360° solutions from HELLER
Heller, Machining

Future manufacturing with 360° solutions from HELLER

HELLER’s trade fair appearance at AMB focused on 360° performance – a holistic view of the requirements of modern manufacturing. Based on this principle, the machine tool manufacturer wants to provide customers with successful solutions helping them to produce reliably and at competitive per-piece costs in day-to-day manufacturing – with maximum availability and productivity – even in challenging times.

With the compounding crises of the economic situation, Covid, energy, material supply and Ukraine, the acronym ‘VUCA’ is on everyone’s lips. In response to this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous time of change, HELLER is taking a constructive approach to the ‘VUCA’ world based on: Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. “We are here for our current and future customers in the metal cutting industry. We provide solutions that contribute positively to our customers’ success. To achieve this, we are taking a holistic – 360-degree – approach to manufacturing solutions. That is part of our vision. To this end, we listen and we look closely. Understanding begins with listening, but there is much more to it than that. We also draw decisive conclusions. Clarity in communication, clarity and precision in terms of solutions and clarity at all our contact points is of paramount importance to us. To achieve this, we all require agility. Because when the pace of change accelerates, agility in adapting to the general conditions must also increase,” explains HELLER CEO Reinhold Groß. It is with this understanding that the machine tool builder is meeting current and future challenges. “Our primary goal is and remains to ensure the success of our customers. And our 360° solutions presented at AMB have been designed to contribute to this,” Groß continues.

Full spectrum of productivity

With the H 4000 and HF 5500, HELLER showcased the latest generation of highly productive 4-axis and 5-axis machining centres at AMB. Already in 2020, the company launched the second generation of the horizontal 5-axis machining centres from the HF series. The goal of this further development was to enable an even more universal application, both in single-part and series production. In addition to the existing options of interpolation turning and the use of the HELLER out-facing head system, the company now also offers a swiveling NC rotary table with turning function especially for the HF 5500 exhibited at AMB to cater to the various requirements in terms of complete machining. The prerequisites for this turning function are enforced drives in Z and A. The enforced Z-axis is equipped with two ball screws and two direct-driven absolute measuring systems combined to a gantry-drive system. Moreover, the HF 5500 is equipped with a DDT (Direct Drive Turning) rotary table, a spindle with locking function for the secure fixing of turning tools, the balancing technology cycle and with Siemens NC turning cycles.

The 4-axis machining centre model H 4000 is the fourth generation of the H series to be launched in the market. The machining centre is equipped with the SPEED equipment package for minimal idle times and highest dynamics, the SC 63i Speed Cutting Spindle (16,000 rpm, 40 kW, 103 Nm) and a chain-type tool magazine with 80 storage places. In particular, manufacturers and suppliers from the broad industrial sector (including machine builders, contract manufacturers, energy and fluid technology companies) are using the horizontal 4-axis machines for the production of medium to large volumes.

HELLER RSP Rotary pallet storage
HELLER RSP Rotary pallet storage (Pictures: Heller)

Automation solutions from HELLER

The main purpose of automated manufacturing and production centres is the reduction of idle times in order to optimise system availability. For this purpose, HELLER offers proprietary automation solutions that can be optimally combined with the highly productive HELLER machining centres. Due to the wide variety of market requirements, this portfolio is complemented by a range of specialised solutions HELLER is able to offer based on best-in-class partnerships.

The aforementioned H 4000 presented at AMB is equipped with a flexible robot automation from HELLER. The robot cell, equipped with a Gressel gripper system, is used for workpiece loading to the machining centre and enables flexible workpiece handling. In addition, a workpiece storage system to ensure unmanned shifts will be presented along with the demonstration of the user interface for easy and intuitive operation of the solution. HELLER will also be presenting the RSP 12H2 rotary pallet storage to trade fair visitors. With a total of 11 pallet storage locations, the automation solution enables flexible and automated handling of machine pallets and is predestined for series production of small and medium batch sizes.

Equipped for the factory of the future

In the context of Industry 4.0 and digitisation in production, HELLER years ago developed an innovative concept that further increases the productivity of HELLER machining centres, for example, through extended functionalities and service options.

The HELLER Services Interface focuses on the transparency of manufacturing, maintenance and servicing processes throughout the entire life cycle of the machine. The option provides the basis for evaluations and statistics and thus supports the reduction of machine downtimes. Visualisation of specific information about the machine status, including status displays of axes, spindles or other assemblies, enables users to determine the wear status and to take preventive measures in order to reduce unscheduled downtimes. These include, for example, the HELLER4Industry products ‘Energy Monitoring’, ‘Axes Condition’ and ‘Spindle Condition’, which have all been showcased on the HF 5500 exhibited at the trade fair.

The partner company IGH Infotec AG illustrated ways to optimise production in manufacturing. This includes data structures to EMS, APS, ERP/SAP, MES and CAM as well as the corresponding data analysis. A best-practice example is used to show the trade fair audience how to assess processes, identify problems and capture wastage.

HELLER Customer portal myHELLER
HELLER Customer portal myHELLER

HELLER Services

HELLER Services offer a comprehensive range of transparent and clearly structured services. As a reliable service partner, HELLER supports customers throughout the entire life cycle of the machine, ensuring productivity and availability – from project planning and through the utilisation phase through to the decision on reuse. The machines and services provided by HELLER are perfectly matched to each other in order to provide maximum performance and productivity in manufacturing.

The new myHELLER customer portal helps customers keep track of their entire machinery at all times. Ordering spare and wear parts has never been easier and can be done from anywhere and at any time. And what is more: service requests can be sent directly to the responsible HELLER contact.

HELLER business development in the first half of 2022

Last year, the global economy grew significantly by 6.1 per cent and the IMF originally expected a further discernible increase for 2022. However, the latest forecast has since been significantly reduced to 3.2 per cent. The correction is primarily due to the effects of the Ukraine war. Moreover, inflationary tendencies and supply chain bottlenecks had already been evident before. In addition, the extremely restrictive Covid policy in China is aggravating the situation. The effects are also noticeable in the current development at HELLER. Order intake has developed very positively and is more than 40 per cent above the previous year. The budget expected in midyear 2022 was also exceeded. However, due to the very difficult conditions on the supplier and logistics market, sales development in terms of new machines and projects as of 30 June 2022 initially remained below budget. Only with a certain easing of the situation on the procurement markets, HELLER will be able to clear the supply backlog and realise sales with a time lag. Irrespective of this, the global service business is developing well.