Last updateFri, 03 Feb 2023 6am

CHIRON Group brings start-up innovation into series production

Producing precision parts with the power consumption of a coffee machine: Series production of the compact Micro5 milling machine has successfully started at the headquarters in Tuttlingen.

Since the challenges of climate change, the topic of energy efficiency has risen steeply up the list of priorities for manufacturing companies. More and more production sites are investing in photovoltaic and heat recovery systems to save energy. And any additional electricity needed should be generated from purely renewable sources. This is also the objective of the sustainability strategy of the CHIRON Group, which, according to its own statement, will manufacture and assemble in an energy-neutral manner at all German production sites by the end of 2022. All other sites are to follow soon.

But that alone is not enough, says CTO Dr. Claus Eppler, responsible in the management for technology, research and development. "Being sustainable in the consumption of resources and energy in the manufacture of one's products is a decisive criterion today as a supplier of machine tools, but it is just as important," says Eppler, "that we can also pack this sustainability into our products and pass it on to the customers who produce with our machines."

With the start-up company Mecatis SA (now CHIRON Swiss SA) from the Swiss canton of Valais, which was acquired a good two years ago, the CHIRON Group has brought an innovative manufacturing concept in-house that is designed to do just that and has been in series production at the Tuttlingen site since August. It is the Micro5, a machine tool that specialises in the machining of high-precision workpieces. This applies in particular to parts from the medical technology sector such as implants and instruments as well as watch blanks and housings. Everything that fits into the installation space of 50 x 50 x 50 mm can be produced with less than 0.5 kW/h, which corresponds to the energy consumption of a standard coffee machine. According to Dr. Eppler, the energy saving is 80% compared to the machines currently on the market for these applications.

The decision to invest in series production of the Micro5 at the Tuttlingen site, made in the middle of last year, was preceded by an intensive analysis and planning phase to set up the supply chains, train the employees and set up the assembly line. Since the active sales launch at the beginning of the year, more than 100 project enquiries have been processed, according to the CHIRON Group, and the list of customer-specific test machining is growing steadily. The company plans to produce 200 machines over the next two years. A total of 32 new jobs have been created for the assembly of the Micro5 in Tuttlingen.


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