoting product for sheet metal manufacture due for release later in the year.

Concluding, Simon Lee, Business Development Director says: “The size of the event truly underlines our position as number one CAM centric company and offered our reseller network an opportunity to review the group product portfolio.”

www.planit.com
www.vero-software.com

Springmann focuses on watch industry…

..and high precision operations. At this year’s EPHJ on booth E42 visitors will be able to discover three different technologies dedicated to highly demanding fields like watch industry and others.

There are always new ways to realize parts or operations and this year’s highlight at Spingmann’s booth will be

  • SLS (selective laser sintering) with precious material
  • Industrial polishing for small parts
  • Two side grinding

 

SLS – still little known technology
The principle of building the parts is simple, a thin layer of metal powder is deposited on the working surface (250 mm x 250 mm), and a laser moves in X and in Y to merge metal on selected locations. Once the “cut” at this level of the part is fully sintered, a new layer of material is deposited and the laser moves to selectively sinter metal at required locations. The part is thus constructed layer by layer. Huge advantage, shapes are not limited by conventional technologies of machining by material removal.
A new world of possible parts opens…

1- digital model of the part, 2-deposition of the first layer of powder, 3-fusion of the powder in the cross-section of the part, 4 – platform goes down, 5-deposition of a new layer of powder, 6 – the operation is repeated until the part is completed (fusion, filing, lowering), 7-elimination of the non-melted material, 8-the part is complete.

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To be discovered on Springmann’s booth at EPHJ from June 5 to 8 in Geneva. Customers of the company and interested people can ask for entrance tickets at [email protected] or by phone on +41 32 729 11 29.

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Lausannetec refocusing on watchmaking

The Lausannetec trade fair is closing its doors today. And MCH Beaulieu Lausanne is already drawing its initial conclusions from this first edition: as of 2013, the fair will be responding to the wishes expressed by the players on the market and refocusing on suppliers to the watch and jewellery industry.

Following its inauguration on 22 May 2012, the Lausannetec trade fair will be closing its doors this evening, after a “highly promising” first edition, in the words of Béat Kunz, CEO of MCH Beaulieu Lausanne: “A few hours before the fair closes, we reckon that between 2500 and 3000 buyers have attended Lausannetec – a figure slightly below our expectations”.

Focused on the customer’s needs
The management of MCH Beaulieu Lausanne has already taken a strategic decision for Lausannetec: as of 2013, the trade fair will be renouncing its interdisciplinary orientation in order to refocus on suppliers working primarily in the watch and jewellery sector. This decision marks the outcome of the organisers having listened carefully to the market’s requirements.

More targeted exhibitions?
The trade fair will still be open to players from the medical technology and electrotechnical sectors who offer microtechnology or high-precision solutions which are also aimed at the watch and jewellery sector. In addition, the MCH Group is currently analysing the possibility of a new product in each of these fields and will be announcing its intentions in the second half of 2012.

www.lausannetec.com

The GP 16 spindle drive – Feed forces of up to 400 N

Maxon’s spindle drive program will be extended with the new size 16 mm. This is also an easily configurable complete system with integrated axial bearing for high loads. Version with metric M6 spindle or Ø 5 mm ball screw.

In mechanical engineering, it is often necessary to find a solution for converting rotary motion into powerful linear motion. Precision spindles combined with DC motors make it possible to transform rotary motion into axial motion. Gearheads, motors, encoders and controllers from maxon’s standard program are used to drive the spindles. The individual components of the spindle drives are perfectly matched to each other, resulting in high-efficiency drive solutions.

Wide spectrum of use
Important characteristics for the ball screw are high efficiency, high load capacity and no self-locking. Noteworthy features of the metric spindle are the self-locking function and the lower price.
The spindle drive program in the sizes 22 mm and 32 mm has now been extended to include the smaller GP 16 S version with a diameter of 16 mm. For the planetary gearhead, 14 different reduction ratios are available, from 4.4 up to 850:1. Depending on the reduction ratio and the type of spindle, this makes it possible to achieve feed forces between 35 and 370 N and even up to 400 N for short durations.

Precise positioning
DC or brushless EC motors can be used to drive the system; in total, nine different motor types are available. These motors can also be equipped with compatible sensors (encoders), which are essential for precise positioning. EPOS positioning controllers are recommended for controlling the motor-sensor combination. These controllers feature a wide range of functions as well as CANopen or EtherCat. The controller can directly evaluate limit switches and other sensors. The programmable EPOS P version makes it possible to set up independent, standalone systems.

maxon motor ag
Brünigstrasse 220
P.O. Box 263
CH-6072 Sachseln
Tel: +41 (41) 666 15 00
Fax: +41 (41) 666 16 50
[email protected]
www.maxonmotor.com

A promising start…

Lausannetec closed its second day and I had a great discussion with Pierre-Yves Schmid, director of Lausannetec and René Zürcher member of the general management of MCH Beaulieu Lausanne about the first two days …and the future.

The first feeling about the shows are very positive among its management, both exhibitors and visitors emphasizes the very high quality of the environment and services. It’s a good start.

What about visitors ?
Let’s call a spade a spade, the first day was a very calm one and the second one was better, even if the alleyways were not that crowded. The organisers didn’t boast about visitors and so I went to discuss with exhibitors to “feel it”. Even if they were waiting for more people, they were satisfied with the high level of the people coming to their booths and the possibility to discuss real business. A machine-tool company told me that they had very good contacts that should allow them to sell machines and that without Lausannetec and the very good quality of its welcome; that would simply not have been possible with these customers. Another exhibitor producing components and devices told me that after two days, his show was better than this year’s Siams…

Is the bet won for Lausannetec?
It’s indeed too early to say such a thing… moreover what is the bet?  Without entering into details about their strategy and aims for the few years to come, M. Zürcher told me that a trade show cannot build its success on one issue only and that the first issue is promising but that they would carry on their effort to offer a trade show dedicated to their exhibitor’s needs…. they seems very confident.

One or two shows around the Geneva Lake?
Here too we must not put the head into the sand and refuse to see… most of the exhibitors are clearly disapproving the venue of two “identical” shows around the lake (moreover within two weeks). What will happen? Nobody knows, all the people I discussed with today and yesterday told me they would wait for the end of both shows and then carefully plan and decide what to do for the future. No doubt that the organisers will also listen to them and tailor their offer… a lot of alternatives are possible… but truly the situation cannot remain the same for 10 years.

You can still go discover Lausannetec till the end of the week, will you miss it?

www.lausannetec.com

PS: I’ll come on some new solutions discovered there tomorrow… Cheers!