Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AGMaschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG

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HIGH-PRECISION MACHINING: A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

02.12.2015
From right to left: Dave Pegues, Jim Durham, Simon Rodenberg, Butch Boland

Since procurement of a Hermle machine, turnovers at Seyer Industries have soared to new heights.

When World War II veteran Louis Seyer founded his tool and die shop in 1957 with seed money he made from catalogue sales of his innovative Easy Egg Cracker, he never imagined the heights to which the now third-generation family owned Seyer Industries would grow. Today, Seyer Industries' more than 150 employees specialise in manufacturing high-level subassemblies for the aerospace and maritime industries as a major supplier for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Gulfstream Aerospace and the armed forces of the United States. In contrast to Louis Seyer, however, they now have access to the 5-axis precision machining that Hermle made possible.

NEW PERSPECTIVES. NEW REQUIREMENTS.

Seyer Industries supplies aircraft parts and subassemblies ranging from fixed-wing electrical subassemblies to flight control components for rotary wing aircraft. It is a long way from its days of largely providing ground support equipment that facilitated the loading of heavy ordnance. Before investing in its first Hermle, Seyer Industries' bread and butter was providing that ground support equipment. But in the world of aviation, 99% of the market is for component parts for planes or helicopters, leaving just a fraction available to those who supply ground support equipment. Due to the excellence they demonstrated supplying best-in-class support equipment, Seyer began receiving requests from customers to expand its offerings into the components side of the industry. There was only one problem: support equipment was a 3-axis proposition. To meet the exacting specifications of precision aerospace parts, the company needed the capabilities only a high-end 5-axis machine could provide.

ENTER HERMLE

By 2010, Seyer Industries knew it needed to invest in a 5-axis machine. The growing demand from customers simply could not be met by anything less than 5-axis machining. Seyer Industries looked at a number of options, but before long it was clear that Hermle was a machine with which they could both learn 5-axis machining and continue to grow their capabilities. When asked what stood out about Hermle, Seyer's lead engineer made it clear that it was all about precision. "Our team quickly realised the possibilities of a precision machine that can measure out to three decimal points", he said. The first Hermle purchased by Seyer Industries was a C 40 U, which greatly expanded its capabilities to deliver precision parts. As its ability to meet the supply needs of the aerospace industry grew, so did the demand, leading them to invest in three more Hermle machines. This time the team chose the C 400 U model. Among the strengths Seyer Industries has today, due to the ability of its Hermle machines, is the ability to manufacture components to high profile and perpendicularity tolerances far beyond the possibilities of standard machine tools. That level of precision has allowed the company to machine rotor bearings for various helicopters and arresting hooks used to land aircraft safely on carriers at sea.

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