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08/01/2022|Heppler GmbH

Productivity Plus thanks to the B-Axis and Robo2Go

Founded in 1984, Heppler GmbH from Spaichingen has made a name for itself as an expert contract manufacturer in numerous industries. Together with Heppler Montage-Technik GmbH and Kuder GmbH CNC Technik in Herrenberg, which are also a part of the group of companies, a total of 340 employees concentrate on the production of products for the electronics industry, mechanical engineering, the hydraulics sector and the medical industry, among others. 

Heppler GmbH
Unmanned night and weekend shifts – Heppler produces complex hydraulic components, such as this stainless steel housing, on the new CLX 450 TC with Robo2Go.

Heppler has been using machine tools from DMG MORI for its manufacturing since 2018 – first for training and soon also for daily business. The fleet of machines now includes ten machining centers and turning machines. Recently a CLX 450 TC with Robo2Go was installed – the first example of a new turnmill center delivered by DMG MORI. Along with five NHX 5000s including an RPS 14 rotary pallet storage system, Heppler uses other automation solutions.

“Our positive growth is partly the result of having concentrated on future-oriented industries,” says Dieter Heppler, managing director of Heppler GmbH. “As a service supplier to these industries, we will only retain our competitive edge if we can continue to develop our expertise and optimize processes in a sustainable way.” Heppler therefore regularly invests in education and further training, as well as the modernization of its machinery. Modernization measures include replacing older machines, increasing capacity and automation of production.

CLX 450 TC: From plastic to stainless steel, precision to within tens of microns for all batch sizes

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Heppler uses 3 NHX 5000s for automated manufacturing of hydraulic components made of stainless steel, which are all automated with an RPS 14-station rotary pallet storage system.

Contract manufacturing often includes the most diverse requirements as part of dayto- day work. Dieter Heppler can attest to this: “We frequently change over production of components that are sometimes highly complex and have to machine them to high precision, within tens of microns, from different materials from plastic and copper through to aluminum and stainless steel.” This is the reason why his team relies on advanced manufacturing solutions. “Only in this way are we able to produce our range of components economically.” The latest example of one such manufacturing solution is a CLX 450 TC, which Heppler recently added to its fleet of machines. It is the first model of the new turn-mill center that DMG MORI has installed at a customer’s site.

Dieter Heppler, managing director together with Astrit and Patrick Heppler, Heppler GmbH

„We have been able to achieve growth of up to 15 % in recent years through innovative manufacturing technologies and flexible automation solutions, such as the CLX 450 TC with Robo2Go, or the NHX 4000 with 14-station rotary pallet storage.“

Automated entry to 6-sided complete machining thanks to the B-axis and Robo2Go 

With the CLX 450 TC, DMG MORI has developed a turn-mill center that offers its users affordable entry into 6-sided complete machining. “This favorably-priced machine concept was a convincing reason for the acquisition,” reflects Dieter Heppler. Since then, the CLX 450 TC has been responsible in particular for complex workpieces made of aluminum and stainless steel. “We also installed a Robo2Go from DMG MORI so that we could use the machine for unmanned third shifts overnight and at the weekend,” explains Dieter Heppler. In particular, smaller batch sizes can be processed completely autonomously in this way. For larger series, work is limited to simply loading the Robo2Go. Heppler also found an efficient manufacturing solution from DMG MORI’s product range for producing its wide range of hydraulic valve manifolds from stainless steel. The team produces components in small and medium-sized batch on three NHX 5000 horizontal machining centers with RPS 14. “The setup of towers in parallel with production provides a real boost to productiv productivity,” says Dieter Heppler. With 14 positions for 500 × 500 mm pallets on two levels, it is possible to load numerous orders while the powerful machine continues to mill. Up to 60 m/min rapid traverse and 1.2 g acceleration speaks for itself. The compact design was another reason in favor of the automation solution with RPS 14: “The ratio of capacity to footprint is perfect for us.”

Flexible automation solutions for the future 

Heppler uses 3 NHX 5000s for automated manufacturing of hydraulic components made of stainless steel, which are all automated with an RPS 14-station rotary pallet storage system.

Heppler will continue to practice its modernization philosophy when making future investments. “Growth of up to 15 percent in recent years has confirmed our decisions,” sums up Dieter Heppler. That is also why future purchases will be made with the same considerations in mind: “Innovative manufacturing technology and flexible automation solutions play a central role in this.” A fourth NHX 5000, also with RPS 14, will be installed early in 2022.

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