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CUSTOMER STORY – MARTINREA HONSEL MEXICO

FIRST DMU 340 GANTRY IN MEXICO

STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

The first of its kind in Mexico, DMG MORI‘s DMU 340 Gantry machining center was successfully installed in one of Martinrea‘s plants located in Querétaro, Mexico.

In black ink, the inscription DMG MORI can be read printed on each of the three huge wooden boxes carried in a caravan of equal numbers of trailers on its journey along several hundred kilometers of Mexican highways, from the port of Veracruz to the booming capital of the state of Querétaro. A transit that began in the city of Pfronten, in southern Germany, crossed the Atlantic by boat and now culminates in the Mexican Bajio with the mission of satisfying the growing demand for automotive components in Mexico.

Aldo Domínguez, Engineering Manager of the Martinrea plant, prepared the space that will be home to the new DMU 340 Gantry machining center. "It will give us flexibility, speed of response and, above all, depth in our offerings to our customers.

Domínguez, together with a team of technicians from DMG MORI, led the installation of the new 5-axis dynamic machining center. During the first week, each of the large components contained in the three wooden boxes was unpacked. By the second week, once the cast iron body made in one piece was in place, the first components were placed, such as the magazine with the carousel with a capacity of up to 183 tools.

By the third week, the work team was already assembling the electrical and electronic components that give life to the high-precision automated movements of this machining center that can perform roughing and finishing operations on parts weighing up to 30,000 kilograms.

As of the fourth week they were already in the fine details of the machine and preparing it to enter the production process of the plant belonging to the Agility Tooling Division, which was inaugurated only in August 2019 with the purpose of providing the other two Martinrea plants, established in the same industrial complex, with the necessary tooling for the production process. It should be noted that these factories were established on Bajio soil, the first in 2011 and the second in 2015, to produce aluminum parts with low pressure injection processes. Among their main clients we can identify NISSAN, GM, FORD and BMW.

“The idea is to support the production plants for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of our own aluminum injection molds,” said Domínguez, who said that the DMU 40 Gantry is in addition to four other DMG MORI machines already installed in the Agility Tooling plant. These are a DMU 125 duoBLOCK, a DMU 65 monoBLOCK, a DMU 86 monoBLOCK and a NHX 4000 DCG horizontal milling center.

Now, with the addition of the DMU 340 Gantry, “we add great flexibility and the ability to work with very large parts. We are as well equipped or even better equipped than the workshops in the region”. And the head of engineering at Martinrea does not talk in circles, since the new machining center is the first of its kind to be installed in Mexico. "Now we can produce a complete mold and we are going to reduce maintenance times, but the most important thing is that we have everything in house.

Rapid response to meet the needs of your plants has always been crucial. Domínguez warns that the automotive market is changing very quickly. “In this industry (the automotive industry) the cycles are getting shorter and shorter. In addition, we are already seeing the arrival of new structures, with different and in some cases, in fact, larger components. The electric and autonomous cars will face new challenges for those of us who are in the manufacturing of components”.

The objective in Martinrea is, on the one hand, to maintain the key technology at home and, on the other hand, to develop the know-how that allows them to stay close to the client. The first point involves bringing the auto parts manufacturer‘s engineering team closer to the assembly plants to offer turnkey solutions, from design to delivery of the final product. With this, the manufacture of the moulds becomes an elementary part of the equation. “We can follow up on the performance of our own molds and maintain an extra service,” said Domínguez.  

First DMU 340 Gantry machine in Mexico from DMG MORI

Regarding the second point, in Martinrea they are training die makers, a profession that requires a lot of expertise and training time. In Mexico there is a significant deficit of these specialists, so they have taken charge of the situation by training their own personnel (many of them have traveled to Germany to take specialization courses) and have even established synergies with Universities, as is the case of the National Polytechnic Institute. "We knew that the issue of staff development was going to be a challenge, so we have been preparing for it for some years now. Now we have our second generation of die makers and CNC operators and we have the third generation in the classrooms. The staff is key and we solved this uncertainty with our own courses so that we could start operations without any problems or setbacks.

For all the above reasons, it makes a lot of sense the attention they are paying to bring state-of-the-art technology to the plant in Querétaro. Martinrea Honsel invested 8 million dollars in this tooling factory, however, it is expected that this investment will reach at some point 22 million dollars and 190 employees. Domínguez shared that currently there are already 50 people working in the new plant and more than 10 million dollars the amount invested.

