Our trip across southern Germany continues. Our first visit this morning needs no introduction for most of you. Located in beautiful and ancient Esslingen, Germany, Index Werke has been turning out machines (pun intended) since 1914. Our host was my long-time friend, Senior Technical Manager Guenter Schade. He pulled together a nice room full of brass for us, including Dr. Bernd Walker, manager technical director, and Reiner Hammerl, managing director of sales and marketing. So, what did they have to say? Basically, Index continues to do as it has always done—build very good, high-technology, single- and multi-spindle machine tools. That said, my advice is stay tuned to Modern Machine Shop and Production Machining for details about what these clever Germans are up to (hint: grinding).
My friend and host, Guenter Schad, at Index’s multi-spindle facility.
Next up was a drive down the road to Emag in Salach, Germany. Head of Marketing Oliver Hagenlocher was in China, so he arranged for us to meet with Michael Sauter, head of Emag Academy, and Hans-Georg Hommel, senior project engineer. The group that is Emag represents 10 different and discrete machine tool builders. The idea is to offer a complete manufacturing process solution regardless of the operations needed. As an aside, Hans has spent time in the USA—in 1992 he set up the company’s operations in Troy, Michigan. In 1994, the company moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan, where Bob Cramer and later, Markus Heßbrueggen, set up and ran the company. To get your head around what 10 machine tools companies are doing together as a group, visit Emag's website.