Service to the customer!

To speak about the importance of the customers, about services offered on the market and even on how to present the company and its products, we’ve met Frédéric Springmann, CEO of Springmann S. A. This company sells solutions to manufacturers, for instance  Traub and  Index inSwitzerland and in Austria. Clearly there are some things to be learned with them.

You take part in a large number of exhibitions despite the high costs of these events. What are the objectives of your participation in such events?
Material-removal machining is the common denominator in our range of production machines. It is true that we want to participate at exhibitions with this theme and we think that our customers also expect to see us at this kind of event, even if it is just in a small way. Each exhibition is an excellent way to encourage exchanges with our customers and create new contacts.

At the beginning of May, you are organizing an in-house exhibition on your premises. Will you be presenting new products on this occasion?
Of course, our wide product range means our customers always have a good reason to come back and see us, as products are continually evolving and we regularly represent new manufacturers or products. For customers who are visiting us for the first time, it is also an opportunity to show them the infrastructure we have at our disposal to serve our customers, both in terms of human resources and logistics.

We have heard about exhibitions with no machine presentations. Is that something you could consider doing?
Yes, even within the framework of a specialized exhibition, the products on show don’t necessarily exactly meet the specific needs of our visitors, and this fact doesn’t prevent us from providing them with the information they require.

On your website you underline the confidence your customers have in your company. What measures do you take to create this confidence or to preserve it?
The fact that we still supply today some our very first customers, who have been loyal to our company since 1920, clearly proves that we have taken the right path, so we are continuing our company philosophy while at the same time adapting our structures to market changes!

You are specialized in « customer solutions ». How do you develop these solutions?

I prefer the concept of « solutions for the customer ». Our close proximity to our suppliers (Western Europe) allows us to fully fulfil our role as an interface between the machine user and the machine manufacturer.

You are present on markets in French-speaking Switzerland, German- speaking Switzerland and Austria. Do you think that the solution for the customer can be the same for these three markets?
One of our slogans is « you have the hands – we have the tool », which means that our customer has the specific know-how of his profession and we have our knowledge of the products and our accumulated experience. With this combined knowledge we can provide a solution which is technically and economically viable -this concept is universal and can cross any borders.

What is your main competitive advantage?
The constancy of the service provided.

As opposed to a manufacturer, you represent several product brands in several product categories. Can you claim to be a specialist in this case?
Like for a manufacturer, our skills are spread out among our company’s employees. The customer is expecting first and foremost an excellent understanding of his requirements.  Secondly, he must be able to rely on serious product offers and if he places an order, it must be dealt with professionally. Moreover, he also demands efficient follow-up after acquisition. From the customer’s point of view, the specialist is no doubt the company who can satisfy his requirements one way or another. Command of local factors (like language, for example) provides, of course, an additional competitive advantage.

Are you also proposing oils and tooling?
Yes and no. Our partners’ geographical location means, of course, that we also supply « turnkey » solutions with direct contact between the manufacturer and our customer. If, however, we are not in a position to advise our customer on a peripheral subject, we are happy to establish contact with our colleagues in the industry who we can recommend based on our experience.

What are the advantages for the customer?
Choice

As an intermediary, is it not difficult to offer finely tuned solutions?
An independent intermediary with a long-term vision of his business has a dual role – he doesn’t just defend the interests of his suppliers – he also has to defend his customer’s interests vis-à-vis the supplier so both are satisfied.

This was highly interesting for me, hope the same for you!

Good day

py

PS: I’m on Medisiams this week and I was at Medtec Stuttgart last week… the market is moving and interesting… I’ll come back on that soon.

PS2: Active in Switzerland or Austria? Don’t miss http://www.springmann.com/f/homepage.php

The future of turning unveiled

Turning-Days™ Villingen-Schwenningen 2009, with over 10,000 square metres of exhibition space and close to 260 exhibitors from Germany and abroad, is now a major specialist fair for turning technology. For the first time includes a panel discussion on the red-hot topic in the sector. New admission system reduces queues at the pay-desks. Extra-long exhibition hours with a valuable viewing circuit for visitors even after closing time.

