PH Cell TWIN Pallets for two machines
Wehl & Partner Muster + Prototypen GmbH produced the first workpieces for customers in the automotive and medical sectors as early as 1994 – at that time still in a garage and with the help of a domestic oven to harden molds.
Today, the company has 80 employees at an ultra modern plant in Zimmern ob Rottweil and also operates from an additional location in Spain. There is also a subsidiary in Salach. The technological capabilities of Wehl & Partner include conventional machining, additive manufacturing and injection molding. To ensure only perfect samples and prototypes are delivered, the company relies on innovative manufacturing solutions from DMG MORI. 24 models from the machine tool manufacturer are used in production, including numerous, partly automated, 5-axis simultaneous machining centers. These include the two latest investments: Wehl & Partner has automated two DMU 75 monoBLOCKs and two DMU 50 3rd Generation machines, each via a PH Cell Twin from DMG MORI.
From the idea to series production
“Customers from, the automotive and electrical industries and the aerospace sector, among others, come to us with a plan and we realize their idea until it is ready for series production”, summarizes Robert Wehl, Managing Director of Wehl & Partner, speaking of his company’s service offer. He and his brother Alexander Wehl are second-generation managers of the company. He adds: “The challenge is to produce near-perfect series parts practically at the first attempt so we are able to meet the short delivery times.” Wehl & Partner usually receives 3D data first, which are checked for feasibility. Initial milling cycles are then created, followed by the development of tools for injection molding.
The precision of the workpieces is one of the most important requirements in Wehl & Partner’s daily business. “That’s why high-precision machining centers have been a high priority for us for many years,” says Robert Wehl, refering to the many DMG MORI machine tools In the factory. They include several DMU eVo linear universal machines, CMX 1100 V and M1 vertical machining centers and turning centers such as the CTX beta 800 linear and CLX 350. “We have had a good experience with the reliability of DMG MORI models across all machining technologies.” Alexander Wehl cites another reason for the long-standing and intensive cooperation with the machine tool manufacturer: “The product range is so large that we always find a suitable machine. For example, we use a LASERTEC 30 SLM in additive manufacturing. But above all, the in-house automation portfolio has been decisive for us for a long time.”
5-axis simultaneous machining for a wide range of components
The high significance placed on automation solutions is also demonstrated by the latest acquisition at Wehl & Partner. “To increase our capacity, we bought four new 5-axis machining centers in 2022 and automated them in two cells,” explains Alexander Wehl. For each cell we chose two DMU 75 monoBLOCK 2nd Generation and two DMU 50 3rd Generation machines, which DMG MORI automated in each case with a PH Cell Twin. Wehl & Partner had already been operating a DMU 75 monoBLOCK from the previous series since 2018 – reason enough for Robert Wehl to install this model again: “The new generation is an ideal machine for us because the work area is perfect for our range of components. Due to its stability, it also meets our high accuracy requirements of up to 4 μm.” The DMU 50 3rd Generation is an ideal addition for the manufacture of smaller workpieces. In the case of the two DMU 75 monoBLOCK 2nd Generation machines, the PH Cell Twin has 18 positions for 500 × 500 mm pallets. The PH Cell Twin for the two DMU 50 3rd Generation machines has space for 30 pallets measuring 320 × 320 mm. “These capacities mean we can load the two automation solutions very flexibly. This is ideal for the large number of different orders in sample and prototype production,” says Robert Wehl. His brother adds: “Above all, this has enabled us to expand our production capacity expediently to include unattended shifts at night and at the weekend.”
PH Cell Twin: Up to 30 pallets in a 12.9 m2 footprint
In view of the limited production space available, the compact design of the PH Cell Twin is especially useful. Alexander Wehl says in this context: “We are of course interested in manufacturing solutions that increase our productivity without us having to create additional space.” That has worked well with the two PH Cell Twins. “The just under 13 m2 required for each PH Cell Twin is optimal. This allowed us to put the existing machines a little closer together and thus gain sufficient space for the two new production cells.”
Trusting cooperation with DMG MORI
Regular investment in manufacturing solutions from DMG MORI is proof of Wehl & Partner’s satisfaction with the advanced CNC technology. According to Alexander Wehl, the same applies to the good cooperation with the machine tool manufacturer: “From machine selection to the design of automation solutions to service, we always receive first-class advice and support,” says Robert Wehl. “We will continue to cultivate this trusting cooperation in the future so we can remain sustainably competitive with modern manufacturing technologies.”
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