It’s Hard to Beat in Person

Recently I had the chance to visit several companies and shops in Germany, one being Zoller.

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One of the things I’ve enjoyed in my tenure as a metalworking editor is the chance to get out of the office to visit shops and companies. In my opinion, there is no better way to get a feel for a business than an in-person meeting.

Occasionally, a visit takes me overseas. Recently I had the chance to visit several companies and shops in Germany, in a region called Schwaben. It is home to a significant amount of OEM metalworking manufacturers and precision machined parts makers. With such a concentration, logistics are relatively easy.

Among the companies on my itinerary was measuring machine maker, Zoller. My host was Alexander Zoller, who is a member of the third generation in this successful family business. The company has more than 30,000 units installed worldwide.

Zoller has a location in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to serve the U.S. market, but nothing beats visiting the company headquarters, which are in Pleidelsheim, Germany. One of the trends we’ve been following is an increasing use of presetting equipment in precision turned parts shops.

It seems that off-line presetting is getting traction in turning in addition to its use in rotating tool operations. Some of the advantages cited, include less set up than using integral tool setters and the increased need for better accuracy.

I will be reporting here on other companies I visited as time goes by. In the meantime, click here to learn more about this company.