The United Grinding Group hosted its fourth Grinding Symposium in Switzerland’s picturesque Thun, a medieval castle city in the Bernese Oberland. Held between May 8-10, 2019, the event made for a picture-perfect setting to discover technical innovations and trends in all areas of precision machining.
With a turnover of more than €700 million, the United Grinding Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of precision machines for grinding, eroding, lasering and combination machining.
With its eight company brands, the Group offers a broad application knowledge, an extensive product portfolio and a complete array of services for surface and profile grinding, cylindrical grinding and tool machining. The eight company brands include: Mägerle, Blohm, Jung, Studer, Schaudt, Mikrosa, Walter and Ewag.
Grinding Symposium 2019
The three-day event, held under the motto ‘United for your Success’, focused on the issues of networked production, machine learning and intelligent workpieces attracting over 1,500 visitors from all over the world, including customers of the Group and international journalists to experience new technologies in precision machining and current trends in the manufacturing industry.
Technology presentations and lectures by partner companies and suppliers have always been the highlight of the Group’s Grinding Symposium. The new entrant this year was FutureLAB that presented innovative technologies of tomorrow.
Among the speakers, Marc Blaser, CEO, Blaser Swisslube AG, spoke on the ‘influence of coolant on manufacturing costs’; Dr David Bosshart, CEO, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for Economic and Social Studies, presented his take on ‘how can human and machine best complement each other?’; and Christoph Plüss, CTO, United Grinding Group, offered his views on digitalization and the Group’s Digital Solutions™ that can be of customer benefit.
There were also production topics such as practical experiences with the innovative WireDress® dressing technology from the United Grinding Group.
The partner companies presented their latest hardware and software solutions, including three product premieres.
Focus on Customer Success
“With the Grinding Symposium we offer our guests a forum for international, expert exchange at a top-class level,” said Stephan Nell, CEO, United Grinding Group, addressing world media in the press conference at the event. Heinz Poklekowski, CFO, United Grinding Group, also shared the stage with him.
Nell stressed on the goal which the company consistently strives to pursue, which is to make its customers even more successful. “With Precision and Passion as our corporate philosophy, our focus is on our customers and their success. Their success translates into ours,” he added.
A Glimpse of Tomorrow
The main highlight of the event was FutureLAB, through which the United Grinding Group demonstrated its future innovations which included additive manufacturing technologies and 3D simulation scenarios. The audience participation was high as the innovations fascinated them and piqued their curiosity as to what the future held for them.
The Group already offers products and services for the area of Industry 4.0 under the DigitalSolutions™ label. The FutureLAB further examined which digital solutions are conceivable in the production environment.
“Our aim in presenting these future technologies is to create a dialogue with our customers and to discover more about their individual expectations and requirements,” explained Plüss.
Nearly 20 machine tools from partner companies were on display to demonstrate new processing technologies and complete solutions of the Group. The brand-new ones included Mägerle MFP 30, Studer S31, Walter Helitronic Power.
With only 7.3 sq mt footprint, Mägerle MFP 30 is a 5-axis grinding center ideally suited for grinding complex geometries, particularly in the case of guide and rotor blades as well as heat shields for aircraft turbines.
Studer S31 is a cylindrical grinding machine that performs complex and varied grinding tasks. It can be used to produce small to large workpieces in single, small and large series production. It can machine workpieces with a maximum weight of 150 kg.
Walter Helitronic Power 400 and Walter Helitronic Power Diamond 400 were two new Helitronic models displayed. Walter’s latest grinding and eroding machines feature a grinding wheel/electrode changer and extended traverse, and can now machine up to
380 mm in length, surpassing the previous limit of 280 mm. This is an increase of over 35 percent.
Value-added Take Away
With a wide variety of options in machine tools displayed for an array of applications, the United Grinding Symposium 2019 ensured it offered all that is possible in precision machining. The views from the participants from India bear testimony to the Group’s successful endeavor to showcase the best and latest from the Group and disseminate knowledge on the current trends and technologies.
Over the course of 16 lectures, world-renowned experts expounded on the current and future trends from the grinding machine sector and the manufacturing industry.