Last update: 6.11.2017
Start-up companies show how it's done
Erkrath-based grinding-machine manufacturer, GSQ: Fast, innovative and successful
The 50-man team from GSQ in Erkrath developed, built and installed a new 44 kW strong, vertical blade grinding-machine at the customer's location in just four months. And this with a technology that is unmatched in the marketplace: „Until now, this type of machine was only available in a horizontal configuration. The vertical series has definite advantages, however: Amongst other advantages, it takes up less space and has a self-cleaning effect“, says Wilfried Clotten, member of the GSQ management board.
Market-ready in just four months: The VG5 from GSQ
On the new VG5, the blades are initially ground during the first work step, and then proceed automatically to the next station for fine polishing. The process for determining the slip-ring wear is also innovative. The slip-ring is measured after every grinding procedure. GSQ uses a new process that is different from the conventional machines: For this, the machine manufacturer trusts the BRANKAMP's decade-long experience and technology. „We deploy a sensitive impact sound sensor on GSQ machines, which is capable of providing accurate measurement values in the μ-range, even with extremely short contact-times“, explains BRANKAMP company official, Werner Ebeling. „We use our CMS ProcessMonitoring system, which has been proven in practice many times.“ For the new process, the slip-ring rides on a checking mandrel with a diamond tip. The impact sound pick-up immediately records the contact between the slip-ring and the checking mandrel. The connected BRANKAMP CMS system quickly sends a signal to the machine control system. The PLC machine software ensures that a wear-oriented adjustment is made on the slip-ring and guarantees therewith the smooth process.
Working successfully together: Wilfried Clotten (GSQ) and Werner Ebeling (BRANKAMP)
„The conventional measuring methods are imprecise and lead to wear on the slip-ring, itself, due to the long contact times. This is done away with in the new process. We deliver almost all GSQ machines with BRANKAMP systems“, says the trained mechanical engineer, Wilfried Clotten. This also goes for the new VG5. The large dimensioned assembly weighs 8,600 kilograms, works with slip-rings up to 710 mm diameter and manages rapid traverse speeds of up to 60m in the minute. The first machine is already in use at the traditional company in the „city of blades“ Solingen. Multiple distinguished professional knives for the kitchen are created on the high-tech production line. „The Ferrari among cooking knives“ (Independent) has been getting the necessary sharpness on GSQ grinding machines since the end of June. „In February, our designer hadn’t drawn a single line on paper for the new machine. With our experience in special machine construction and through ingenious simultaneous engineering, we were able to get the machine ready for the market in only four months“, says Clotten.
The Erkrath-based grinding-machine manufacturer, GSQ, is a specialist for the development and installation of grinding-machines. In just barely four months, the team of 50 workers was able to develop and build a 44 kw strong, vertical blade grinding-machine, and put it into service at the customer's facilities.
This achievement has even greater significance when one considers that GSQ has been on the market in this form for only one year. „We had a tremendous amount of experience related to special machine construction in the company from the very beginning“, reports Wilfried Clotten. There are only a few competitors worldwide that can manufacture comparable machines and offer them around the globe like GSQ. „From our perspective, we have achieved a significant competitive advantage with the VG5. This patented machine is unique in type, configuration and size.“ GSQ machines designed at the headquarters in Erkrath and manufactured at the GSQ plant in Saarwellingen are in demand all over the world. 70 percent of the young company's volume is destined for export. The main market for grinding-machines such as the VG5 are the USA. „The percentage of the sport knife manufacturer's volume is significantly higher here than in Europe“, according to Clotten. The service employees from the Erkrath headquarters work to ensure smooth operations and machine service everywhere in the world. „We no longer stand with our name merely behind the sale of individual machines, but for a functioning process. Our customers rightly expect that we remain a competent point of contact for all questions, even after the sale. Our employees are continuously underway around the world in order to guarantee seamless service.“ The range of applications for the GSQ grinding-machine is wide. The assemblies ensure the correct sharpness of cooking, sports and hunting knives, as well as manicure and surgical scissors. BRANKAMP's innovative technologies are in use in all these application variants. BRANKAMP developed the ProcessMonitoring technology as a pioneer in 1978 and is the world market leader today. More than 50,000 different applications from this measuring equipment specialist are in use around the globe, supporting machine operators with setup and production, as well as production managers with production control. Wilfried Clotten certainly welcomes this technological knowledge in differing areas of production: „We are already considering new areas, into which we can deploy our machines“, he remarks. At present, all this is internal, but one thing is already for sure: The Erkrath company will be a topic of discussion well into the future.
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