C 42 U | HS flex | Schulz | Precision for the semiconductor industry
For Schulz, appearance is the decisive factor. The goal of maximum precision characterizes every working step – from milling to ultra-fine laser machining. The highly specialized family business can find 3- and 5-axis machining centres meeting these requirements in Hermle's High-Performance Line.
"Perfection is almost always a must," says Michael Schulz, Managing Director at Schulz GmbH + Co, a family-owned company with 45 employees in Welzheim in Baden-Wuerttemberg. By this he refers not only to the components Schulz manufactures predominantly for the semiconductor industry, special machine construction and the measurement technology sector. Equally important to him is a tidy work environment – he is convinced that this is transferred to the way his employees work. And the environment must be even more than tidy: "We manufacture in some cases with +/- 1 µ accuracy."
Right from the beginning
Alfred Schulz, the senior manager and owner of the family-owned business developed his love for perfection as early as during his time as an employee. "I assembled handling robots and we had to rework many parts," he remembers. At that time he decided: "If I ever have an own manufacturing workshop, this will not happen to me." A project that he put into practice in 2002 after he founded Heckel & Co. GmbH together with two of his colleagues. They invested directly in a machining centre of Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG. The C 800 V of that date is still in operation – together with eight further machining centres from Gosheim now.
In 2012, the company owner took a decisive step for today's success when he paid off his co-founders. A turnaround which ensured a significant upswing, driven by the high standards with which Schulz manufactures its products. In 2013, the C 40 U and C 32 U marked the company's entry into simultaneous 5-axis machining for the rapid manufacturing of complex parts.
Automation times two
In 2018, production again reached the capacity limit and Schulz decided to invest in a C 42 U with HS flex automation. "At first we really had respect for the automation," Michael Schulz admits. But the fear of producing rejects and the feeling of uncertainty while the system was running unmanned proved to be completely unfounded.
"The automated system accomplishes as much as three of our stand-alone machines while relieving our employees of monotonous, repetitive tasks," Schulz says. As a result, the automated machining centre reached over 5,000 spindle hours within a year and was quickly running at over 100 percent utilisation. Convinced of the stability and benefits, the management team ordered a second C 42 U with flexible automation solution. "We now have a bit of leeway which we can use for maintenance work, for example," Schulz says. He also has Hermle do the maintenance work: "This makes perfect sense. After all, the Hermle technicians know the machines best and know what needs to be done."
Alfred and Michael Schulz are fully convinced of the stability and accuracy of all their Hermle machines. "We machine some of the components for weeks. Even after four weeks we need not make corrections. We are working in the tolerance range of five µ," Michael Schulz explains.