HERMLE USA is off to a great start to 2022, posting one of its best sales months ever in January. Strong sales are always a great way to start off a new year, but those results are also indicators of two important industry trends that signal continuing success for the company for the foreseeable future.
The first of these trends is an increase in manufacturing returning to the United States. As a result of the global pandemic that has disrupted trade and industry over the past two years, more companies have recognized the risk that off-shore manufacturing and sourcing represents to their supply chains and the benefits of re-establishing supply sources closer to their own domestic operations. Also known as onshoring or reshoring, it’s one factor contributing to the sales success HERMLE USA has experienced recently, according to HERMLE USA President and CTO Gunther Schnitzer.
“More companies than ever are realizing the benefits of investing in equipment like ours that can produce the highest quality results with speed and precision, allowing them to meet the needs of the most demanding customers, generate new business and increase their competitiveness in the market,” he said.
The second trend driving sales is an increase in demand for more automation capabilities in CNC machines. While automation, whether it be through robotics, machine learning, or other forms, is not new, demand for these solutions has increased as production shops grapple with demands for increased speed and productivity combined with difficulty in finding skilled labor.
The majority of new machines sold by HERMLE USA incorporate at least one of the company’s automation solutions, such as HS Flex, HS Flex Heavy or a flexible automation cell which can handle material as well as pallets, according to Schnitzer. “The increase in demand for automated machines is definitely something we anticipated the last couple of years and we are ready to support the market,” he said. This support takes the form not only of equipment, but also training and service support to ensure that customers are able to successfully install, operate and maintain their equipment at the highest levels.
In addition to increasing the speed and productivity of machines in operation, automation also helps offset another, albeit less positive, trend in manufacturing: the difficulty of filling skilled labor positions. Increasing automation is in large part a response to the labor shortages facing the industry. Small and midsize machine shops in particular face challenges in these areas.
“In today’s manufacturing world it has become extremely important for many companies to be able to react quickly to constantly changing demand. Flexibility is key. In order to be competitive this needs to be accomplished with fewer people on the shop floor, with the highest rate of spindle utilization possible, ideally also working lights-out production and over the weekend,” said Markus Puntigam, National Sales Manager for HERMLE USA.
Many successful small to midsize businesses have developed clever and effective solutions to these challenges through the use of automation, but automation today is more sophisticated than simple robots that load and unload parts. It is essential that the overall automation environment is extremely reliable and robust, easy to understand and learn and flexible.
As a single-source provider of five-axis machining technology and automation, HERMLE does not outsource its automation solutions. All HERMLE automation cells are designed and made by HERMLE, including all mechanical components and most software elements. HERMLE is able to provide solutions from the smallest parts handling automation with robot handling up to pallet handling solutions of a maximum weight of 3,000 kg, in one-, two- and three-HERMLE machine cells, as well as numerous combinations of pallet and part handling solutions even with the integration of third-party machines in linear robot cells.
“HERMLE has truly a complete understanding of every detail in the automated cells we provide to our customers, who appreciate receiving total support through us,” Puntigam said.
To learn more about some of the innovative automation solutions HERMLE users have implemented in their business, read some of our recent user reports and case studies in the user report section of the HERMLE website.
About HERMLE USA Inc.
HERMLE USA Inc., headquartered in Franklin, WI, is the North American headquarters of Maschinenfabrik Berthold HERMLE AG, Gosheim. HERMLE USA Inc. has been supplying North American manufacturing companies from very diverse sectors with high-precision machines, production solutions, application support as well as customer training and service since 1987.