The innovative family business August Manser AG, with its headquarters in Altstätten, employs 80 people, produces complete technical solutions for its customers – from consulting and product development to precision production and manufacturing of mechanical assemblies or complete plants. True to the motto of "Swiss workmanship with the highest precision", the company's priority for all its products is not just constant high quality, but also absolute precision.
In order to guarantee both, August Manser AG continually invests in its own factories and its in-house machining facilities and equipment. The recently completed production facility at the factory in Kesselbach has a total area of 10500 m2 and provides ideal production conditions for precise manufacturing. A modern, computer-controlled air conditioning concept and a highly efficient exhaust air purification system, which guarantees high air quality and temperature stability, together with the latest state-of-the-art cooling lubricant processing plant, form the basis for the production of technologically demanding products. In the air-conditioned metrology laboratory of quality grade 1 the permitted temperature fluctuations are +/-0.4 K from standard reference temperature. The room temperature differences are 0.2 K/m. The Mikron MILL P 500 U from GF, a compact Milling solution which is designed for the highest performance and accuracy, was recently added to the multiple-axis Milling centres in the new production hall. As a result of increased demand from customers from industrial sectors, such as optics and the aeronautics industry, who require particularly complex parts with high precision, Manser was in need of a machine which was capable of coping with these challenges without restrictions. The company already owns several GF machines and is very satisfied with them – the procurement of the new Mikron MILL P 500 U was therefore a logical consequence.
However, Thomas Dietsche, Production Manager at August Manser AG, has high expectations of the GF Milling solution. As well as the required stable process reliability of 20 µm in the space, clean, precise prolonged machining and optimum ergonomics for the operator also play a role, helping to provide access for the daily loading of parts in a way which is easy on the back. On the Mikron MILL P 500 U the pallets are therefore near to the door opening. The daily loading of parts and accessing the machine is thus effortless.
The Mikron MILL P 500 U passed one of its first tests with flying colours; producing parts from grade 5 titanium and EN-AW 6082 aluminium for satellite technology.
The performance of the new MILL P 500 U was tested over several working shifts, using the integrated Automation with seven pallets. With success: During the machining period, for both materials the production tolerance on workpieces machined with five axes was reduced from 20 µm to 10 µm, compared with the previous machine. All this was achieved without the operator needing to make adjustments. The smooth running of the machine during the machining process also contributed to ensuring constant quality.
"We were pleasantly surprised by the constant precision – even with high-strength and tough materials, such as grade 5 titanium with 1000N/mm2. The machine is more precise than we expected with its tolerance of 10 µm in the space", is Thomas Dietsche's verdict.
For August Manser, the Mikron MILL P 500 U opens up numerous opportunities to machine complex small series using five-axis simultaneous machining, precisely and without any quality losses. The option of Automation also allows the company to work flexibly. "This is a great advantage for us, as we can now produce prototypes and individual parts during the day, whilst the Automation takes care of mass production at night and at the weekend. Machine and Spindle Protection (MSP) ensures that work can be carried out worry-free, because even if something should happen, we can start up our production again within 10 minutes without delays", Thomas Dietsche explains. He also regards the Mikron MILL P 500 U as a reference for his customers. "Our customers are also familiar with the good reputation of GF machines. The acquisition of this Milling solution is thus a sign that we are investing in the future, not just for ourselves but also for our customers."