As a member of the global Binder Group, MPE Garry GmbH in Füssen concentrates on the development and manufacture of progressive tools and connector systems. So that it can machine the tiniest radii and contours on punches and dies with high surface quality, the Füssen toolmakers place their faith in the quality of wire-cutting machines from Mitsubishi Electric.
A multitude of customised variants.
In 1987, MPE Garry GmbH in Füssen evolved out of Werkzeugbau Lotter GmbH founded in 1974 in Buching. MPE Garry has been a company of the Binder Group, a globally active manufacturer of electrical connector equipment, since 1991. Using metals and plastics, the total of six companies of the Binder Group develop, design and produce electrical connectors. Their customers can be found in virtually all branches of industry, ranging from machine and vehicle manufacture, automation and medical technology to computer engineering and building equipment. In addition to designs conforming to international standards, the Binder Group produces a multitude of customer-specific variants. At the Füssen location, roughly 90 employees handle the assembly and sale of high-grade connector systems. These are used for detachably yet reliably interconnecting rigid and flexible circuit boards with multicore data cables. Precision toolmaking in Füssen is of outstanding importance for the corporate group as a whole. About 15 employees here develop, design and fabricate high-precision stamping and bending tools. Using these, the company produces a variety of stamped parts in large series from 0.1 to 2 mm thick fine sheet metal on several fast-running presses. In Füssen and at other locations, these are then assembled with plastic bodies into complete connectors.
Maximum precision and superlative surface quality.
“As a competence centre of the Binder Group, we in toolmaking at MPE Garry are concerned above all with stamping and progressive tools for very small pins and flat connectors. We concentrate on ingenious, finely detailed tools that we produce for standard and custom connectors. The required component parts are mainly produced from highly alloyed, hardenable steels. We assemble the modular tools, run them in and then produce the components for a variety of electric connectors in large series,” says Rudolf Trakies, head of toolmaking in Füssen, explaining his team’s work. The toolmakers at MPE Garry also work sometimes under subcontract for neighbouring production firms as well as repairing worn or damaged stamping tools. As Trakies reports, the fabrication of individual components for progressive tools places special demands on the production equipment. The tool inserts often have edge lengths of only a few millimetres, and the penetrations in the dies are often only a few tenths of a millimetre wide. Equally, the punches often measure only a few millimetres in size and have radii of less than 0.1 mm. “This is why we pay attention to maximum accuracy and high surface quality in production,” Trakies adds. Innovative technologies ensure quality and reliability Because of its strict insistence on high quality, MPE Garry has chosen machines from Mitsubishi Electric for wire-cutting. The employees have been familiar with these wire EDMs for almost 20 years. Only a few months ago, the toolmakers in Füssen sold a 15-year-old, trusty FA20 and bought a modern MV2400R to replace it. The specialists at MPE Garry now work with two wire-cutting and one die-sinking machine from Mitsubishi Electric. With the MV2400R in particular, they can achieve an exceptional combination of high accuracy, process security and reliability. Trakies explains: “It goes without saying that we are at pains to keep our production equipment in line with the current state of technology at all times. This is the only way we can stay true to our philosophy of ‘Reliability, quality and responsibility’. In advance of this investment, we compared the wire-cut EDMs on the market. From our point of view, Mitsubishi Electric alone with its MV2400R offers the optimum of functions, features and optional extras for high speed, accuracy, surface quality, dependability and efficiency.” Trakies bases his assessment among other things on the advanced direct drive technology with Tubular Shaft Motors. In combination with the linear scales on all axes and rapid optical data transmission, it ensures maximum accuracy at high working speeds. The latter enables MPE Garry to maintain its status as a competence centre of the Binder Group, as the toolmakers in Füssen have to repeatedly stand comparison with the global competition. “What counts is not only high quality, but also throughput time. Only those who are fast enough will earn further jobs. In this respect, we see ourselves under a special obligation towards our partners throughout the Binder Group,” Trakies adds.
