“We expect that this line, which is a large investment for us, will run nonstop and meet our high level of expectations for at least twenty years”. This sentence in the speech by managing director Christiane Riefler-Karpa had great significance for everyone present that evening. The employees whom she thanked for their involvement in the change processes of recent years were also given security in the knowledge that the company will continue being developed from the locations of Schwabach and Büchenbach. A fact that was also duly acknowledged by Mayor Helmut Bauz and Herbert Eckstein, member of the Bavarian parliament for Büchenbach in their speeches. After all, Memmert, with some 150 employees, is one of the most important promoters of growth and jobs in the region.
Herbert Eckstein tipped his hat to the courage with which Memmert is meeting the challenges in its markets and expressed his hopes to the managing director and the entire highly motivated workforce that the Memmert philosophy will always be rewarded by the right decisions, made at the right time.
In his address, Büchenbach’s mayor Bauz emphasised that you can indeed talk of Memmert as a family when you take a look at the many former employees present and the way in which the retirement of employees after 46 working years is celebrated. He expressed his pleasure that Memmert was located in Büchenbach and would also remain there, and presented Christiane Riefler-Karpa with an aerial photograph from 1953, in which the original Memmert premises can be seen.
The new punching and bending line impressively underlines that it is possible to manufacture competitively in Germany. Christiane Riefler-Karpa described the operational changes in the context of the 2-year value stream optimised production project, which was performed in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart Memmert wanted to be able to react more quickly to requests for customised appliance fittings, to transfer as many innovations as possible quickly to series production, and above all, to deliver considerably quicker than in the past. For this reason, new machines were purchased, a highly modern test bay for the final inspection of appliances was acquired, new production processes set up and workplaces designed to be more productive and at the same time more ergonomic.
Christiane Riefler-Karpa singled out technical manager Carsten Angermeyer for his commitment in implementing the value stream optimised production project, before finishing by recognising the multicultural cooperation at Memmert, following the inaugural address of new German Federal President Christian Wulff. The Memmert team is like the German national football team, and more. This is where Turkish dribbling, Prussian sense of duty, Swabian thoroughness, Italian lifestyle, Greek creativity, Vietnamese studiousness, Croatian diligence, Serbian attention to detail, Thai workmanship, Brazilian temperament, Spanish drive for success, Polish accuracy and of course, lots of Franconian enthusiasm for technology, inventiveness and hard work come together. The football analogy was an especially good one because two hours earlier, Memmert’s own football ground in Büchenbach had just witnessed its first game.
When the official part of the event was over, Carsten Angermeyer took over the introduction of the new line, with his enthusiasm being obvious all the time. Some 2,500 sheet metal parts for the housing of Memmert appliances can be cut, punched and bent on the 36-metre long machine. 11 articulated lorries were necessary to deliver the equipment, some parts of which weigh up to 21 tons. The roof of the factory building was extended and a concrete fundament installed, employees had to be trained, and Angermeyer explicitly thanked architect Damovsky and the companies involved, Salvagnini, Mangelberger and Riedel&Menzel, as well as those in the company involved in the project.
40 tons of stainless steel sheets can be stored in the storage tower of the punching and bending facility. The system itself consists of a punching / scissors combination with 50 tools, a manipulator to turn around the sheets, a small parts carousel and waste carousel, a bending cell with pre-cleaning and deburring, as well as various storage spaces for the finished parts. The core of the line is the centrally arranged portal, which sorts and stores the punched parts according to size and makes them available for the bending cell, depending on requirements and order priority.
Angermeyer explained that time savings of between 60 to 85% per metal sheet could be expected, with as much flexibility as possible at the same time. Special requests could now be integrated without problem, with no changes to the production sequence, since the new machine can work profitably even with just a single unit. In addition, there are economic advantages in terms of savings in logistics and space, as well as a reduction in cut-off by 50%, which not only benefits the environment, but also means considerable cost reduction considering the current prices for stainless steel sheets.
The managers present from the Italian manufacturer Salvagnini, which sees itself as the world market leader for customer-specific overall solutions for sheet metal processing, explained in a talk the uniqueness of the new Memmert system. The combination of the high degree of automation, the almost unlimited flexibility as well as the intelligence of the control software, which was developed together with Memmert over two years, has set new standards within Europe and beyond its borders. The Salvagnini managers also wanted to mention the fact that the principle of equal parts, developed by company founder Willi Memmert, contributes to a large extent to the efficiency of the machine.
After Carsten Angermeyer had green-lit to put the machine into operation, guests present were able to ask detailed questions, before the social part of the event began, at which the band The Black and White Company set the right mood.