Studer and Combitec merge their competences

The technological leaders in Cylindrical Grinding Machines, Fritz Studer AG in Thun and the Combitec AG in Biel will merge their competences with immediate affect. The integration of Combitec into Studer AG allows both Companies the chance to increase their market and technological position in the World Market. The Product ranges of Studer and Combitec complement each other perfectly.  Both Manufacturing facilities will remain where they are today, the Management of Combitec will continue to manage the facility in Biel.

Combitec AG
As per Stephan Nell, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fritz Studer AG, Combitec has in the Internal Grinding Machine product range excellent Machines and has a very large Know-how in this area. Through the International Distribution Network of Fritz Studer AG, the World Leader in Cylindrical Grinding, Combitec now receives an ideal platform to be active in the Worldwide Market too. In addition to this, Studer has the possibility to complement its product range ideally.
The Manufacturing facility in Biel will in the future become the Competency Centre for Internal Grinding. The Operative Management of Biel remains in the hands of the present owner of Combitec, Daniel Huber. In this connection, Daniel Huber stresses that the merger with Studer brings excellent growth potential for Combitec and in addition to this, also helps to secure the future of the facility in Biel.  Combitec AG, founded in 1982, manufactures High Precision Internal Grinding Machines. The main area of their development lies in Machines for the manufacture of small and medium sized components, especially in the area of hard Materials. With a combination of high precision machines, a specially developed operator Interface and the simulation software SimCT they offer their customers an economical, lucrative and technological proven Solution. Today Combitec employs in their facility in Biel, 40 people.

Fritz Studer AG
Founded in 1912, the company manufactures standard Cylindrical Grinding Machines with a wide assortment of accessories for External- and Internal Grinding Applications for small or medium sized Components. Studer and the Service Team Studer employ over 800 people in their facility in Thun and reached a record Turnover last year of 250 Mio CHF (incl. Service) .  For the next Years, Studer expects together with Combitec an additional strong increase in both Turnover and Order Input, especially in the area of Internal Grinding.
Fritz Studer AG belongs to the Schleifring group of companies of the Körber Group. Körber Schleifring stands for an internationally strong Partner for all areas of high accuracy machining of Components.

Combitec AG
Lengnaustrasse 12
CH-2504 Biel/Bienne
Tel: +41 32 344 04 52
Fax. +41 32 3410671
[email protected]

Fritz Studer AG
CH-3602 Thun
Telefon +41-33-439 11 11
Telefax +41-33-439 11 12
[email protected]

A know-how to meet highest expectations

With its growth prognostics widely shared by experts, the medical field is seen as an “El Dorado” by a lot of companies; but starting in this domain requires a know-how to face constantly growing demands in term of quality, complexity and productivity. Willemin-Macodel provides turnkey machining solutions to allow its customers to face these trends with serenity.

Always more complex parts
The machining centers of this builder are able to perform simultaneous 5-axis milling operations as well as turning operations up to 6,000 rpm for the MT machines (Mill/Turn) with 65mm diameter bars (518MT). Willemin-Macodel makes a difference with its MT product range— it can machine from bars or part after part; and it’s able to machine complex parts (dental implants, bone screws, spine, etc.) within a single cycle. This includes the back face thanks to a multiposition back-operation turret. Users can then finish polyhedral or revolving parts in one clamping.
Meeting flexibility
Complex parts machining often means a lot of operations, so it is important to ask for production machines offering such a potential but it’s equally important to have the flexibility to adapt the machine to the part that needs to be machined.  The MT series machines by Willemin-Macodel are designed to be flexible with their multifunction back-operation units, their 42,000 rpm motorspindles, their 6,000 rpm dividers, and their compact manipulating systems. The 508MT machining center is particularly well equipped with its 3-position turret that can simultaneously hold a back spindle (mill/turn up to 6’000 rpm), an auto-centering vice, and a tail stock. This elaborate technology gives users the ability to machine several different complex parts on the six faces without changing the set-up.

User friendliness AND possibilities
Set-up of a new part including fast grip and chucks changes, shaped bars fixturing, and tool life  management is done with ease. Optimizing set up times is easily done with the multi-grip chucks that can hold square or round bars without the user having to dismount anything in the holding system. This machine builder developed its own system to hold a wide range of bars (round, square, polyhedral) up to 65 mm diameter. The clamping devices are adapted to the customer’s requirement as well. For instance, implants in ceramic, non-annealed material that need careful tightening and that can be gripped on a short area only are perfectly held and machined.
[…] (more to be discovered in Eurotec 362).