It is precisely Domínguez who, from the engineering management, is in charge of making the annual budgets, reviewing the performance indicators and requesting the Capex that will guarantee the growth of his area. It is a strategic task that he understands very well thanks to his career of more than 10 years in Martinrea, where he has also worked as a Project Engineer and who has been in the leading group in Agilty Tooling since the very beginning of the project.

"We have key suppliers, such as DMG MORI, with whom we can achieve many things, because growth is an essential part of our value proposal, which we bring to our customers to whom, in some way, we transfer these new technologies, because now the process is more complex. We do not only manufacture a part, but we also seek to participate in the design, the development of the molds, the running of the same and, with this, the adjustment to the required production times of the client‘s assembly line," explained the engineer.

“The features of the DMU 340 Gantry allow us to meet our value proposition,” continued Domínguez. “The new generations of structural parts will require larger molds, molds of a different type. This machine will give us the flexibility we need. It opens the market and gives us a competitive advantage to make new developments, because it is the first one in Mexico”.

Despite its compact design (59 m2), the working area of the DMU 340 Gantry is 2,800 mm (and can add another 240 mm in its x,y axis). On the other hand, the complexity of the parts to be machined is solved with some capabilities of the equipment, such as the head, which can rotate 360º in its own center, as well as angular movements.

On the other hand, because it has the capacity to stabilize its temperature, it guarantees the quality required by the products manufactured by Martinrea. This adds to the stability provided by being manufactured with a single-piece cast iron body. Another advantage is that it uses tools of up to 650 mm in length, which are necessary for attacking large molds and through cavities and complex designs.

The DMU 340 Gantry has a linear drive, which can increase the speed performance of machining tasks by up to 30 %. "Our aluminum injection molds can be 2.5 × 2.5 meters, and we manufacture approximately 15 per year. For this reason we are looking for technology to help us be faster and more efficient," warned the project leader who, at the time of the interview, was with his team of technicians fine-tuning the last details for the start-up of the new machine.

According to their expectations, the development of electric cars is about to trigger a series of changes for which they have to be prepared. “New technologies are catching up with us and many assembly plants are launching prototypes or structural parts for their new platforms. As for the tooling design part, we are working with German colleagues and our designers are collaborating closely with them”.

However, having state-of-the-art technology at home gives Martinrea a key advantage: The development is its own. “DMG MORI backs us up with local technical support, right here in Querétaro. Training, maintenance, we have what we need practically right around the corner. We have, without a doubt, developed a very good relationship. And we need that, because we have many projects to come”

DMU 340 GANTRY

KEY FEATURES

ACCURACY

  • Highest accuracy due to water-cooled feed control 
  • Band filter unit with standard capacity of 2,500 l 
  • Highest long-term accuracy thanks to cooled linear guides and control of spindle movement

PERFORMANCE

  • High dynamics with feeding speeds of up to 40,000 mm/min 
  • High power supply of up to 50 kN 
  • Largest range of spindles on the market: powerMASTER motor spindle up to 1000 Nm and torqueMASTER gear spindle with 1,800 Nm

EFFICIENCY 

  • Reduced energy consumption thanks to intelligent motor groups that are adapted to the needs 
  • Gantry design with a cross beam with vertical movement and hydraulic weight compensation 
  • Fast and innovative storage on wheels for up to 243 tools with reduced space requirements

MAXIMUM RIGIDITY AND DYNAMICS UP TO 5 m/s2 

  • Thermosymmetric construction 
  • 3-point support with rigid machine bed without base 
  • High standard temperature stability with positioning accuracy of at least 15 μm 
  • Positioning accuracy of at least 12 μm with optional precision kit 
  • Low, continuous milling head neck depth (no cylinder design)

MARTINREA HONSEL MEXICO FACTS

  • In Mexico since 2011, with 3 factories 
  • More than 600 employees in toal in Mexico 
  • 14 DMG MORI Installed base machines 
  • Automotive industry 

Martinrea Honsel Mexico S.A. de C.V. 
Parque Industrial Querétaro
Av. La Montaña nº 121 km. 28.5
Sta. Rosa Jáuregui, Qro. 76220
MEXICO
www.martinrea-honsel.com


MARTINREA HONSEL MEXICO
The most versatile and largest 5-axis machine that Martinrea has in Mexico.