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‘Grinding out’ cold-forming tools

Spanish toolmaking specialist is a long-term user of Studer cylindrical grinding machines

Posted on 04 May 2024 and read 769 times
‘Grinding out’ cold-forming toolsSpain-based TEMSA Metallurgical Group, a leading manufacturer of special tools for cold forming, is housed in an 8,000m2 high-tech plant to the west of Barcelona, and has around 100 employees. Explaining cold forming, Alfonso Vivar — the company’s production manager — says that with this process, metal below its recrystallisation temperature is ‘forced into a specific shape’ using high compressive and tensile forces.

“Compared to metal-cutting operations, cold forming allows for shorter processing times per workpiece, thereby reducing costs in series production. The process also ensures high strength, while accommodating complex geometries — and it achieves excellent surface properties.
“Components produced using this method include those for high-tech industries such as aerospace and automotive, but they necessitate using right skills and special-purpose tools, which for TEMSA includes grinding machines from the Swiss company Studer. In fact, we have been using the company’s machinery in our production facilities for many years.”

“Our team can manufacture special tools in short lead times and in a tolerance range of just a micron, but achieving these requirements means we use only the best machinery — such as our new Studer S100 internal cylindrical grinding machine that we acquired earlier this year, along with a FavoritCNC universal cylindrical grinding machine. We have confidence in the technology and value the positive relationship we have with the manufacturer.

Studer“We find the S100 to be a great all-rounder, one that offers maximum precision thanks to its numerous options for internal, face, and external grinding — and it accommodates a wide range of workpieces up to 550mm long. The FavoritCNC is a CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine for individual and batch production of medium-size workpieces up to 680mm long.

“Moreover, both machines offer premium technology, such as machine beds of solid mineral cast Granitan, as well as a hardware-software combination designed to ensure ease of operation. We also have a Studer S131 for internal cylindrical grinding. This has the patented StuderGuide guide system, a turret wheelhead with up to four grinding spindles, and an additional C-axis — features that make the machine ideal for the high-precision manufacture of flanged parts and smaller workpieces in a wide range of applications.”

Customer Service

Mr Vivar says customer service is also a key requirement for TEMSA and highlights the benefit of Studer having several contact persons who can speak Spanish. “This helps to ensure easy and direct communication. We also value Studer’s offer in terms of preventive maintenance. This includes regular and routine inspections of our machines by Studer’s technical personnel and is designed to minimise the risk of production failures and improve their operational durability.”

Riccardo Delai, Studer’s sales manager for ‘Latin Europe’, visits the TEMSA plant in Barcelona on a regular basis and is in frequent phone contact with TEMSA employees. He said: “The personal contact is extremely important as it helps me to know what is working well and what needs attention. Moreover, we have recently appointed a local service technician for Spain, to ensure a faster response to customer inquiries.

Studer“We also consider Spain to be an important market for future growth, not least because of the Spanish government’s support, along with that of the European Union, for local companies investing in high technology. We are delighted with the international success of TEMSA as a fully Spanish company, and it clearly demonstrates what can be achieved with advanced technology, such as that from Studer.”

TEMSA’s success story goes back more than 30 years when the fledgling company produced high-precision tools from tungsten carbide and steel. Through consistent investment in employees, expertise, and ‘state of the art’ systems, the Spanish company established an excellent reputation and today is a world leader in special tools for cold-forming processes.

TEMSA was also an early adopter of automation as a means of making production more efficient. One such example is a robot arm that automatically sorts numerous tools and allocates them to machines according to requirements and processing cycles.

Mr Vivar added: “We want to move automation up a level in the future, which is a real challenge, although this is another area in which Studer is a valuable partner, having ample experience in customised and standardised automation solutions. For example, the S100 can be equipped with a loader interface and automatic sliding door and thus integrated into an automated production line. The S131 also has a standardised interface for a loader and peripheral equipment.”