Everyone at Hans Möderer Werkzeug- & Formenbau GmbH, Leinburg, had good reason to celebrate. In October 2012, there was not only the company’s 75th anniversary to commemorate, but also the change of generations at top management level. And, on top of this, the company that sees itself as a big family had just invested in a second wire EDM machine from Mitsubishi Electric.
A welcoming reception with sparkling wine and soft drinks. Followed by an opulent buffet of hot and cold dishes, arrayed around a suckling pig turning on a spit. A mouth-watering sight for the guests, be they friends of hearty Franconian cuisine or more partial to fish and other seafood, cheese, fruit or desserts. But not only the buffet was substantial, but also the speeches in which company history was “served up” before the informal part of the evening.
After the welcome address by Managing Partner Norbert Neubauer, politicians turned in their speeches to the company’s development and accomplishments. The representative of Central Franconia’s Chamber of Trade also stressed that the world in 1937, when Hans Möderer established his business, was entirely different to today’s. There were neither smartphones nor the Internet or email. A good deal has happened in the 75 years since its foundation, reported Norbert Neubauer in his illustrated talk. At the beginning, Möderer’s lines of business could not have been more diverse. He produced turned parts to customer drawings, sold bicycles, mopeds, electrical appliances and sewing machines, drove workers from the surrounding villages to their work with his own fleet of VW minibuses, ran a petrol station and kept bees. Over the years, the company specialised before finally maturing with in some cases massive investment in buildings, the machine park and CAD/CAM workstations into a high-tech supplier to specialised machine manufacturers and into a maker of top-class injection moulds. A major factor in this was the decision to build larger moulds and components under subcontract. As a result, Möderer built another shop in 2007 and purchased for all production processes machines equipped with larger machining ranges. An example of this is the FA30-V wire erosion machine from Mitsubishi Electric with a machining range of 700 × 500 × 350 millimetres (X/Y/Z). The end of this phase of investment was marked by a FA30-S Advance as the second wire erosion machine, which went into operation just two weeks before the anniversary celebration.
“The first machine from Mitsubishi completely satisfied our expectations, so we didn’t investigate other options when it came to buying the second one.”
Möderer has been working with wire EDM since 1989. Sometimes in unmanned operation at night and at weekends. This is why the company demands very high machine availability. A demand that culminated in the purchase of the FA30-S Advance from Mitsubishi Electric in November 2007 and hence in a change in supplier. Neubauer: “We were happy neither with the competition’s service nor with the wire-threading system. Without a reliable threading system and our extra 20-kilo wire station, continuous unmanned operation would be out of the question.”
In choosing the FA30-S Advance, the operator went for a wire-cut EDM machine whose machining range of 750 x 500 x 410 millimetres (X/Y/Z) matches his maximum workpiece dimensions perfectly. The new, high-precision erosion system equipped with an Advance CNC control also has a greater cutting height than the FA30-V. Möderer had the machine fitted with the optionally available digital FS generator in order to achieve e ven better surface quality.
Now that the company has significantly extended its production capacity by adding the second system, it has been able to reduce its production bottlenecks appreciably and to free resources for new customers. Neubauer celebrated the anniversary in an upbeat mood: “The firs EDM machine from Mitsubishi Electric completely satisfied our expectations, so we didn’t bother to investigate other options when it came to buying the second one.”
“We are all members of the Möderer family and Möderer’s success is our collective success.”
With the aid of the wire erosion systems, the Möderer team fabricates extremely precise injection moulds from drawings and CAD data – from design and mouldmaking through to piloting. EDM business also comes from the machine manufacture sector if these are elaborate parts that cannot be cost-effectively turned or milled. An example of this is gripper components for injection moulding machines. Moreover, wire EDM for Möderer is also an alternative to milling if unusual geometries are called for or the delicacy of the workpiece necessitates an unconventional clamping arrangement. For EDM, in which no pressure is applied to the part, the workpiece can be simply laid on the magnetic clamping plate. Möderer mainly processes hardened mouldmaking steels as well as special materials that are difficult to machine conventionally, such as those required for medical technology machinery. Whatever the material, the company uses standard 0.25 millimetre wire. The workpiece sizes range from 30 x 30 to 700 x 800 millimetres.
Before the buffet was opened, senior manager Georg Weinmann, who has been managing the company since 1976 with his wife Ingrid and, since the mid-Nineties, additionally with their son-in-law Norbert Neubauer, delivered his speech. Together they have developed Möderer into one of the bigger mouldmakers in the Nürnberg region.
Georg Weinmann stressed the team spirit and pointed out that his company is like a big family: “We are all members of the Möderer family and Möderer’s success is our collective success.” And then the big moment arrived: Georg and Ingrid Weinmann handed over the management batons to Norbert Neubauer and his wife Andrea.
Today, the company certified to DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 sees itself as a specialist in the production of parts of any complexity. In the mouldmaking sector, the customers include the automotive and toy industries, manufacturers of cosmetic products and suppliers of automation solutions. With everything developing promisingly, Neubauer views the future with optimism. “We’ve positioned ourselves well in the last few years, overtaken some of our competitors and increased our circle of customers in the region. In view of this and since 95 per cent of our customers are located in and around Nürnberg so that both sides benefit from the short distances involved, I have no worries about the coming years. Our comprehensive service and ability to deliver at short notice are much appreciated, as this makes our customers aware of our determination to support them at all times.”
Neubauer asked his wife and parents-in-law over for a group snapshot. “The voice of a satellite navigation system would now say: ‘You have reached your destination.’ But don’t worry, a new destination has been entered and the route is already being computed.”
Name and place of company:
Hans Möderer Werkzeug- & Formenbau GmbH, Leinburg, Germany
Number of employees:
34 permanent employees, 4 apprentices and temporary staff
Tool- and mouldmaking
Hans Möderer Werkzeug-
& Formenbau GmbH
Tel +49 . 9120 . 18095 0
Fax +49 . 9120 . 18095 55
info @ moederer.de
As an electronics apprentice.
I’m to some extent naturally ambitious. It’s from this that I derive my motivation to be successful at work and in my private life.
Five years ago, the company was in the middle of a phase of growth. The investment in the FA30-S Advance marked the end of this phase. Now it’s a question of consolidation economically and in terms of internal structure.
We aim to stabilise the position that we’ve reached and build on it in a controlled fashion.
Jogging and singing.
Dependability and honesty.
I cut contours in metal with wire in the same way as I cut wood with
Hans Möderer Werkzeug- & Formenbau GmbH
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