This year, Willemin-Macodel will take part in the following medical shows: Medtec in Stuttgart (Germany) and Besançon (France), Medisiams in Moutier (Switzerland) as well as several shows in the the USA and in Asia.

Willemin-Macodel S.A.
Rue du Paddock 46
2854 Bassecourt
Tél. 032 427 03 03
Fax. 032 426 55 30
[email protected]

I know that it seems that there is only medical in Eurotec these days, its is due to the fact that the two first issues will be medical oriented to help people enter that market and win.
In issue 364 to be released early May, we’re going to publish a lot of things about microtechniques and watch industry… there are still a lot of business to do there and we’ll show you some help to enter these markets too.

Good day


You could be about to go into “technical unemployment” …

A provocative title which the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) hopes, in its flyer on REACH, to attract the attention of all industrial companies to this EU Directive which appears to be about to impose severe constraints. So what is it all about?

Reach – so what is really behind it?
The website of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, OFSP, provides this answer: ‘REACH is the abbreviation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals and also includes the restrictions applicable to these substances. This is the new EU Directive which aims to make the manufacture and use of chemical substances more safe within the EU.’
Reach entered into force on 1 June 2007 and relates to chemical products for which pre-registration by 1 December 2008 is mandatory at the European Agency for Chemical Products (ECHA), based in Helsinki. This mandatory requirement applied to known substances which were manufactured or imported in quantities greater than or equal to one ton per annum by the manufacturer or by the importer. Registration of new substances started on the 1st of June at the same agency.

Who is affected?
The ‘REACH’ Directive affects companies based in the EU which are required to request pre-registration of new products, or the registration of existing products in question. Swiss companies are affected if they export their chemicals – i.e. the products manufactured by themselves – to a country of the European Union.

Does this affect machining companies?
A bar-turner product (for instance) – depending on the description of that company’s activity – involves workpieces machined from (for the most part) metallic materials. To do this, bar-turners necessarily use products such as cutting oils or cooling fluids, and all these products can be viewed as chemical substances. After the machining operation, as a general rule, the workpieces are washed before being supplied to a customer. In such cases, the bar turner does not supply any product of a chemical nature, and is therefore not affected by REACH. In cases where the bar-turner is going to be machining synthetic materials, he is well advised to first contact the supplier of this material to ask whether a conformity declaration can be provided and, if not, can then press for one.
If a bar-turner then gets involved in assembling several components on behalf of a customer in the EU, or for a customer who will be exporting to the EU, that bar-turner may find himself affected by this Directive. This depends on the lubricant content, and the content of other chemical products in this sub-assembly. Depending on the case involved, it may be necessary to follow the same procedure as the machine manufacturers.

What about machine-tools?
The manufacturers of machine-tools are subject to the same Directive as any other producer. The decisive point is to know if a material or a product used in a machine – for example oils or greases – is affected by REACH and if the quantity exported in this case exceeds the official annual limit of one ton. To recapitulate: it does not matter if a product is exported directly or via an intermediary. The manufacturer involved must, if certification is not already provided by his supplier, must take steps to obtain written confirmation that the product (oils, greases) has been registered with the appropriate authority in Helsinki.

Doubt is permissible
This is relatively complex subject matter, something which even the specialists dealing with this subject are willing to admit. Doubt is therefore allowed. To learn more, the interested party can consult the OFSP website, or one of the other websites listed later in this article. Moreover, all manufacturers of related substances involved directly or less directly have been looking at this issue for some time and are now in a position to provide fairly accurate information on this question.
For example, the lubricant manufacturer Blaser SA is providing a specific e-mail address ([email protected]) where questions can be tabled on this subject. Motorex is another company willing to provide information through the following e-mail address: ‘[email protected]’.

Internet websites to consult: (In French and German)
… and there are plenty of other websites out there.

E-mail address of Blaser SA : [email protected]
E-mail address of Motorex SA : [email protected]

Thank to  Robert Meier, freelance specialist journalist, Rupperswil for this point on REACH.

I don’t think this will directly affect machining companies, but what about the products they use? Will we see a reduction of the chemicals on the market? Does it mean that machining or cleaning will become more difficult due to reach compliants chemicals?

