Customers, experts and company representatives used the opportunity for one-on-one conversations and exchanging ideas at the three-day event held from May 8-10th.
Which advantages do digital solutions bring production machine operators? How must user interfaces be designed, to enable ideal machine operation? And what role can additive manufacturing play in machine construction?
These questions were the focus of the so-called FutureLAB at the Grinding Symposium. Technology presentations and lectures as well as the presentation of partner companies and suppliers were other features of the conference, organised by the United Grinding Group whose brands include: Mägerle, Blohm, Jung, Studer, Schaudt, Mikrosa, Walter and Ewag. Visitors from all over the world, including customers of the Group and international trade journalists, attended the event in Switzerland.
The manufacturer of precision machines for grinding, eroding, lasering and combination machining invited guests to the Grinding Symposium for the fourth time since 2004. Traditionally, the focus of the Symposium is on metalworking technologies as well as general topics of the manufacturing industry. The FutureLAB was part of the Symposium for the first time in 2019.
"Our aim in presenting these future technologies is to create a dialog with our customers and to discover more about their individual expectations and requirements," explained chief technology officer Christoph Plüss.
The 16 lectures given at the Symposium by internationally renowned experts from science and practice covered a broad range of topics. In addition to the opportunities and challenges in the cooperation of human and machine or the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the manufacturing industry, there were also practical production topics, such as practical experiences with the innovative WireDress dressing technology from the United grinding Group.
In the 13 technology presentations and the Customer Care presentation visitors were able to experience the latest machines and solutions of the eight company brands.
These included the Mägerle MFP 30, a world innovation for machining aircraft engine blades and the European premiere of the Studer S31 for machining very long workpieces; from the extensive services offered by the Group's Customer Care department through to the production of ultra-hard tools using laser on an Ewag Laser Line Ultra, which was presented at the Symposium in a web-shop solution in cooperation with a customer. Experts from the United Grinding presented the machines and applications to visitors alternating between German, English, French and Italian.
The technology presentations were arranged in a large circle in the halls of Thun Expo. In the centre of this circle was a large coffee bar, which was used by visitors from all over the world for lively discussions.
Because in addition to the extensive information provided, exchange between the Group, its customers and international experts was at the centre of the event. The evening events, which took place in the nearby Kursaal in Bern, also provided an opportunity for discussions. While coming together to eat, drink and enjoy an exceptional entertainment program, the participants entered into conversation, crossing national and language boundaries.
"The Grinding Symposium and the evening events in particular are also a thank you to our customers – for their trust, their loyalty and their suggestions," affirmed United Grinding CEO Stephan Nell.
The United Grinding Group, with a turnover of around €700 million, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of precision machines for grinding, eroding, laser cutting, measuring and combination machining.
The group offers a broad range of application knowledge, a large product portfolio and service range in the international market. It employs around 2,500 people and has more than 20 production, service and sales locations worldwide as well as third-party representations.