EMCO Maier--Beyond the Classroom

When one hears the name “EMCO Maier,” most of us think about the company’s long and successful business making and distributing machine tools for use in vocational training schools.

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When one hears the name “EMCO Maier,” most of us think about the company’s long and successful business making and distributing machine tools for use in vocational training schools. I, too, was generally under this impression until I visited the company’s main plant in Hallein, Austria, earlier this month.
 
What I discovered was this company also makes an extensive line of production turning machines, ranging from 25 mm to 110 mm. These are sophisticated multi-axis, multitasking, twin spindle, highly automated machine tools in inverted vertical and horizontal configurations that are definitely ready for prime time in today’s cost-conscience “done-in-one” metalworking environment. In many of the company’s global markets, these production machines are much better known than the training machines.
 
To help the company get the word out to the U.S. market about this somewhat unknown and sophisticated side of EMCO Maier, I was one of several metalworking editors invited to visit the company and to visit several of its customers for production turning machines. We were hosted by Patrick Welge, the new president of EMCO Maier’s U.S. operation in Columbus, Ohio. I plan a more extensive article on my visit in a later issue of Production Machining, but my hope here is to give some quick highlights.
 
One of the customers we visited is a 25-man contract manufacturer located near Vienna named Brisker GmbH. Our host was second-generation owner Johann Brisker who proudly showed us around his crowded shop floor and explained the competitive advantage that multi-tasking CNC turning machines gives his business. It’s not cheap to manufacture in Europe, so automation is the most efficient means of keeping cost in line with less expensive countries. He has a total of 27 machines on the floor, 17 of which are various models from EMCO Maier.
 
Mr. Brisker understands the need to continuously upgrade his technology and cites one recent example. On an older EMCO Turn 332 he was happily completing a workpiece with 50 percent milling in about 3 minutes. The 332 machine replacement is the Hyperturn 45, which, without any program optimization, was able to run the part in less than 2 minutes—a 35 percent improvement. In a job shop, that’s significant.
 
Another customer visit was to the Miba bearing plant in Laarkirchen, Austria. Miba is a global producer of engine bearings, automotive components and high-tech automation systems. In the bearing plant we saw Miba using several of its 12 EMCO Maier machines, gantry loaded with a milling head on the B-axis and an ATC to feed the milling spindle mill/turn bi-metallic bearing cylinders.
 
We made a quick stop at Tyrolit in Schwaz, Austria, to see the manufacture of the company’s line of industrial grinding wheels. They are also a leader in production cutoff, sawing, drilling and dressing tools. In production, they use EMCO Maier turning centers to finish size the ID of grinding wheels and finish trim the OD. With all the grit, this is a pretty tough environment for a precision machine tool.
 
Hopefully, I’ve managed to pique your interest in EMCO Maier’s lesser know side of its machine tool business. They will be exhibiting at the PMTS show next month. Also, keep an eye out for my more detailed report in Production Machining.