monoBLOCK Excellence Factory – digital and automated
DMG MORI has revolutionised the production of monoBLOCK 5-axis machining centres with the opening of its new 4,000 m² Excellence Factory at DECKEL MAHO Pfronten, southern Germany. The flow line assembly based on an automated guided vehicle (AGV) transport system results in a productivity increase of 30%, which is also to the benefit of customers.
“Investments in innovations are the only way out of the current crisis, so we are automating and digitalising our internal value chain,” says Christian Thönes, Chairman of the Executive Board of DMG MORI AG.
The heart of production in the new factory is an AGV transport system. By optical navigation using the latest laser scanning technology, it moves the machines continuously and autonomously through the assembly stations at a speed of 45 mm/minute. As of now, the complete model mix of the monoBLOCK series including all models with a pallet changer (DMC) and with a turn-mill table (FD) is built in a flow line in 34 cycles, starting with basic assembly and finishing with final inspection.
Michael Horn, Executive Board member of DMG MORI AG explains: “Today, our new monoBLOCK Excellence Factory in Pfronten already demonstrates what tomorrow’s production will look like. Using modern automation and digitalisation solutions, we are consistently realigning our factories to the production of the future.
“The driverless AGV transport system is perfectly integrated into the digital value chain of our production site. Compared to rail systems, AGVs are a much more flexible solution, hence optimising the production infrastructure.”
The AGVs can also be freely navigated via remote control. The flexible timing of the machines ensures an uninterrupted and trouble-free flow during the assembly process.
Complete model mix – highly flexible
With cycle times of just two and a half hours, every monoBLOCK machine can now be assembled in just seven days, corresponding to a reduction of 30%. It is a significant leap in productivity that increases the capacity at the site from 600 to 1,000 monoBLOCK machines per year. “Our goal was to increase efficiency in a smaller footprint and to be able to produce the complete model mix of the monoBLOCK series in a highly flexible, waste-free and even more productive way,” says Reinhard Musch, Managing Director of DECKEL MAHO Pfronten.
Working practices in the factory have also undergone future-oriented changes: “We got our specialists involved in the design process of the factory from the very beginning, thus significantly improving all processes with regard to ergonomics and creating an optimal working environment to support our highly qualified specialists,” explains Musch.
Digital assembly supported by TULIP
The new factory also sets new standards in terms of digitalisation. TULIP is an important component in the flow line assembly. The US start-up’s software enables users without programming skills to create their own applications quickly and intuitively. With the help of the no-code platform, DMG MORI has developed an app solution that shows employees the necessary assembly information for each cycle with machine-specific work plans. Assembly processes of newly implemented equipment or special options are aided by detailed drawings, pictures and video instructions.
TULIP also helps with upholding quality standards consistently: “Interactive checklists and inspection plans document the entire assembly process in real time and ensure continuous quality control during assembly,” explains Musch. Information is available within the TULIP app in real time along the entire value chain. There is a connection to the existing ERP system in place as well as a network right through to suppliers.
DMG MORI passes the benefits of increased productivity on to its customers. All prices for monoBLOCK models have been reduced by €10,000 and the accuracy package is also integrated as standard. It results in a price advantage of €30,000 for customers.
With the monoBLOCK Excellence Factory, DMG MORI has created a basis for further advancing production processes and offering short delivery times with a full product mix. The automated and digitalised processes make the assembly line the most modern in machine tool manufacturing. Its realisation was a logical step for DMG MORI, as Michael Horn summarises: “High demand proves that monoBLOCK machines are an important component of our portfolio. The new factory offers us and our customers so many advantages that we will transfer this concept to other plants.”