VILLA PARK, IL - An old proverb says "you can't bring the mountain to Mohammed," but Haimer USA is bringing its mountain of shrink-fit tool holders, tool balancing and other technology to its prospective customers via its new technology demonstration vehicle.
Mounted on the chassis of a GMC Top Kick C4500 diesel is a 6-by-10-foot traveling showcase that features the latest shrink-fit tool holders, a shrink-fit machine and a tool-balancing machine from Haimer USA. "The goal of the truck is to bring our showroom to the customer," says Product Manager Dan Sanchez. "It allows us to show customers how the machines work, and it allows them to actually use the machines and get a comfortable feel for how they work."
Sanchez says the vehicle provides an excellent follow-up for trade show activities since show attendees often are too busy during the show to focus too much on one exhibitor. In addition, by bringing the vehicle and its equipment directly to a customer's location, demonstrations can be done on their own tools. "As far as the balancing machine is concerned we can take their existing tool holders, and check how well they're balanced right there at their facility," Sanchez explains. "If need be they can correct the imbalance and do an apples-to-apples comparison, running a balanced tool and an unbalanced tool."
There is a misconception in the marketplace that only high-speed cutting applications can benefit from balanced tools. Sanchez disagrees. "The benefits of balancing are greater at high rpms, but there are always benefits to balancing. Unbalanced tools can cause tool wear, vibration that can damage spindles and result in a less-than-perfect finish," he says.
In addition to customer convenience, the demonstration truck has other advantages. It allows customers to get hands-on experience with the Haimer equipment and exposes them to the entire spectrum of Haimer products.
"It's very difficult to express to the customers how easy our machines are to use just by showing them a catalog," Sanchez continues. "The truck is invaluable. We've sold a lot of machines because we were able to let the customers use its machines. A lot of times, you bring the truck to a customer who is interested in either balancing or shrink fitting and they see the whole demonstration and become interested in both."
Tom Dickerson, Machine Tool Technology Department Manager at York Techical College in Rock Hill, S.C., experienced the original Haimer USA demo truck first hand in November 2006. "While in the truck I was shown the Tool Dynamic balancing machine and the shrink-fit machine," Dickerson recalls. "As I stepped out of the truck, I vowed that one day soon I would have one of each."
Conservative estimates are that 30-35 percent of the potential customers who see a demonstration on the truck actually make purchases.
The new demonstration truck replaces an aging Mercedes-Benz truck that was shipped to the U.S. several years ago by Haimer USA's parent company, Haimer GmbH, in Germany. Last May, when it was time for that original vehicle to be decommissioned, Haimer USA opted for a larger, domestically manufactured chassis and updated the technology in the spacious, air-conditioned demonstration area.
"We've come up with so much more technology and advancements with our products and introduced new products, so we wanted the new demo truck to demonstrate all of our capabilities as a company," Sanchez says. New software was installed on the balancing machine, a new-generation shrink-fit machine with an adjustable coil was added as well as a tool-clamping device and some of Haimer's new shrink-fit chucks and precision collet chucks.
The new demonstration vehicle, with an estimated value of $140,000, hit the road in October, says Sanchez who adds that after six months without the rolling showroom, the Haimer USA sales force can't wait for the new model to visit their area.
It spent its first months of service in Texas then moved to the Southeast region in January and February. The truck will make its way up the east coast in time for EASTEC show follow up in May, then move into Canada and the Midwest.
Haimer USA is the exclusive North American importer of the full line of products from the Munich, Germany-based Haimer GmbH. Those products include includes set-screw end-mill holders, face mill arbors, ER collet chucks, high-precision collet and shrink-fit chucks in the most extensive taper and size offerings. Haimer also offers the latest technology in shrink fit systems, balancing machines and three-dimensional edge finding sensor systems. In addition to importing Haimer products, Haimer USA is responsible for distribution, sales and service, installation and training throughout North America.
For more information, go to www.haimer-usa.com.
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