A specialist exhibition
The organizing team of the 4th Turning-Days™ Villingen-Schwenningen (23rd-25th April 2009) could look with great satisfaction at the bottom line after reservations closed at the end of February: with over 10,000 square metres (gross) of exhibition space and nearly 260 exhibitors, the event is now grown up – and fully booked. The increase in exhibition space of 33% over the last event in 2007 is no surprise, as a large number of exhibitors have enlarged their stands, and many former sub-exhibitors registered this year as principal exhibitors. A sure sign that there is good business being done at Turning-Days™.

New halls
“For this year’s event we were able to enlarge our exhibition area by an additional 4,000 square metres of hard floor, and set up a proper fair!” These are the words of Günter Ihlenfeld of the Turning-Days organizing team. The lack of a solid floor, indispensable for the installation and presentation of heavy machines, used to be the weak spot of the event, as until 2005, there were only a few halls with hard floors on the exhibition ground in Villingen-Schwenningen. A new hall had already been built for the 2007 Turning-Days™, in order to satisfy the demand for stand space. But even then it was already clear that for 2009, an even larger area would be required.
At the end of 2008, the starting signal was given for new, heavy duty structures to replace the special lightweight buildings. By cooperation between the organizers, the fair promoters Südwest-Messe and the municipality of Villingen-Schwenningen, this feasible solution was quickly found and was implemented without delay.

The complete turning process chain
Just under 260 exhibitors include all the trend-setting companies in the sector. The complete turning process chain, with all the preceding and following process steps, is seamlessly integrated in the Turning-Days™ fair. Although the basic concept of the event is regional, companies from all over Germany and from neighbouring countries are represented. “The majority of the new exhibitors came to us on the recommendation of former exhibitors or customers. We are very pleased about this, as there could be no clearer validation of the concept of the fair,” comments Dirk Spahn of the organizing team.

What is the profile of the subcontracting company of the future?
Even so, the organizers are not resting on their laurels, but are completing the 4th Turning-Days™ for the first time with a forum event which in future will form a fixed element in Turning-Days™ and will present topical themes for discussion. The panel discussion beginning on 24th April at 5 p.m. opens with the core theme “What is the profile of the subcontracting company of the future?” Invited panel members are specialists from industry, in particular from the turned parts sector, or strategic purchasers.

Turning Days

Villingen-Schwenningen (Germany)
Thursday 23.04.2009 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday 24.04.2009 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 25.04.2009 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
www.turning-days.de

Schleifring Grinding Symposium May 6.-8. 2009 in Thun

STUDER is one of eight companies that will be giving technical presentations at the “Schleifring Grinding Symposium 2009”: In order to meet all needs, STUDER will present solutions for universal-, internal-, and production cylindrical grinding. Additionally, opportunities will be presented in the universal and production divisions on how productivity can be increased: combination machining, special software and simple loading solutions reduce the machining process considerably.

Some topics of the symposium…

  • STUDERintelligent – the software takes care of everything else, especially for the universal division
  • STU DERmicro – Universal or productive machining of precision small parts
  • STUDERinternal – the wide range for internal cylindrical grinding
  • STUDERmodular – the new S22 production platform

Second issue

The Grinding Symposium by the Schleifring Group will be held this year for the second time at the Trade Fair Center Thun Expo. The concept was already a great success in 2005: 17 technical presentations from Schleifring companies, professional talks by representatives from science and industry and supply exhibition stands (with accessories for grinding machines) tempted around 1,800 people to Thun 3 years ago to stay for 2-3 days. In 2009 as many as 2500 people are expected.
The Technical Presentations and professional talks will be offered to an international audience in German, English, French and Italian.

More information can be found at www.schleifring-symposium.com.

Fritz Studer AG
CH-3602 Thun
Tel. +41 33 439 11 11
Fax +41 33 439 11 12
[email protected]
www.studer.com

 If you’re interested in Grinding solution, the symposium is simply a “must-be there”.
Good day
py

Implants, basis of a winning smile

On four Traub TNL 12 long turning machines, the dental manufacturer Dentaurum primarily manufactures dental implants, structures for prosthetic care and orthodontics products. Why are they working with these machines?

