Bruno Nussbaumer cannot imagine ever being anything but his own boss. He makes use of his freedom for the realisation of often surprising solutions for unusual machining tasks. In doing so, he can depend blindly on the reliability, quality and precision of the wire EDM machines from Mitsubishi Electric.
Cows with bells, clean mountain air and a view stretching across Ägerisee (Lake Ägeri) and beyond as far as Zugersee (Lake Zug): this is how one must imagine the small locality of Unterägeri in the Canton of Zug. Visitors often associate this Swiss idyll with images of holidays and idleness, and perhaps a cosy little farm like the one conjured up by the story of “Heidi”. It therefore comes as something of a surprise to discover someone here with an industrial business. A small sign on the house reads “Bruno Nussbaumer, Erodiertechnik”, telling us that the occupier is an EDM specialist.
Never at a loss for words, Nussbaumer gives his visitors a warm welcome and leads them straight into his workshop. Here, cheek by jowl, there are three wire EDM machines, all from Mitsubishi Electric, and a small office with a PC workstation – all this on about 100 m². The machines are busily at work. In view of the idyllic rural surroundings, visitors may well wonder what Nussbaumer produces here, particularly as this is a one-man business.
Nussbaumer explains with a smile: “In this area, there are a large number of smaller toolmaking firms. In the wider region there are also relatively large manufacturers of electronics, medical technology and textile machinery, for example.” The supposed seclusion up in the hills of the Canton of Zug should not blind one to Switzerland’s pronounced regional structure. Distances of 50 to 100 km, not a problem today, used to be considered immeasurably vast. However, on the basis of his own experience, Nussbaumer believes that business success has nothing to do with the company’s location. For him, it is not a drawback, but a positive boon to be able to work every new day in this beautiful rural setting.
For Nussbaumer and, more importantly, for his customers, there are other reasons for his business success – namely, flexibility and creativity. Nussbaumer focuses on workpieces of a certain kind. On his three wire EDM machines, he fabricates almost exclusively prototypes and one-offs, and only rarely series of 5 to 10 workpieces. His customers come mainly from toolmaking for stamping, the textile industry and medical technology. The items concerned can be precision parts for sample tools, replacements for proven but worn components, e.g. thread guides, or prototypes for surgical instruments. In addition, numerous contacts have evolved over the years to more exotic clients. For instance, every now and then Nussbaumer machines replacement parts for classic vehicles, be they cars, motorcycles, trucks or tractors. Collectors and lovers of vehiclesall over the world appreciate being able to obtain replicas of such items as gearwheels, shift forks and control cams. Nussbaumer tells why he is so successful in this niche: “For these components, I as a one-man business have the necessary flexibility. In addition, I often have to display great creativity – as far as clamping the workpieces is concerned, for example. As I have the necessary freedom, I can act on my impulses and don’t have to subordinate myself to the organisational and economic constraints of larger businesses.”
With this philosophy, Nussbaumer has also established ties with another unusual customer – one that crafts exclusive jewellery for divers. These items are made of titanium and are wire-cut to design drawings out of roughly 2 to 3 mm thick sheet. Only with wire EDM is it possible to cut the in many cases minute and intricate details of the design out of the titanium sheet. “It is these tiny details that make the jewellery for divers so precious and unique,” Nussbaumer explains. The motifs are in most cases marine creatures, including dolphins, turtles, whales and sharks.
In over 25 years of using wire EDM machines from Mitsubishi Electric, I’ve never felt the need to switch to a different make.
“To achieve long-term success with this one-man business model you have to have the right machine park. The machines have to satisfy certain key criteria,” Nussbaumer reports. These include, in his view, dependability and quality. The wire cutting machines from Mitsubishi Electric, he believes, are unique in this respect. He has been working solely with machines from Mitsubishi Electric from the outset. He has come to really appreciate them over the years. After over 12 years, he has recently parted company with an FA20. Right to the end, the machine operated dependably and without any loss of accuracy. But Nussbaumer attaches importance to keeping up with the state of the art. And the Mitsubishi Electric MV1200R embodies just that. “It’s more compact than its predecessors, so it’s ideal for my workshop,” says Nussbaumer. He is full of praise for the machine. “Wire consumption is lower, yet the machine runs faster. Together with lower power consumption, the overheads overall are lower. The innovative drive technology with the Tubular Shaft Motor also contributes to this.”
He is highly impressed by the wire-threading system on the MV1200R. Even given an only 0.2 mm wide gap orsubmerged, the wire is rethreaded reliably after a rare wire breakage. The new MV1200R generates extremely smooth, clean surfaces, eliminating the need for frequently arduous recuts. It also produces tiny and intricate contours in titanium with great precision. This is where the advantages of the Tubular Shaft Motor in the axis drives really comes into their own. Nussbaumer benefits from the work space readily accessible from all sides and from the universal clamping opportunities. As he explains, special jigs and fixtures are often required for prototypes and spare part replicas. “Using the MV1200R, I can give my creativity free rein. The professional solutions that I come up with quickly and flexibly give me the necessary edge over the competition again and again,” Nussbaumer adds.
Maximum comfort and all the functions for quick and creative programming
He finally mentions the advantages of the Mitsubishi Electric control. “The control is consistently geared to the needs of wire-cut EDM. It offers maximum comfort and all the required functions for quick and creative programming. I also appreciate Mitsubishi Electric’s systematic approach to product refinement, making it possible to switch without difficulty to the latest model. Users can resort to their existing knowledge of features and operation and gradually acquaint themselves with the new functions,” says Nussbaumer summing up his experience.
Name and place of company:
Bruno Nussbaumer Erodiertechnik
25 years ago
Number of employees:
Wire EDM of prototypes, sample
parts and single parts
Bruno Nussbaumer Erodiertechnik
Tel +41 41 7506106
Fax +41 41 7506107
Dependability, punctuality and flexibility.
Using my creative ideas to realise surprising, inexpensive and professional solutions for unusual challenges.
Every machining operation has to be right at the first attempt, from the first component.
The concentration on prototypes, on particularly complex and difficult machining operations, and a shift towards the in-house generation of ideas and innovation.
The close and usually personal contacts with customers in the sector, and the friendly relations in the big family of toolmakers.
Looking back, I’m still very happy with my decision to go-it-alone.
I enjoy going on skiing, hiking and also mountain-bike tours in the mountains, and up to a few years ago I particularly loved to glide in silence with my Delta (hang glider) and look down on the world from afar.
Hydroplaning with my brother in Canada in a single-engine sports plane.
Given an exciting-sounding inquiry that challenges my creativity, I find it hard to say “no” even when my books are currently full.
Many more eventful years in good health with my family.
Bruno Nussbaumer Erodiertechnik
How Bruno Nussbaumer found his calling
25 years ago, working for an agent for machines in Switzerland, Nussbaumer was mainly responsible for the wire cutting and die sinking EDM segment. Since he regularly machined sample parts for potential customers at the test centre, he was fully conversant with the technology and became aware early on of the exceptional features of Mitsubishi Electric wire EDM machines. When the agency closed, he simply took over the machines from the test centre. Making use of existing business contacts, he started offering wire cutting and die sinking EDM services as a jobshop. After a while, he shifted entirely to the wire-cutting of prototypes, sample parts and difficult one-off items. Business took off. Obtaining work solely on recommendation, his services have provided him with a thriving business
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