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Batch & Job Production

SW North America Boosting Efficiency

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The Michigan-based CNC machine and automation supplier helps customers save time, space and money.

“Whoever buys a SW machine will benefit from it for a long time.” James Campbell explains that SW builds its machines to last, as opposed to equipment that is meant to be frequently phased out due to the wear of a few years.

“Our machines are made for generations of high-volume production,” he declares. “There are customers who have had our machines retooled four times and they are still running. Supported by our ‘life’ services, the machines still have high availability. ‘High’ for us means greater than 95 percent. Almost every issue with an SW machine can be resolved with a call to our Service Hotline, however we can also send our experienced SW Technicians to a customer’s location. No matter how remote it is.”

The current market conditions make SW machines a good fit for its clients in the automotive, medical, firearm, aerospace and agriculture industries.

“Everyone is looking at how to reduce their costs,” Campbell says. “You can do that with multiple spindles. You lower your cost per piece, labor and energy costs while also saving precious floor space.”

Campbell is president and CSO for the New Hudson, Mich.-based company, which is a subsidiary of Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, a machine builder based in Germany. “We build exclusively horizontal CNC machines with up to four spindles,” he says.

SW has been making multi-spindle machines from its very beginning and added automation to its business in 2015, which creates a great benefit for everyone with big production lines who don’t want to deal with the integration issues of different vendors.

After machines are manufactured in Germany, they are transported to SW’s location in Michigan. SW North America then does the rest of the customization like fixtures, tools, programming and run-offs before shipping to clients. SW also provides expert support during installation and remains onsite until the machine is running qualified parts. “Everything the customer needs is done over here: engineering, installation, service, spare parts and aftersales.” Campbell affirms. The automations are completely assembled and run-off in the Michigan facility.

Raising the Bar

The BA W06-22 is a particular source of pride for Campbell, a twin-spindle, horizontal CNC machine. With 600 millimeters between the spindles, “It is a linear drive machine that moves 100 meters per minute.”

“It’s a top seller in the U.S. and one of the fastest machines on the market, which is why we have revamped it to be even more efficient.” SW will be introducing the latest version of the BA W06-22 to the market soon.

As a twin-spindle, the machine doubles the output of a single spindle machine. Not only does this use space more efficiently, but labor, time and energy as well. The machine is built to be fully accessible for automation and maintenance. “The chip-to-chip time is 10 percent faster,” Campbell says.

The other new feature is the C | One Control Panel. SW’s own panel performs multi-tasking condition monitoring and enables data communication across multiple machines.

SW has also redesigned the look of the BA W06-22. “It’s a sleek machine with new colors and features,” he says.

Adapting to the Times

SW North America keeps abreast of shifts happening across the many industries within their customer base. Many companies, for instance, have increasingly been struggling to find and maintain a qualified labor force. However, “If an employer is going to find good machinists, they need to be in a position to provide attractive compensation,” Campbell says.

This is just one of the many areas where the advantage of SW machines comes into play. “We have customers which locations are so remote, they can’t find more people to operate their machines. So, we come in and help them with the switch to multi-spindle machines.” Fewer machines need fewer operators.

Following the principle of quality over quantity, “We’re hitting in the market very well,” Campbell says. “No one wants inefficiencies, or any wasted space and resources on their floors. Our machines are the best solution on the market in this regard.”

Legacy of Growth

SW North America continues growing by reaching new customers and developing new machines to help them adapt to ever-changing manufacturing advancements. “Despite the difficulties of this year for everybody, we’ve been continuing to support our current customers through remote maintenance. Our machines will help make up for the lost time created by the business shut-downs as soon as plants open again.”

Campbell is anticipating a bright future for the subsidiary. In 2017, SW North America celebrated the grand opening of its new, 50,000-square-foot facility with technology center in New Hudson. The company is far from finished, however. “We bought enough land to triple the size of it, which will happen,” he promises.

SW North America also wants to grow its presence with new locations in Canada and the United States. “We want to add facilities for spare parts and service to deliver even faster to our customers,” Campbell explains. The company prides itself on its ability to provide onsite support to its customers no matter how remote their location.

This is an exciting time for SW North America as it continues to grow not only in technological capabilities, but in terms of reach as well.

For more information on the full spectrum of machines, automation and engineering services, including technology demonstrations at the new SW North American headquarters and technology center, contact SW North America Inc. at 30160 Lyon Industrial Court, New Hudson, MI, 48165, (248)617-3800 or contact.na@sw-machines.com.

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