Constraints for medical
“We produce up to 200 different products on these machines, which means we have to be able to react to production changes very quickly,” explains Klaus Merkle, head of production at Dantaurum. He continues: “flexible production machines are the requirements for success in this product segment”.Of the 13 turning machines in total in the machine turning shop of the dental manufacturer Dentaurum, four of them are Traub TNL 12 long turning machines. The first was bought in 2001; the next three followed practically in intervals of one-and-a-half years. The last one, for the time being, was bought just under a year ago. The machines primarily produce dental implants with diameters of between 3.3 mm and 5.5 mm, ranging in length from 9 mm to 17 mm and so-called auxiliary products, for instance, structures for subsequent prosthetic care. These are supplemented by traditional orthodontics products. These tools normally have extremely complex contours and geometrics and therefore require additional milling operations on the machine.

Dedicated machines and shift working
Solely stainless steels – for example 14301 – and pure titanium are processed in different batch sizes.  Depending on the application, these can range from special systems with quantities of 200 up to very large quantities with standard bracket systems. The advantages of the Traub long turning machines – very high flexibility, easy convertibility, simple programming – facilitated the commercially successful development of this product segment.  “The very first machine,” recalls Merkle, “proved its worth entirely; the quantities became increasingly bigger, the spectrum ever broader. Even with the current number of four machines, we are constantly reaching our limits with regard to capacity.” Since this year, night shifts are also having to be worked for the first time in addition to the previous two-shift operation. Patrick Ott, head of department in the machine turning shop, practically goes into raptures about his Traub machines. “The advantage of the TNL 12 is that it is very flexible and. above all, highly precise.” He and his staff have developed substantial know-how with these machines, and have also been helped by the excellent supplier service. This makes itself felt in an extremely high machine availability.

[…]

Working as fixed headstock
A turret that can be moved along the Z axis ensures additional flexibility so that the guide bush can be closed and the long turning machine can also operate like a fixed headstock. This is a clear asset depending on the geometry of the parts.This is supplemented by the comfortable programming and the dialog control via an easily comprehensible operating panel in plain text.

[…]

Traub GmbH
Hauffstrasse 4
D-73262 Reichenbach
Tel : +49 07153 502 0
Fax :     +49 07153 502 694
E-mail : [email protected]
www.traub.de

In Switzerland
Springmann Switzerland
Route des Falaises 110
Case postale
CH-2008 Neuchâtel
Tél. : +41 (0)32 729 11 22
Fax : +41 (0)32 725 01 01
E-mail : [email protected]
www.springmann.com

In Austria
Springmann Austria GmbH
Runastrasse 90
AT-6800 Feldkirch
E-mail : [email protected]

Riveting with extremely small dimensions

Riveting technology, like anything else, needs to keep up with the constant trend toward miniaturization. With the radial riveting machine RN 181 “reduced,” for delicate rivet connections, BalTec has a cutting-edge solution for this challenge, as well. The subtly designed kinematics of this machine allow rivet joints using even very small diameter rivets made of aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics. It is possible to locate the rivet start when lowering the rivet tool onto the rivet at a riveting force of less than 0.1 kN.

New machine for microtechnology
The RN 181 “reduced” was developed on the basis of the proven RN 181 radial riveting machine. With a reduced piston area and extremely low-friction kinematics it is optimally designed for precision engineering rivet applications. The RN 181 “reduced” uses an RC-20A controller and the BalTec STF-1 Expert or RNC Expert process controller. This allows the rivet force rise, for example, to be limited to 0.5 N over a 0.5 second duration rivet phase, so that the riveting tool can still make at least four hypocycloid passes over the rivet even with very short deformation travel. The STF-1 Expert process controller ensures refined control of the riveting process and the highest quality rivet joint. The nominal riveting force of the RN 181 “reduced” is 1.6 kN, at a hydraulic pressure of 6 bar. The tool stroke is 30 mm. In addition to the stand-alone version of the RN 181 “reduced,” the rivet head alone is available for integration in systems, under the name RNE 181 “reduced.”

Typical application examples of the RN 181 “reduced”
Electronics and computer industry:
Mounting electrical circuit boards in aluminum housings with cast rivet features, or in plastic housings with molded-on rivet lugs, with rivet diameters of one to two millimeters
Production of measuring devices and clocks:
rivet lugs on indicator axes made of steel with diameters of less than 1 mm
Micromechanical devices (cameras, printers, automotive electrical components):
axes of magnetic armatures for servo drives, pivot joints, etc.
Microsurgery:
Joints, pivot pins in forceps, etc.

