This is now the fourth HEDELIUS that Alwin Lamping, owner and director of the LWM Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH, has in his machine park. It did not take the tool manufacturer from Vechta, Germany, very long to decide. He had already seen the ACURA 65 in action at the last AMB in Stuttgart and was immediately impressed by this extremely compact, high-performance machine.
In the last few months, the new machining centre at LWM has already paid dividends. The ACURA 65 is used to produce many individual parts, such as mouthpieces for extrusion tools and headpieces for melt tubes. What makes it special? Some of the workpieces are set up before the weekend and are left to run unmanned over the weekend. Machining workpieces without operator intervention is an important topic at LWM. “Some tools have a running time of two to three weeks, and the machines run around the clock, at weekends and on holidays”, explains Lamping.
Over the last twenty years, LWM Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH has developed into a medium-sized tool manufacturer, which has made a name for itself in the field of thermoplastics and elastomers, in particular.
Successful tool manufacturer for the plastics industry
Starting out by running a side-line business after work, Lamping has built a successful tool and machine manufacturing company in the course of the last two decades. In the beginning, the qualified metalworker made tools for a business partner in the plastics industry, working in an area measuring just 150 square metres. Today, products for national and international customers, from the construction and automotive industries, for example, are produced in three production halls. Tools from LWM are used to produce building and façade seals and profiles and gaskets for motor vehicles.
“Seals for doors in hotels, museums or airports, for example, are produced using our tools”, says Lamping. His company has not specialised in just one or two branches, however. It remains extremely flexible. “If someone has a problem, then we solve it. We just have to see what we can come up with”, is how the businessman describes his company’s philosophy. He continues: “Our customers’ requirements vary greatly, but are always demanding.” Often, LWM has only projection drawings to work from, without any detailed specifications. In addition to tools, special machines for processing plastics, and particularly for the production of elastomers, are also manufactured by LWM in Vechta.
Diversity and complexity as a recipe for success
The high level of flexibility of this medium-sized company is also reflected in the production process. Here, individual components are manufactured, almost exclusively. The product spectrum ranges from extrusion heads and guide pieces for extrusion tools through to complete injection moulding tools weighing up to four tonnes. The variety and complexity of the products is also part of LWM’s winning formula. “Where our expertise is required, there is less competition,” says Lamping. “You have to have specialist knowledge and make a name for yourself.” He also insists on the highest standard of quality and functionality when it comes to the manufactured products. “We test our products very thoroughly before they go out to the customer. I have to guarantee that they work.” In order to meet the customers’ high expectations and the company’s own high standards of quality and functionality, LWM’s machine park includes four machining centres from HEDELIUS.
Long processing times with no operator
LWM’s business relationship with HEDELIUS began 15 years ago. “I needed a machine to produce tools for gaskets”, remembers Lamping, thinking back to the purchase of his first HEDELIUS, the BC 125 3500. “HEDELIUS was the only company that could build the machine the way I needed it.” The machine has been in permanent use ever since. “There hasn’t even been a Christmas when the BC 125 wasn’t running”, reports Lamping. “The machines work continuously. You just have to leave them to work in peace.”
Over the years, LWM has grown. And as the company has grown, so has the machine pool. From HEDELIUS came a further C80 2300 and a Tiltenta 7 2600. And last year, the ACURA 65 was added.
Some components and injection moulding tools often have to be machined using long tools, such as long drills with small diameters, in particular. “When drilling deep holes, we need a high flushing pressure, which is why we decided on pressure booster pumps”, explains the entrepreneur, which is why he equipped both the T7 2600 and the ACURA 65 with a booster pump.
Tools always available
A noticeable feature of the HEDELIUS machining centres installed at the company is the standby tool magazines that stand behind the T7 and the ACURA. The advantages are obvious to Lamping: “We need a very large number of tools. The tools in the magazine are all measured. This means that I can let the production run unmanned overnight, because all of the necessary tools are in the standby magazine.” Michael Lamping, the owner’s son, who has also been active in the family-operated company for some time, adds: “I wouldn’t want to take on a machine any more that doesn’t have a standby magazine.”