Safe and efficient working processes in machine building

Safe and efficient working processes in machine building

Workplace solutions from Weidmüller help to increase process efficiency at this global technology group

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The Bühler group utilizes the interplay between innovation and efficiency to generate a competitive advantage with high-quality, long lasting products. The Swiss machine building company specialises in industrial technologies for the food industry and advanced materials for the automotive sector. The tools, automatic machines and marking systems from Weidmüller play a huge role within their production process; particularly when it comes to the smooth planning of production and maintenance processes.

Reducing complexity and increasing efficiency

Modern machines and production plants are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, it is all the more important to keep the accompanying processes as streamlined as possible in order to prevent production disruptions and sources of errors. Another important point is the precise implementation of individual process steps, whereby the components involved need to function and interact with one another perfectly. For Bühler, efficient production is not an end in itself, but rather a key factor in maintaining their competitive advantage. “Every single day we work on making our processes more streamlined while also reducing the complexity”, explains Samuel Hauri, Group Leader of Engraving & Confectionaries at Bühler. “The workplace solutions from Weidmüller have played a major role in allowing us to succeed, time and time again in this regard. A good example of this is the marking systems,” Hauri continues. During the selection process, the company attached a great deal of importance to an easy-to-use application that would in turn lead to savings in terms of the time requirements. The M-Print® PRO marking software from Weidmüller is based on the logic of well-known office systems, which was a clear deciding factor for the company. “So far, we have very few, if any, downtimes to report,” says Samuel Hauri. “The contact partners at Weidmüller are available at all times to help with any issues that might arise, and always provide us with competent advice. This personalised support fits perfectly into our own processes.”

Reduction to a minimum

Bühler has made extremely good progress on the path to becoming a digital company. In the preliminary processes all data is already sent directly to the machine digitally. A well-structured work station is another component of this approach to Industry 4.0. Work stations at Bühler are regularly optimised in order to eliminate any unnecessary process steps or raw material from the process. “Lots of small improvements in this area help us to remain internationally competitive,” Hauri explains. “As soon as we have an integrated digital database, we will be able to implement any change requests from the customer in real-time during production. And this means no more production interruptions. This is why we are working hard to ensure that all CAE data will flow directly into the M-Print® PRO software in future. This will help us to eliminate any further media disruptions, with the motto of ‘reduce to the max.’.” Within this digital process, the M-Print® PRO software helps to ensure planning reliability in the marking production. The printing process has not only become quicker thanks to the use of the Weidmüller marking system. As the used material comes from the reel and is precisely marked, Bühler has been able to make annual raw material savings of 80% since it started to use the system.

“As if in perpetual motion”

Whenever tools fail, for example due to wear and tear, an interruption to the production process occurs. For this reason, Bühler looks for maximum quality when selecting its tools – and the challenges for suppliers in this area are extremely demanding. These include making sure that the products comply with the usual standards and regulations, allow for safe and easy handling, remain robust and reliable over a long period of time, and in turn help to ensure Bühler's internal process reliability. “Weidmüller meets precisely these criteria in a unique way. We use all of the workplace solutions on a regular basis, with 12 marking systems being used every single day,” says Samuel Hauri. “The Crimpfix LS always delivers consistent quality over several thousand crimping presses, and this automatic machine also works more quickly than an employee, who would need two different manual tools to carry out the same task. Switching to the automatic crimping machines therefore meant that both efficiency and quality were increased in equal measure. The automatic machines in particular, work as if they are in perpetual motion.” According to the qualified industrial specialist, the workplace solutions from Weidmüller are optimally tailored to the processes found in machine construction. “With its very reliable and quick service, Weidmüller is clearly one of the best suppliers in this segment. And the ergonomically adapted tools also do exactly what they need to do. They help contribute to our employees' satisfaction, which is another important success factor for us.”

Advantages of the "external warehouse"

In addition to all the necessary tools, automatic machines, printers and markers, the panel infrastructure can also be ordered from a single source with Weidmüller, additionally the option of ordering via the online shop simplifies the re-ordering process. In Bühler's case, this reduces the amount of internal storage capacity required, while also preventing still stand due to lack of materials. Switching to Weidmüller printing systems enabled Bühler to significantly reduce the number of marker types it holds in stock. This is because Weidmüller's portfolio of markers offers more than 700 variants for the components, connectors and cables of all manufacturers. Therefore, if Bühler uses components from different suppliers in addition to the Weidmüller products as part of an order, there is no need to convert the internal processes. Work can be performed with the customary quality and speed. Bühler enjoys the benefits provided by the “external warehouse”, which has allowed it to make reductions to its own stock; particularly in terms of breadth.

“The perfect partner for us”

Samuel Hauri is particularly impressed by the holistic approach followed by Weidmüller: “With Weidmüller workplace solutions, you can tell that they come from a supplier who is familiar with panel building. And the components are not only perfectly coordinated with each other, but also with our internal process chain. The reliability, high level of availability and the collaborative partnership – even with our global subsidiaries – also means that all our requests and requirements are covered. When it comes to workplace solutions, Weidmüller is the perfect partner for us.”

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