Additional information:
BalTec Maschinenbau AG
Obermattstrasse 65
CH-8330 Pfäffikon/ZH

phone: +41 (44)953 13 33
e-mail: [email protected]
Internet: www.baltec.com

Is Eurotec TV planned for tomorrow?

To realize this editorial, I rely on two comprehensive studies on media. The first one called “trends in communication in Europe” is based and a wide European study that took place during 2008. The second called “Media Focus” analyze trends in advertising expenses in Switzerland. What do we learn ?

Press is important (!)
According to the first survey, in 2008 the customer represent the most important target audience (not that a revolution) for communication and obviously professional press plays a major role. Researchers responsible for the survey foresee a same importance of the target audience in 2011. According to that study, press is the main tool in 2008 and will still be a very important one in 2011, nevertheless, the online medium will be the most important one.
Clearly the online medium is a tool that we must think about. As for the paper media, the content is the most important.

Added value
Our role as members of the technical press is to look for, find, sort out, think about and finally give you a maximum of added value information (again that importance of the content). The second survey shows that in Switzerland the technical and professional press goes well. Advertising expenses are stable (more or less). All in all and for every field, the tool that goes bad is the daily newspaper that sees it figures plummet in favor of television and new medias.

Consequences for Eurotec
Will we soon see broadcast to buy the new “X” machine tool or the new “Y” tooling on Eurotec TY? Not likely would you say… but combining visual media and web, it is possible to show more, to explain more and even to interact. Let’s invent the future ! In any case content must be interesting for readers and help them a way or another, otherwise it channel-surfs quickly.
Our aim with Eurotec is to give you more value.. on paper today.

Issue 362 is on its way to subscribers!
Would you like to receive a free copy? Don’t hesitate to ask, just send me an e-mail at [email protected] with the title FREE EUROTEC with all the necessary information for a shipping by surface mail.

We’re currently working on issue 363 and 364 and I’m sure the content will be valuable.

Good day
py

A company that works with some nexialist principles?

I went to interview Pierre-André and Etienne Meylan in a company called Piguet Frères at Le Brassus, Switzerland and I didn’t stop thinking about nexialism. In that company, the skills are cleary interdisciplinary and transverse. You need some technique from highly specialised polishing of watch industry to finish a part for a medical device? No problem, functioning in the company allow the specialists to share all these skills and apply them on the right place, even if that’s not “the usual way”. Result? Good processes and better results for their customers.

Cold plasma – low pressure metal surface treatment

One of the main characteristics of the company is this will to always go further ad further to find solutions for their customers. For instance assembling some parts with a sticking technology needs a perfect state of the surfaces to be mounted. Piguet Frères master the cold plasma technology and the assemblies they are doing these days are far better than without that preparation… at such a point that their customer now gives them a lot more to assembly.
“In the microtechnique, we must be creative, we don’t want to do the same things as others do, we do want to give more to the customers to help them to go further too” – Pierre-André Meylan.

Piguet Frères S.A.
Le Rocher 8
C.P. 48
CH-1348 Le Brassus (Suisse)
tél.     +41 (0)21 845 10 00
Fax     +41 (0)21 845 10 09

www.piguet-freres.ch

Want to know more?

Don’t miss issue 363 of Eurotec!

Good day
py

PS: Issue 362 is ready, it will be posted tomorrow. Yeah! The fisrt one with the new concept, I’m eager!

PS2: For those who don’t know anything about nexialist, I recommend the excellent book by A.E. Van Vogt. Nexialist: One skilled in the science of joining together in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields.
He put the light on this “science” for his books called “Voyages of the Space Beagle” which is a very good book. An exploratory ship full of scientists visits planets far beyond the sun and other suns. The main character in the book is the only Nexialist on board and constantly struggle with the other scientists because they don’t consider Nexialism a “real” science. Needless to say, the Nexialist character is the hero because of his ability to pull together useful things from several different scientific fields.

Want to know more about the n0vel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voyage_of_the_Space_Beagle

Pierre-Yves Schmid, publisher