As of this month, Amada Machine Tools Europe GmbH is the Amada Group's combined metalcutting machine tool centre of operations in Europe.
Announced at EMO, Milan, on 7 October by Amada Group CEO Mitsuo Okamoto, it brings together responsibility for the Amada Wasino grinding and turning products plus the Amada bandsaw machine and bandsaw blade products. It will handle all European sales, application and service activities for those products.
The 88-employee operation will be based in new facilities, under construction in Haan, near Dusseldorf – to be completed in the first half of next year - with Amada's metalforming activities also based on the site, in a separate building.
Amada Machine Tools Europe will have two branch offices: one in Milan, Italy; the other in Paris, France. There are no changes to the relevant UK distribution channels, with Birkett Cutmaster (01274 870311) remaining as Amada bandsaw agent, and Colin Gladwell Machine Tools (01872 864777) continuing as Wasino grinding machine agent.
The promotion of Wasino turning technology is, however, to be given greater prominence in the UK than has been the case, although the actual channel for that effort is still yet to be confirmed.
The setting up of Amada Machine Tools Europe follows Amada Wasino's acquisition, in July this year, of grinding company Profiltec, which was itself the combination of Swiss company Doebeli and German firm PeTeWe.
Amada's new European machine tool organisation also sees the absorption of people and valuable assets from German grinding specialist Tecno.Team GmbH, with which Amada had already been collaborating.
Tecno.Team was previously known as Jakobsen Grinding Handels GmbH, and was set up by Ben Scherr, who is now Amada Machine Tools Europe's managing director, lathes and grinding machines, together with Danish grinding machine manufacturer Jakobsen A/S, in 1996.
With the Profiltec acquisition and the absorption of Tecno.Team people and assets, Amada Machine Tools Europe president Shinichi Ogawa said this will strengthen Amada's metalcutting machine tool activities in Europe – "Unfortunately, our past performance in the European market for machine tools was not satisfactory; the European market is the biggest market in the world. Now we are to make a new challenge in the market," he explained.
And he highlighted the early result of the acquisition of Profiltec and absorption of Tecno.Team expertise - the new, modular, 11-axis DV7M graphical profile grinder, which was part of the Amada EMO booth display. This machine features a mineral cast base together with both hydrostatic slideway and linear motor technology, and also incorporates the CCD camera measuring technology first seen on the company's DV-1, which was launched last year and won two awards; one in Germany, the second in Switzerland.
The machine also boasts a novelty in its use of a single oil to support hydrostatic slideways, cutting oil and cooling functions, while it also incorporates the Doebeli head system.
Robot loading/unloading of parts is another possibility with the machine; one of many options, said Mr Scherr, who was able to announce the sale of the first machine to an existing German customer, at the EMO event.
A final revelation concerned a new factory to be built in Japan, Toki, which will see bandsaw machine manufacture combined with lathe and grinding machine manufacture, currently split between two sites. To be opened in 2011, the 123,000 sq m building will have a production capacity of 300 units/month.
Author: Andrew Allcock