In case of doubts, don’t hesitate to contact lubricant companies (as mentionned here above) or also cleaning companies like

Good day


Residue-free implant production

The ability to completely remove grease, oil and lubricant residues is an increasingly important requirement for mechanically produced metal parts. This type of requirement has generally increased in most industries over recent years.


In the automotive industry on one hand parts are becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to clean, and on the other hand the accepted level of residues per part is becoming lower and lower. The lowest possible quantity of residue for automotive parts is very important for the guarantee of the 100 000 km warranty. Any risk of part failure must be reduced or eliminated.  In the electronics industry storage density is constantly increasing and part cleanness requirements are becoming increasingly important. For certain parts, following various optimisation steps, we have now reached residue quantities of just a few ng per cm² for organic residues. The last, and perhaps the most easily understandable, industrial sector concerned is the medical industry which is enforcing a “zero residue” requirement. In this sector it is firstly a question of the complete removal of any residual film and secondly also the removal of all particles, including particles down to a micrometer. Residues can interfere with subsequent surface coating, thus causing both technical and toxicological problems.
A complete study
The company Blaser and Robert Mathys Stiftung in Bettlach (Switzerland) have worked together on a joint project to examine parts for microbiological residues, and for the very first time it was clearly proved that no microbiological material could be detected on the surface of implants. The irregularly-formed parts were previously soaked in cooling lubricants containing bacteria.

“Following the cleaning process the parts were specifically examined for traces of endotoxin, and endotoxin could be detected on none of the parts examined.” – A. Flury

Details of the study are available on request.

Regula Kämpfer
Blaser Swisslube AG
3415 Hasle-Rüegsau
Tel +41 344 600 210
Fax +41 344 600 100

Luginbuehl R, Fluri A, „Analysis of Endotoxin Residues on Cleaned Implant Materials” 2008, JAI 5 (2); (JAI101452)

A lot of know how is available for those who need to produce and clean their parts, either with oil producers or with cleaning companies (see also the entry written on Amsonic in this blog [chose “The Categories” and then “Cleaning”]). It is good news. Do not hesitate to contact them.

I will come back on what is called cleanliness later.

MM Live: Show Dates Announced for 2009

Following the highly successful first edition of MM Live 2008, the UK Micro Manufacturing Exhibition, the organisers have great pleasure in announcing the dates for 2009 as 20-21st October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK.

Promising first show
More than 1000 visitors attended the debut UK micro manufacturing show in 2008 demonstrating that this exhibition has provided the industry with a much-needed platform to share its products and knowledge with micro manufacturers. Visitors attended from all over the UK and Europe, even coming from as far a field as Canada, USA, Japan and Israel. A particular highlight of the show was that for the first time ever in the UK, product designers and manufacturers were able to see a variety of micro manufacturing machines and technologies under one roof. These machines were seen in action producing precision micro components, giving visitors an opportunity to see live demonstrations of their wide range of capabilities.

A second issue to go further
MM Live 2009 will see the return of the successful Technology for Jewellery Seminar, which attracts jewellery and watch-making professionals, both big users of micro manufacturing technologies. As a further benefit to visitors and new for 2009 will be a Inspection and Metrology Seminar, which will highlight the importance of various technologies and techniques in this sector for micro manufacturers
A few days after EMO, this highly specialised show will provide the perfect exhibitor showcase with a broad range of technologies on display alongside a vast array of cutting edge seminars to enhance the visitor experience. Exhibitors will be drawn from throughout the world but will be all united with the common ability – to help engineers design, develop and manufacture micro and precision parts.

For further information please call Jenna Reid on +44 (0) 1829 770037
[email protected]

Do we live a new trend in live shows?
It seems that very focused shows are more and more appreciated by customers; why being lost in a huge general trade show when you can have all under the same (small) roof. As for exhibitors, yes an EMO is important to show the world you are there, but exhibitors also have to carefully look on the return on investment… and within that aspect, dedicated shows with highly targeted visotors do have a major role to play.

Do not hesitate to share your feeling about this point…


Medical machining? To do the splits!

The production of medical technology tools and implants is extremely challenging due to the wide range of machining methods used. Great demands are made in particular on the machining fluid, which must demonstrate completely different characteristics, for example, during the deep drilling of holes with high depth-to-diameter ratios using single-lip drills than during tapping, milling or finishing operations. The versatility of the Motorex Ortho NF-X innovative high-performance cutting oil means it completely covers the extreme requirements in the field of medical technology.

