The innovative company Metallverarbeitung Uwe Ebertz GmbH (MUE) has its headquarters in Sinn-Fleisbach, Germany. Since its foundation, the family-owned firm has expanded from sheet metal processing into a provider of extensive metalworking services. It uses modern German-made technology for this purpose, including the Tiltenta 7-3200 machining centre by HEDELIUS Maschinenfabrik GmbH.
Three big pictures with a motorsports theme hang in Uwe Ebertz’s office. One shows an orange sports car and the pit crew. In the middle of them stands Mr Ebertz. These pictures and a few trophies attest to the passion for racing that drives the energetic director of the Metallverarbeitung Uwe Ebertz GmbH (MUE). He has attended the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring several times, competing with several German motorsports legends and achieving considerable success. And this man of action also pours his ambition and enthusiasm for sportsmanlike competition into his company. He has steadily pursued his plan and overcome risks to develop a successful metalworking company with a great depth of production and commitment to quality. The family business now employs ten people and manufactures metal products for clients from the fields of machine construction, vehicle manufacturing, rail transportation and construction equipment production all over Germany.
Early investment in laser machining
It all began over 23 years ago in Sinn-Fleisbach. “I founded the company in 1995, when my former employer went bankrupt. That marked a turning point for me. I stayed in touch with the customers and set out on my own,” says Ebertz, giving us a brief glimpse of the company’s beginnings. At first, he produced sheet metal parts using benders, before investing in a laser. “I bought a Trumpf laser, which was something quite special back then. Very few firms were offering laser machining at that time,” explains the owner. Even at that stage, Metallverarbeitung Uwe Ebertz GmnH was at the very forefront of new technology and development. It has steadily expanded its range of services over the intervening years. Together with chamfering, bending and laser processing, it now also offers milling, turning, deep drawing and welding. “Over time, customers wanted more services from a single source. More and more, they needed sheet metal parts supplied with holes and threads, or entire assemblies,” explains Uwe Ebertz, recalling the expansion of the value-added chain. Having a wide range of services allows the company to provide different products to a customer, delivered within a reasonable timeframe and to a high standard of quality. Mr Ebertz explains: “At the very beginning, we were buying in processing services, but we couldn’t get a sufficient level of quality on the market, or the speed that we required. Sometimes we’d be waiting several weeks for a product, and then it wouldn’t be up to scratch.”
Tiltenta 7-3200 for optimum flexibility
Together with a high standard of quality and superlative added value, this company in central Hessen also prides itself on its short and flexible delivery times. If sheet metal parts are required urgently, they may even be produced overnight for a client. A large materials warehouse holding over 50 kinds of sheet metal and types of steel allows MUE to respond to customer requests at extremely short notice. Milled parts usually may take a little more time, but the two milling machines are rarely idle. The most modern machining centre used in production is the Tiltenta 7-3200 from HEDELIUS, with a pivoting main spindle and Siemens controls. The machine, which was purchased in 2018, complements a small, 15-year-old milling machine, and, thanks to its large travel distances of 3,200 x 750 x 695 mm (x/y/z) and a workspace partition wall, represents a huge expansion in capacity and flexibility in production. “It keeps up with the volumes we need,” says Mr Ebertz succinctly. “We opted for this machine because it offered us lots of different possibilities. The partition wall allows us to create two working spaces, so that we can manufacture in one and set up in the other.” The variety and batch sizes of the parts processed by the company makes this a must. The smallest parts machined on the Tiltenta 7-3200 have dimensions of 80 x 40 mm, while the biggest are the entire extent of the travel distances. Everything is manufactured at MUE, from individual parts and small batches to large series of 8,000 parts per order. “We machine castings on the Tiltenta 7 in large-scale production with a tolerance of one-tenth, but also process aluminium and stainless steel parts with an accuracy of up to one- to two-hundredths,” reports the owner, highlighting the challenges posed by such manufacturing processes.
Saving on set-up times with extensive accessories
The company also produces extra stock in order to utilise the machines to capacity. The high-performance medium-sized company has customers that request specific parts at regular intervals. These are manufactured in advance and stored. This also means greater flexibility and faster response times to customer requests. Besides the workspace partition, the company ordered a number of other accessories for the Tiltenta 7-3200. These included the extended swivel range, a greater rotary table load, a 50-bar booster pump and a stand-by tool magazine. Thanks to the large magazine, another 180 tool spaces have been added to the standard 33-compartment magazine. A taper cleaning station has also been integrated, allowing tools to be cleaned and oiled automatically. Mr Ebertz is thoroughly impressed by the magazine: “When combined with the zero-point clamping system and the partition wall, the standby magazine significantly reduces set-up times, allowing us to run batches without any interruption.”
In addition to metalworking, Metallverarbeitung Uwe Ebertz GmbH has gained a foothold in another sector thanks to its own products. MUE manufactures a range of self-designed stainless steel gas grills for the catering trade, with the latest addition a high-performance grill with upper heat of 850 degrees Celsius. It goes without saying that many of the components are made at MUE. And it’s hardly surprising that the company also develops and manufactures products for the racing industry. Around 25% of its turnover comes from its own range. Having such depth of added value has proven highly profitable for the company. Just as he does with his customers’ products, Uwe Ebertz is committed to high quality standards for its own goods. “Our products are entirely German-made, which I consider to be very important,” explains the managing director. This also applies to the products of his suppliers. When considering purchasing the Trumpf laser or the Tiltenta 7-3200 from HEDELIUS, one of his criteria was that the product had to come from a German manufacturer.