The Result of Trust and Sophisticated Technology

Körber & Körber GmbH - The goal is to use chaotic single-part manufacturing to reduce lead times through improved utilization of operating resources. Körber & Körber Präzisionsmechanik in Birkenwerder has not quite reached this point, but has already achieved significantly more effective production flow. The 5-axis Fehlmann ma-chining centers VERSA 825 and VERSA 645, loaded via a rack magazine, play an essential part in this improvement.

It was a new start after the turmoil of the financial crisis in 2007. Peter Körber, who started producing parts and components for the automotive industry in 1977, sold his company and founded a new one, together with his son Benjamin Körber. Focusing on complex high-precision parts and lot sizes of up to 50 units, the company invested in a Fehlmann machining center for the first time in 2015.  Namely, the VERSA 825 with standardized automation.  However, in 2017 the capacities of this system configuration were already nearly exhausted. Peter and Benjamin Körber were completely satisfied with the VERSA 825, so they once more relied on the Fehlmann standard. For Benjamin Körber, this was a logical consequence of their experiences: "In view of such a large investment, we looked at more than simply the technical facts. We focused primarily on precision, process stability, flexibility with regard to design and automation, as well as customer service. A trusting relationship with the machine manufacturer was also important. Our experience with Fehlmann was exceptionally positive. This was another argument which made us opt for this solution". Since September 2017, this solution has been an automated production line compromised of the 5-axis machining centers VERSA 825 and VERSA 645 linear loaded with a rack magazine. This combination was not originally planned, as the VERSA 645 linear was initially meant to supplement the existing VERSA 825.  Why the VERSA 645 linear? Because its cooled torque motors and high-accuracy angle measurement systems turn it into a highly dynamic machine (up to 30,000 rpm) which offers maximum precision and thus perfectly fits the product line-up of the cutting experts from Berlin. Connecting it to the existing VERSA 825 would have been possible, but only with relatively high effort due to a lack of space. With that in mind, Körber simply invested in another VERSA 825 more or less spontaneously. Before the investment, the product line-up and the pallet sizes had been clearly defined by Körber. Therefore, Fehlmann suggested the use of EROWA Robot Compact 80 for loading both machines.

Automated 5-axis technology with excellent accessibility
Even though a trustful relationship with the machine manufacturer was the basic prerequisite in Birkenwerder, the focus for investment was clearly placed on production engineering details. The decision was made in favor of the VERSA 645, since its linear drives allow for reducing cycle times in a highly dynamic manner. It was not a question of saving seconds – however, being able to produce a part in 45 instead of 55 minutes was an argument that could not be neglected.  On the other hand, the VERSA 825 is better suited for larger parts and components and, thanks to the ball screw spindle, more robust machining tasks. This comes in handy, as the company is mainly machining aluminum, stainless steel, CrMo4 steels and even titanium. What really thrilled Peter Körber, however, was the accessibility of the machines: "Ever since we started working with Fehlmann, it strikes me again and again that we are working with single machines while using automation. This means that the concept of leaving the right side of machine completely free for automation purposes is well thought-out. This allows the operator unobstructed access to the machining compartment from the front for setup work and process control.  I have never seen anything similar from other manufacturers.  On the other hand, it is not necessarily self-evident that two different machines are automated together due to the interface problem". Regarding the chaotic manufacturing mentioned at the beginning, it should be noted that the Fehlmann MCMTM host computer system also contributes its share, since the MCMTM can be used not only for series production, but also for small batches in a cost-effective manner. To this end, machining order, zero points, etc. can be entered and the processing order, or even individual parameters, may be changed with a simple mouse click while the system is running. Körber & Körber currently produces in two shifts and in unmanned operation overnight (five machines are continuously in operation at night). There is a reason why the Berlin company has, in the meantime, invested in three additional Fehlmann machines - both for manual and CNC operation. The two high-precision PICOMAX 56 L TOP milling machines are used for machining the back side (6th side), while the PICOMAX 21-M serves for training purposes.

Unbeatable in terms of complexity and precision
Körber & Körber in Birkenwerder are not exactly unknown newcomers. Peter Körber had already made a name for himself with high-precision technology in the automotive sector. Today, the company is in the headlines with numerous awards. Father and son agree that Fehlmann also contributed a significant share to the economic success. "We have specialized in components which others refuse to produce, due to their complexity and precision. This is why we owe our success to Fehlmann to a certain extent, since they provided us with quality machines that allowed us to reach the required precision and productivity. Apart from this, we currently have the most state-of-the-art machine fleet in Brandenburg". Körber & Körber selectively invest based on capacity utilisation. They have once again reached the point they were at before the last investment phase. The machines are running at full capacity, delivery times are becoming longer, and Körber & Körber has already contacted Fehlmann in Seon, Switzerland.

By the way ...
Benjamin Körber: "This type of investment establishes long-term contacts and builds a foundation of trust.  I am sure that if I wanted to talk to Mr. Fehlmann, I would be able to get him on the line. 

As a side note
The Fehlmann host computer system MCMTM features a tool monitoring function. The highlight: If a tool breaks, the machine normally switches off. Not so with Fehlmann. Processing of any pallets that don't require the broken tool will be continued.

Körber & Körber GmbH Präzisionsmechanik at a glance
With 38 employees, the company produces complex milled and turned parts, as well as compnents - from individual parts up to small series. In addition to customers from the automobile industry, the clientele includes almost every industrial sector, such as medical technology, aerospace technology and manufacturers of measuring instruments. Even on the ISS, the International Space Station, a Körber & Körber part is installed in a camera.
Among other things, the company received the Digitizing Award (for digitizing the entire company), the Future Award and the Growth Award.

Körber & Körber GmbH Präzisionsmechanik
Mr. Benjamin Körber
D-16547 Birkenwerder
Tel. +49 3303/50654-11


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