Development, production and servicing special machinery and machine parts are the mainstays of Zander EMS GmbH. The company develops and manufactures sophisticated equipment and components, especially for automobile industry clients. Two HEDELIUS machining centres provide the required precision and flexibility.
“I‘m a down-to-earth sort of businessman,“ Jürgen Zander says of himself. This is also clear from the company and its philosophy. In 2007, he founded Zander EMS GmbH in Schondorf am Ammersee, where he began manufacturing components for local car industry clients in a rented hall space. Just four years later, the company moved to its own, larger production site in Landsberg am Lech. Today, eleven years after the company was founded, Zander employs ten members of staff to develop, construct and produce special machinery, systems and equipment, manufacture replacement parts and remake existing parts. His former landlord has come along with him and is now a subtenant of Zander‘s facility, while also a partner. „He has machines that we don‘t have, and vice versa, so we help each other. We like working in partnership together,“ says Jürgen Zander, who is the Managing Director of the enterprise. Two of the machining centres operated by this Landsberg-based special machine manufacturer come from the north German machine factory HEDELIUS. A RS 605 K20 has been used for production since 2013, while an ACURA 65 followed in summer 2017.
Design, construction and manufacturing
„Among other things, we produce individual parts and small-batch series for car industry clients, but we also manufacture components for the food industry, the construction sector, the aerospace industry and sheltered workshops,“ says Jürgen Zander of the company‘s customers. Such customers, most of whom are internationally based, generally provide Zander with designs, which he uses to manufacture the parts. However, it is not uncommon for the company itself to have to draw up a design and develop, construct and then manufacture parts. This requires a certain amount of flexibility. Zander recalls that this was the main reason for choosing the
RS 605 K20 by HEDELIUS: „We were looking for a machine that offered a maximum of flexibility, that could process small and large parts alike, and that had a small installation area.“ The combined 3- and 5-axis machining centres can, for instance, process inlet hinges of only 3 x 7 mm in size, but also 1,300 x 1,000 mm aluminium base plates. „We have also machined aluminium bars measuring 2,600 x 50 x 50 mm in the past. These are simply pushed sideways through the loading hatch,“ says Zander, enthused by the flexibility of the milling machine.
Precision as a decision criterion
Jürgen Zander relates that the situation was quite different when it came to deciding to purchase the ACURA 65 in 2017: „As our parts cover a vast spectrum, we needed a large tool magazine. This would allow us to process a great many parts without constantly having to insert new tools.“ With 65 tools as standard, the magazine of the 5-axis ACURA 65 machining centre with rotary tilt table more than fits the bill. And with travel distances of 700 x 650 x 600 mm (x/y/z) and a 500 kg clamping weight, the ACURA 65 is also extremely versatile. To prepare the milling machine for its range of applications at Zander EMS GmbH, it was also equipped with a more powerful spindle (14,000 min-1 and 29.00 kW), plus an internal coolant supply.
At Zander EMS, the ACURA is used exclusively for processing small-scale, sophisticated parts for which high precision is a must. It can handle a relatively large range of materials, from POM plastic, aluminium and tool steel to tempered steel, brass and bronze.
Up to 16-hour throughput time
Manufacturing at Zander EMS is never a monotonous affair – this becomes obvious also when having a look at the throughput times. Sometimes the aluminium base plates run for only 25 seconds, while rotor fixtures can spend up to 16 hours in a machining centre. In general, batch sizes range between one and ten parts. „If we ever repeat a part, we consider it to be a series,“ smiles Jürgen Zander, and adds, „We have to be flexible and solution-oriented within the market. That‘s how we set ourselves apart from the competition.“ Quality also plays an important role at Zander EMS, as the company regularly makes improvements to parts for machinery and systems that need to meet higher standards. Another important reason for executing good-quality work is clearly apparent: „When we deliver good-quality recurring replacement parts, the customer is happy and wants us to take over also servicing,“ explains Jürgen Zander. The machining centres supplied by the HEDELIUS machine works in Meppen allow the company to reach the required standard of quality.
„The service technician was sensational“
Both the RS 605 K20 and the ACURA 65 came equipped with Heidenhain controls. „Our employees were already familiar with Heidenhain, so we wanted to stick with them,“ explains Zander. The down-to-earth businessman also takes a practical approach to machine installation. As such, the two HEDELIUS machines were arranged at a 90-degree angle to one another, allowing short distances. If necessary, this enables one member of staff to work on both machines at the same time. They are predominantly programmed via CAM software. Small and simple parts can also be programmed on the machine itself.
Together with the technical properties of the machining centres, Zander was also impressed by the human side of HEDELIUS as a family-run company. „We rarely have any problems with the machines, but when we do, service is always good. The service technician that set up the ACURA was absolutely sensational.“