ERO GmbH from Simmern in Hunsrück is a prime example of a healthy, growing family business. And it is deeply rooted in the region in the truest sense of the word.
Founded in 1965 by farmer Heinz Erbach, the company initially built modern stable facilities. A few years later, the brother-in-law of the company’s founder, professional winemaker Herbert Roth, joined the company. The name ERO was created from the first letters of the two forward-thinking relatives.
Innovative is a word often used when describing companies. But here it genuinely applies in several respects.
The success story began 50 years ago with the first machine for viticulture: the ERO grape harvester. The presentation of the first grape harvester in 1981 was another milestone in the company’s history and was largely responsible for its continual growth. In recognition of this development, the company has received several awards, such as the German SME Innovation Award and the Enovitis Award from Italian winemakers.
Today, around 270 employees work for the company, most of them in the plant built in Simmern/Hunsrück in 2018.
"In our modern halls – which contain more than 15,000 square metres of production space – we also want to produce using the most cutting-edge and best methods," states Jan Inboden, who is responsible for ensuring operations go smoothly at ERO. He is constantly speaking to employees and is always on the front line. "We have a particularly wide range of components here, with batch sizes of 1-1000 units," explains Inboden. He stands in front of the ACURA 65 EL from HEDELIUS and seems very satisfied. "It’s exactly what we were looking for. A 5-axis machining centre that can also manufacture parts in a ghost shift, i.e. unmanned. In conjunction with BMO’s robot automation, this works smoothly with HEDELIUS."
Inboden pulls out a workpiece and explains how a fitting was milled. It always looks the same even after dozens of units are produced: "Above all, we have impeccable quality in terms of dimensional accuracy and surface quality."
Smaller batch sizes are also produced on the ACURA 65 EL. Quick access to the required tools is important to ensure the switch from one order to the next goes quickly and smoothly. Long tool searches and replacements only lead to unnecessary downtime and lower productivity.
The HEDELIUS has also impressed ERO’s machinists in this respect. This is because the standby magazine offers space for 180 tools. "This enables us to keep tool changeovers as a time and cost factor to a minimum!"
To ensure ERO's skilled workers can enjoy their evenings off, the machine is equipped with new, different blank parts at the end of the day. The 6-axis robot from BMO Automation then switches the required clamping device to the machining centre and automatically inserts the workpieces.
This leaves time to enjoy a glass of good wine, naturally harvested with ERO harvesters. This is what matters: that everyone benefits in the end. "That includes those who don't even know the ACURA 65 EL exists," says Inboden with a smile. It looks like he has already come up with his next idea. It's worth mentioning again: Innovation is not just a buzzword here...