Just classroom training machines? No way! Visiting machine tool builder EMCO Maier in Austria, its home country, showed MMS Editor Mark Albert that the company is an important producer of advanced turn-mill machines and CNC precision lathes for both production houses and job shops.
Editorial Director, Modern Machine Shop
The EMCO Maier Hyperturn 665MC Plus is one of the workhorses at Brisker GmbH,
a job shop near Vienna, Austria.
Last week, EMCO Maier brought a small number of metalworking editors to Austria to see its main plant in Hallein and to visit several customers. I was there to represent MMS on this tour. Although a longer report will appear in an upcoming issue of MMS, I can sum up my main findings by focusing on one of the company’s larger turn-mill machines, the Hyperturn 665MC Plus. This twin-spindle, twin-turret machine is NOT one you’ll find in a classroom where trainees are learning about the basics of CNC turning. Lesson one: EMCO Maier’s product line ranges well beyond training machines and includes turn-mills and CNC precision lathes. In fact, in most of its global markets, this side of the company’s business represents a bigger share of sales than its training machines.
One of the customers using this machine is Miba’s bearing plant in Laarkirchen, Austria. Miba is a global manufacturer of engine bearings, automotive components, automation systems and other high-tech products. Miba has more than a dozen EMCO Maier machines at the plant, including at least four 665s, each of which is equipped with a milling head on the B axis. These machines are used in the production of large piston bearings. Lesson two: EMCO Maier machines are well designed for production applications. The company offers its own automation options, such as the integrated gantry loader/unloader on Miba’s machines.
On the other end of the customer spectrum, we visited Brisker GmbH on the outskirts of Vienna. This 25-person shop and contract manufacturer has a Hyperturn 665 MC Plus (in addition to 16 other EMCO machines), which is used for the complete machining (done-in-one) of parts such as stainless steel housings for steering elements and aluminum and brackets for overhead stage lighting and sound systems. This machine has the optional Y-axis feature. Lesson Three: EMCO Maier machines have the flexibility and affordability attractive to job shops.
Currently, the company is renewing its efforts to grow the turn-mill/CNC precision lathe side of its business in the United States. Its U. S. arm in Columbus, Ohio has a new president, Patrick Welge, and vice president of sales, Dana Abshier, who accompanied the editors on the tour. Back home, they have been revamping the company’s dealer network to better sell turn-mills like the Hyperturn models and other precision turning technology. Lesson four: EMCO sees a healthy market for its advanced turning equipment in niche applications in this country. (The company will be at PMTS next month and will introduce several new machines at this show.)
We did visit two training facilities in Austria. One was at the Swarovski plant in Wattens, Austria. Swarovski is famous for its crystal products such as collectible figurines, jewelry and artwork. Like many manufacturers in Europe, this company takes the training of apprentices and a new generation of skilled machinists very seriously. Swarovski recently upgraded its training programs by installing more of EMCO’s industrial training models. Lesson five: the company is still a leader in classroom machines and in instructional systems.