Considerably reduce delivery time

Supfina | Průmyslové stroje a těžká technika | Wolfach, Germany

Considerably reduce delivery time


Case Study

Precision surface machining manufacturer uses Solid Edge to considerably reduce delivery time


Using synchronous technology, Supfina Grieshaber responds more agilely to market requests

Reacting more flexibly

Supfina Grieshaber GmbH & Co. KG (Supfina) has its origin in two companies. In 1903, brothers Albin and Bruno Grieshaber founded a craft business in the Black Forest, which spawned the company Grieshaber Drehteile (Grieshaber Turned Parts) in Wolfach, Germany. The Bergische tool factory, established in 1910, changed its name to Supfina in 1951 and, from that time on, concentrated on special purpose machinery and mountable modules for superfinish, a machining production process in which complete surface contact is between tool and workpiece. In the 1960s, demand for superfinish surfaces increased. The Grieshaber family recognized the market potential and, like Supfina, concentrated on manufacturing superfinish machines. The two companies began cooperating in 1972 and finally merged in 1995. Supfina Grieshaber GmbH & Co. KG has about 190 employees. A market leader, the organization has a sister company in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States and a regional office in Beijing, China.

Customers in the automobile, roller bearing and precision industries require superfinish parts such as pinions, camshafts and crankshafts, roller bearings and rolling elements and plane surfaces. The machines are produced according to the requirements of each customer, including production quantity, cycle time and the workpieces.

Successful switch to 3D design

Until 2001, the designers’ main tool was a 2D computer-aided design (CAD) system. However, requirements changed. For example, a client wanted proof for encumbrances through finite element (FE) model calculations. Markus Müller, project manager and the company’s CAD officer, designed the necessary 3D model with a free demonstration version of Solid Edge® software, the 2D/3D CAD system from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens Digital Industries Software, which came with a trade magazine as part of a marketing program.

“Our decision to introduce Solid Edge in the year 2001 was forward-looking and appropriate for our company,” says Müller.

The designer was impressed by the easy operation, so he modeled additional components. He was able to figure out the software without training. Within a short period of time, he was convinced that Solid Edge would bring significant improvements to the company’s design process.

“At the time, only the very best was good enough, so right away my boss was open to the suggestion to introduce a new CAD system,” says Müller. Today 28 licenses are in use at Wolfach, with another seven at North Kingstown. In addition, the company has three licenses for Solid Edge XpresRoute, the module for designing pipelines, and one license for Solid Edge Simulation FEM, an integrated calculation solution that is available for all the designers.

Together with Siemens Digital Industries Software solution partner ISAP AG, an ideal hardware was determined in connection with the current upgrade during intensive testing; the high-performance workstations are equipped with high-class Intel® CORE® i7 dual-core processors.

“At a high frequency, the processor cache proves to be a bottleneck of the application,” says Müller. Loading a machine assembly consisting of 15,000 individual parts in this configuration takes only a minute, and opening and loading system assemblies takes only a couple of seconds. Rapid handling of large assemblies through special functionalities has always been one of the advantages of Solid Edge. “We are very satisfied with the performance,” says Müller. “There is no delay caused by opening times that take too long.”