Philippe Chandivert, operator of the MV1200S Tubular, has had the pleasure of an attractive workplace in a bright, light-flooded shop since May 2013. This was when GROUPE MARPOSS, which has 2,900 employees and operates 79 offices in 23 countries, united its three French companies, KERN, TRACE and MARPOSS France, on a single site. The customers of KERN and TRACE have been pooled as a result so that they can be served better collectively from a central location.
Fabien Vincentz, President of the united company, opens up Google Maps. “We now have our headquarters here in Chelles, a town on the Marne with a population of over 50,000 on the eastern outskirts of Paris. This also means that we are well served by transport links and easy to reach. Our company has been operating in France since 1968, but initially only sold products that MARPOSS produced in its home country of Italy. However, we wanted to build up production in France as well in order to broaden our product range and satisfy demand for French-made goods.” MARPOSS, the world’s biggest supplier of precision instruments for measurement and control in production, is maintaining the previously independent KERN and TRACE brands. Under the KERN brand, the French company produces mechanical measuring instruments for the automotive and aerospace industries, while TRACE is responsible for leak test equipment for the automotive industry.
Frédéric Lesot, Production and Purchasing Manager at MARPOSS in France, watches Philippe Chandivert clamping a workpiece in the MV1200S Tubular and placing a measuring gauge on the workpiece. “On this system we mainly produce components for control gauges and drives.” The material used by MARPOSS is cemented carbide measuring about 10 to 200 millimetres. Machining time varies. Depending on the size of the workpiece and the demanded quality, it can be anything from 30 minutes to 10 hours. The same components are also machined by MARPOSS on an EA12-V Advance die sinking machine from Mitsubishi Electric.
Lesot looks over the shoulder of the operator who has measured the workpiece surface with the gauge. On the basis of the data indicated by his handheld terminal, it is possible to compensate for the wire’s angle of inclination and adapt it to the exact workpiece length. “By using the MV1200S Tubular, we achieve better precision and surface quality. Previously, we used to award such work to jobshops or did them ourselves with the aid of a jig boring machine. The advantage of the changeover is that we can now handle larger production volumes per unit of time. We can now ease the pressure on the jig boring machine and spread our workload more efficiently.”
Asked why he opted for the MV1200S Tubular, Lesot stresses Mitsubishi Electric’s good reputation. The decision to invest at all in a wire cutting machine was taken because of the large volume of work in this field of metalworking. What is more, delivery problems had arisen among subcontractors. The company is now autonomous and achieves better delivery quality by handling the work internally rather than relying on outside jobbers. As to the performance expected of the machine, it is dimensional precision, positional accuracy and precisely machined contours that matter most to Lesot. This even applies to complex geometries. He also appreciates being able to cut angles on the MV1200S Tubular.
Lesot opens up his laptop and scrolls through the orders of recent few weeks. “These records demonstrate that the machine often runs at night and at weekends unmanned and thus boosts our efficiency. This is only possible because Mitsubishi Electric has improved its automatic wire threader.”
ARPOSS also benefits from the advanced drive of the machine with tubular shaft motors and the Optical Drive System and from the totally digital ADVANCE CNC control. According to Lesot, the machine thus cuts with greater accuracy and achieves better surface quality. In addition, he also expects the wire cutting machine to last a long time and sustain its high precision throughout its service life. At the same time, the MV1200S Tubular can be operated comfortably and with ease, he stresses.
To illustrate the working of an assembly carousel for the aerospace industry on which individual components are wire-cut, Lesot gives the carousel a push and lets it turn. “We commissioned the MV1200S Tubular at the end of December 2013 and expect it to pay for itself in five years. We chose this machine because of its high quality and the dependability of Mitsubishi Electric. We also asked fellow wire cutters for their opinions.”
The price/performance ratio was also attractive. Although the energy efficiency of the MV1200S Tubular, permitting up to 55 per cent energy savings, was not decisive for MARPOSS, the machine’s very low operating costs yield plenty of benefits for the owner. Filter costs are cut by up to 45, wire consumption by a maximum of 42 and deionisation costs by up to 25 per cent. There are also appreciable savings on filter cartridges and ion exchange media. These are due to reduced dielectric flow and the optimised generator technology of the MV1200S Tubular that make it possible to filter out the eroded material more easily. Vincentz expands on this: “Our company’s excellent performance in the last five years paved the way for the investment in a wire cutting machine. Ultimately, the purchase was inevitable for economic reasons alone. Thanks to our new structure and equally new production shop, we’ve substantially increased our production capacity in any case. We’re now receiving a growing number of orders that we can handle entirely on site here and we’re recording increasing sales particularly from the aerospace industry, an area that we’re keen to expand. But to come back again to the wire EDM machine from Mitsubishi Electric, I have to say that the investment has been a pioneering step in the light of the growth in our business.”
“By using the MV1200S Tubular, we achieve better precision and surface quality.”
Name and place of company:
Marposs S.A.S., Chelles, France
1952 in Bologna, Italy
Number of employees:
Measurement and control equipment
ZAC de la Madeleine
3, 5, 7 Rue de la Tuilerie
Fabien Vincentz: We develop and produce measuring instruments for industry.
Frédéric Lesot: In a large supermarket.
Frédéric Lesot: My work is my passion.
Frédéric Lesot: In addition to purchasing, I’m now responsible for production as well.
Fabien Vincentz: For the KERN brand, the aerospace industry will remain an important development factor. In France and internationally. The same applies to the TRACE brand that, through its branches, today achieves 80 per cent of its worldwide sales abroad.
Frédéric Lesot: I’m a self-made man.
Frédéric Lesot: At the weekend in the country.
Frédéric Lesot: Honesty.
Frédéric Lesot: I cut metal with wire the same way as others cut cheese.
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