Standing comparison with the global competition.
In addition, Trakies has explicit praise for the special functionality of the MV2400R. This refers, for example, to the automatic wire threader. The toolmakers in Füssen mainly work with thin wire 0.2 mm and occasionally down to as little as 0.05 mm diameter. This is the only way to cut intricate contours and tiny radii. However, these fine wires have a greater tendency to break. Olaf Burkhardt, programmer and operator of the MV2400R, explains: “The extremely dependable wire threader of the MV2400R is a real godsend. The machine can be relied upon to find the right position in the kerf after wire breakage and safely rethreads the wire without a water jet.” The toolmakers at MPE also achieve maximum accuracy in terms of parallel cuts and vertical wire running in tiny inner and outer radii by making use of the functions of the V350 generator with its Precise Finish Circuit at lower cutting speeds. Maximum surface quality up to Ra ≤ 0.10 µm is assured by the proven DFS fine finishing generator.
Comfortable operation, competent service
In ever quicker succession, the toolmakers at MPE Garry have to produce progressive tools for customised connectors at short notice. This is why they attach so much importance to simple operation and programming and high availability of their production equipment. Here, again, the MV2400R scores well. Since the toolmakers were already familiar with the user interface of the old wire-cutting machine from Mitsubishi Electric, it only took them a few days to learn the ropes effectively on the new machine. “What stands out is Mitsubishi Electric’s strategy of cautiously modifying the user interfaces despite the introduction of futuristic technology. This makes for a smooth transition. Operators can build on what they know and trust and quickly learn how to make efficient use of the new functions and options,” says Burkhardt in praise of the strategy of the AdvancePlus CNC control. In Füssen, the programmers mainly write the CNC programs on the external CAM system (PEPS). Via a server and data lines, these are transferred to the MV2400R, where the operator can make minor adjustments. Burkhardt elucidates: “As far as the technology data are concerned, our employees can resort to their experience. However, the new machine technology often permits significantly better parameters. For these we can resort to Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated database. The useful thing is that we can in turn store our individually optimised parameters in the database.” Thanks to this convenient programming and operating strategy, the toolmaking department at MPE Garry was able to work productively at the new MV2400R after only a few days. In the event of uncertainty or the need for support from the machine manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric’s after-sales service is always on hand – service that meets with wholehearted approval. As Trakies confirms, a skilled contact is always available within half an hour during normal business hours. “He competently supplies us all the information we need so that we can get the wire-cutting machine up and running again without delay. And this of course contributes to the high availability of the MV2400R,” he adds.
However, the quality and modern technology of the MV2400R are not the only decisive features in its favour. As Trakies reports, similarly crucial are its overall efficiency, profitability and energy consumption. Once again, the current technology from Mitsubishi Electric is awarded top marks by the toolmakers at MPE Garry in Füssen. “Throughout the group, we are committed to reducing energy consumption, upholding energy efficiency and using resources sparingly. And this applies of course not only to the building services and office wing, but also to production,” Trakies explains. The MV2400R satisfies all the requirements in exemplary fashion. Compared to the old, proven wire-cutting EDMs, it reduces filter consumption, for example, to about a third or a quarter, on the basis of experience to date in Füssen. As a result of the optimised generator, wire consumption is significantly reduced. Overall, it requires up to 30 per cent less energy than comparable wire-cutting machines. For Trakies, this is a compelling factor: “When we purchased the MV2400R it was also a question of benefiting from attractive financing terms with the aid of selected subsidies. However, these subsidies are strictly tied to energy savings of at least 25 per cent over the previous production installations. With the MV2400R, we had no trouble negotiating this hurdle.”
Name and place of company:
MPE Garry GmbH
Number of employees:
Development and production of progressive tools and connector systems
Sauber Motorsport AG
MPE Garry GmbH
87629 Füssen, Germany
Tel +49 (0) 8362 9156-0
Fax +49 (0) 8362 9156-500
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