Hofmann - Lichtenfels
Case Study Hofmann - Lichtenfels

Eliminating the see-saw

Innovation and customer benfit, these are the maxims that have established mould maker Hofmann of Lichtenfels enviable reputation. At Hofmann, measuring workpieces while still clamped on the machine has been an everyday occurrence for over seven years. Using touch probes and software from m&h, Hofmann has improved quality and reliability of the production process while speeding up the manufacturing cycle at the same time.

“We wanted to eliminate what we called “the see-saw” in the workshop,” explains Günter Hofmann, managing director of wellestablished mould making company in the Franconian Lichtenfels. The “see-saw” was the phrase used to explain the practice of moving parts from the machine tool to the CMM. If re-machining was necessary, the part went back to the machine then back to the CMM and so on. This explains Hofmann’s decision seven years ago to purchase touch probes and 3D Form Inspect software from m&h. Since then, workpieces have been measured directly on machines at Hofmann. “Sometimes we have parts so large that they can’t even fit onto the measuring machine,” he adds.

Like many companies, the “see-saw” was common practice at Hofmann for measuring workpieces. The practice of unloading workpieces and measuring them, then in case of any errors, setting them up again caused a considerable loss of precious time. At that time, Hofmann had fewer measuring machines than they have today. It was a massive bottleneck. “Three men stood around waiting for the results,” Günter Hofmann describes the situation before, still typical of many companies even today. In 2002 they saw the possibilities of measuring on the machine and equipped one machine with a touch probe and software from German manufacturer m&h. Even then the motto of the company was “Innovation born out of tradition”. Comparisons with results from the measuring machines showed no major deviations. Since the results were very satisfactory, several machines from DMG, Hermle and Matsuura were equipped with the m&h system...

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