Machines are an investment in the future.
HIMATEC – a family business that aspires to quality.
HIMATEC GmbH & Co. KG
Modern technology, highly skilled employees and a clearly defined corporate strategy are the cornerstones of the success of HIMATEC GmbH & Co. KG. “We don’t talk about quality, we produce it,” co-manager Severin Himmler explains. “That was the guiding principle of our parents, who founded the company in 1985, and it is still our aspiration today.” Since its foundation, HIMATEC has developed steadily, employing around 45 people and specialising in the manufacture of single and series parts, fixtures, test benches and assemblies. So that it can meet its wide-ranging requirements, HIMATEC relies on advanced, forward-looking technologies and machines. In 2018, for example, the company completely replaced its EDM equipment, commissioning four new Mitsubishi Electric eroding machines and a start-hole drilling machine.
For HIMATEC co-managers Daniel and Severin Himmler, everything revolves around quality. In doing so, they define the term quite broadly rather than reducing it solely to product quality. Reliable delivery and good customer relations are also important to them. And their success speaks for itself. Today, around 45 skilled employees work at the company headquarters in Berg near Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate. These are the sought-after specialists when it comes to the manufacture of single and series parts, fixtures and assemblies. HIMATEC also develops and produces high-quality injection moulds and measuring devices for the plastics industry in the medical, automotive and electronics sectors.
“We manufacture assemblies and complex individual parts in different batch sizes,” Severin Himmler explains. “Our customers appreciate our flexibility and above all our high vertical integration. With our comprehensive machine park, we cover all the machining operations required in our machine manufacture and toolmaking.” The manufacturing processes available include CNC milling as well as turning, wire-cutting, die-sinking, grinding and much more besides. The automated 5-axis simultaneous milling and turning centres with a large variety of workspaces are especially important for the company. “However, machines only do a good job if they are properly operated,” Himmler explains. “It is our employees, with their commitment and know-how, who deliver quality.”
35 years of machine manufacture
It all started classically in a garage. Armed with plenty of ideas, a milling machine and a saw, Erhard Himmler and his wife founded Erhard Himmler Maschinenbau in 1985. This was followed by rapid growth. Only four years after its foundation, the first extension building for production went up. Today, some 35 years and 3 extensions later, the founder’s sons Daniel and Severin have now taken over the reins of the company. “Our customers appreciate our wide range of machining options. As a contract manufacturer, we cover all milling, turning and eroding processes as well as assembly and toolmaking”, says Severin Himmler listing the various activities. “Our customers get everything from a single source. We have the entire machining process in-house and therefore under our control. This means we also have direct control over deadlines. Compliance with delivery deadlines is a central issue and is just as important today as the price.
We can only operate profitably with a machine park that is capable of meeting current and future requirements. A bonus in Mitsubishi Electric’s favour is the machines’ robust standard equipment.
manager at HIMATEC
Specialists in complex tasks
HIMATEC has a huge product range. In addition to the production of highly complex individual parts and injection moulds, this also includes automated mass production inclusive of various surface finishes and assembly work. “We can machine almost all materials, from stainless steels, aluminium and tool steels to the various plastics predominantly used in electronics,” Himmler explains. “In production we have a broad set-up and supply prototypes and/or one-offs, and anything from small series up to series of up to 5000 items.
For the two managers, the business’s advanced, forward-looking equipment forms the basis for their success. They invest in it regularly so as to keep their machine park constantly up to date. This also entails the replacement of older machining centres and ongoing automation. With each investment HIMATEC hopes to appeal to and attract new customers. “The technologies that will be important for us tomorrow depend on our customers’ requirements,” Himmler explains. “But we’re always ready to develop further and go new ways.”
A major investment was due for HIMATEC in 2018. So they can continue to offer their customers the immaculate processing of tools and moulds with state-of-the-art EDM equipment, the company replaced both the die-sinking and wire-cutting EDM machines.
Practically fail-safe and consistently precise
The two new Mitsubishi Electric EA12S and EA28V Advance die-sinking EDM machines and two Mitsubishi Electric MV1200S NewGen and MV2400S NewGen wire-cutting EDM machines went into operation in 2018. “We rounded off our investment with a new start-hole drilling machine,” explains Himmler. “When investing in our machine park, we always compare the offers of all manufacturers very closely and examine the data in detail. When we invited tenders for five systems, we studied the market very closely and evaluated the performance, prices and service of the major manufacturers.”
The comparison went quite clearly in favour of Mitsubishi Electric. One of the decisive factors was the company’s very positive experience with Mitsubishi Electric eroding technology. Himmler has been particularly impressed by the virtual fail-safety as well as the consistent precision and simple handling of Mitsubishi Electric machines, as demonstrated over two decades. “Of course, price is also an important criterion, but not the only one,” explains Himmler. “It’s the overall package that counts. We can only operate profitably with a machine park that is capable of meeting current and future requirements. A bonus in Mitsubishi Electric’s favour is the machines’ robust standard equipment.
Dependably through the night
For production to be cost-effective, a process-safe unmanned third shift is required. Automatic wire threading is crucial here, because a wire can also break. This made a reliable threading system essential for HIMATEC. “We knew that the system worked,” explains Himmler, “but we were a little sceptical about the heights given by Mitsubishi Electric at which the wire is safely threaded into the kerf. “After a year in operation,” the managing director continues, “we have not yet been able to challenge the machines at all the heights, but we have gathered plenty of experience and know that the system is working to our complete satisfaction.” For the company, this means a boost to process reliability. “This is the only way we can perform several tasks in a single clamping,” Himmler stresses, “and have long-running jobs reliably performed at the weekend.”
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