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Witzig & Frank Conquering Chinese Market By the Second!

Offenburg, May 9, 2016 – The machine tool manufacturer Witzig & Frank is offering ideal solutions for the increasing productivity requirements of Chinese industrial manufacturers. With the order of seven TURMAT rotary transfer machines valued at EUR 15 million, the Offenburg-based company is booking the largest single order in company history in Asia. The world's largest manufacturer of air conditioners, Gree, will produce 20 million parts on the machines annually.

Witzig & Frank, a member of the international Fair Friend Group, has been developing and building machines for over 150 years: starting with agricultural machinery, turning machines began to be made in 1919 and now so-called rotary transfer machines have been produced for over 40 years. With this machine concept, the necessary processing steps are divided among several stations to which the workpiece is automatically successively fed. This results in the ability to produce large quantities precisely in a short period of time. Manufacturers in the fittings, automotive and several other industries take advantage of this – wherever several hundreds of thousands of the same or similar parts are produced per year.

Among other things, this is also the case in the manufacture of compressors for air conditioners. It is therefore obvious that the world's largest air conditioning builder Gree from the Chinese province of Guangdong benefits from the productivity and quality advantages of production on rotary transfer machines. The success story of Gree Electric Appliances Inc. from the city of Zhuhai is an example of the rise of Chinese industry. Since its founding in 1991, within 17 years the company has developed into the world market leader with a current annual production of about 18 million units, 23,000 employees and production facilities in China, Pakistan, Vietnam and Brazil. To expand this position, the Chinese are focusing on internationalization, innovation and modernization.

The planned production of 20 million compressor flanges per year will be achieved with seven TURMAT rotary transfer machines. Each of the machines has ten stations at which two parts are processed or loaded/unloaded simultaneously – one finished part every 1.2 seconds. Keeping the parts supply and removal under control at this speed requires an intelligent automation. The raw parts are fed with the help of automated guided transport systems to bulk boxes, separated there automatically and fed to the devices in the correct position via camera-supported robot loading. The finished parts are removed by means of conveyor belts.
The expertise of Witzig & Frank is particularly benefitting in the design and implementation of the processing technology: "The basis of the production solution is the proven TURMAT concept, but we develop the machining process individually based on the respective workpiece," says Pascal Schnebelt, sales director at Witzig & Frank. The possibility of technology integration offers a decisive advantage, continues Schnebelt. Pick-up-turning, milling and drilling operations would ideally be combined within a machine. The customer thereby receives an individual production facility that meets the highest quality requirements and at the same time achieves a very high output. The 10-station processing machine with more than sixty (60) NC axes and a weight of about 40 tons achieves the highest possible output due to the double-spindle machining.
The machines will be set up tp produce several parts for pre-acceptance at the Offenburg plant, and then the seven Turmats will take the trip to Zhuhai. The time frame for the project is very tight. Schnebelt: "The first machine is currently being built and all systems are to be delivered by September 2016. The job has many challenges, for the customer as well as for us. We are proud that Gree has great confidence in us and want to repay them for this as well."

The delegation of the Chinese air conditioner manufacturer Gree visiting Offenburg.

Caption: As part of the preliminary acceptance of the first machine from the large order of seven Turmat models, the assembly and application development were inspected.

Press contact:
Joachim Jäckl
FFG Werke GmbH                
Stuttgarter Straße 169
Tel.:  + 49 7161 1567 210