Deep-hole drilling and tapping on a machining center requires a deep-hole drill and a tap as well as a powerful high-pressure cooling system. This clearly illustrates that the machine tool has to be customized according to requirements, i.e. depending on the machining process. The employed machining oil, however, is expected to flawlessly cover a whole range of different machining processes. Or in practice has it crossed anyone’s mind to change the cutting oil for two diametrically-opposed machining operations? This is highly unlikely. Thus until very recently, machine operators were prepared to accept a compromise for one or other of the machining processes, which is regrettable, as compromises always limit productivity.

Deep-hole drilling (optimal viscosity ISO 10)
This type of operation, where the drilling diameter is around 1,15 mm and the drilling depth 60 mm, requires an extremely high performance in cooling, lubrication and flushing. At the required optimal machining values, this operation normally requires a viscosity of ISO 10. The more viscous the medium, the harder it is to reach the desired flushing performance. This in turn affects the temperature during drilling and can lead to deviations of the drill hole from the desired axis, for example, the central axis.

Tapping (optimal viscosity ISO 32)
This type of operation requires outstanding extreme-pressure characteristics and an excellent flushing and cooling capacity. The lubrication film must be extremely temperature and high-pressure resistant for the fluid’s HP-properties to withstand the extreme levels of pressure. The thread is tapped in a single pass and must meet tight tolerance requirements in terms of dimensional accuracy and surface quality (Ra value).

A tried and tested solution
Ortho NF-X ISO 15 succeeds on both counts, thanks to the use of ISO 15 viscosity and a complex package of special additives which has been developed over many product generations. It is sufficiently resistant to high pressure to be used for tapping and sufficiently fluid to provide efficient cooling and flushing during deep-hole drilling.

The lubrication technology specialists at Motorex will be pleased to answer any of your questions on this subject.

Technischer Kundendienst
CH-4901 Langenthal
Tel. +41 (0)62 919 74 74
[email protected]

This example emphasize the dynamism of the industry. Facing always more challenges and finding always a way to succeed.
We will develop the lubrication topic in our paper issues.

Meanwhile, stay tuned and don’t hesitate to send me any comment or idea.

Success? A mindset!

I’ve interviewed M. José Iraolagoita CEO of a world class high precision turning company located in Spain: Microdeco. The main industrial sectors of the Basque country area where Microdeco is located, are mechanics, heavy industry, food-processing, timber and paper, and textiles.  30% of Spain’s production for the automotive industry also comes from this region. When the automotive industry is facing some though moments, what makes the difference?

“Problems are always a source of opportunities. It’s our role to meet these challenges”
says José Iraolagoita.

What are the secrets of Microdeco?

  • The organization: spring for success
  • Machines and employees: spring of success
  • Partnership: spring of success

We will go into deeper details in a further issue of Eurotec.

Microdeco recently created IAC, the Automobile Intelligence Center, with industrial partners on a regional level, as well as training centers and universities. It is actually a “college of experts” in their fields with the common aim of developing projects in high-technology, quality and precision for the automotive sector. The construction is nearly complete and a good part of Microdeco’s resources in R&D will be going into it by summer 2009! This new platform will bring the company greater possibilities for development, more resources, more innovation but also greater visibility as far as prime manufacturers are concerned.
Regarding export, the group created a common export department with three other companies from the area, i.e.:

  • Teknia DEJ – Metal sheet stamping and sub-assemblies mounting
  • Gabi – Aluminum die casting
  • Mafisa –cold formed fasteners
  • Microdeco – Precision turned parts and sub-assemblies mounting

This common group realize about 100 million Euros gross sales mainly in the automotive industry.

You’re looking for a partner for the success in the automotive industry?

Decoletaje de precisión
Production unit
Poligono Urtia, s/n
Apartado de Correos 57
48260 Ermua (Bizkaia) España
Tel. +34 943 17 03 17
[email protected]

Common export department
Barroeta Aldamar, 4 (Dpt. 21)
48001 Bilbao – Espagne
Tel +34 94 424 30 21
[email protected]

It’s fascinating to meet true entrepreneurs!



Pierre-Yves Schmid, publisher