Optimum conditions. For all series.

The opening in October 2019, announced the Precision Factory as »the melting pot for the best of what the machine tools sector in Baden-Württemberg has to offer« and it has now been up and running since November 2019. This best, the CHIRON Group’s expertise in machine construction, has been benefitting the complete machining portfolio of both the CHIRON and STAMA brands, and therefore all their customers, since January 2021. Learn more about the new plans for the CHIRON Group Precision Factory and the successful integration of STAMA Production in our interview with Gerhard Schauland, Head of Production.

Mr. Schauland, you have been responsible for production in the entire CHIRON Group since May 2019. What areas are included in this and how many employees work in Production currently?

As well as the final assembly, Production also includes pre-manufacturing – pre-assembly of individual modules and mechanical machining. Also, commissioned designed, preparation of drawings, parts lists, plans and control programs, considering specific customer specifications. Plus, of course, production control and work preparation. All in all, we employ around 300 colleagues in these areas. My area of responsibility also includes factory process planning and preparing for infrastructure investments.

The restructuring and reorganization of the CHIRON Group at the end of last year saw Production moved to the Neuhausen ob Eck location. What exactly does that mean for you?

Concentrating our resources here is really about concentrating on the final assembly of the machining centers and the milling-turning-centers. Since January 2021, that’s all happening in Neuhausen, under the best possible conditions at the CHIRON Group Precision Factory. If we need to, we can also fall back on the entire factory structure, we have »breathing halls« which also have great conditions. Pre-production for both the CHIRON and STAMA brands takes place at the main site in Tuttlingen and in Neuhausen.

Construction time
July 2018 to September 2019 (ready for occupancy)

Key building data
Total area of the new building: 13,700 m²

Optimal material flow configuration with logistics spine for all flows of materials

Building services engineering

  • Concrete core activation for even and exact temperature control

  • Ventilation systems with heat recovery


  • Smart Factory Cockpit: Control of air-conditioning, lighting and camera systems

  • Digital assistance systems in assembly

  • Contactless logistics bookings

  • Digital quality testing and assurance ( »digital fingerprint«)

You mentioned the factory planning. The Precision Factory was planned for the machining centers of the new series. The changed in use for the current CHIRON Group Precision Factory must have required some serious rethinking?

Yes, we completely re-planned the Neuhausen site and fully reorganized the assembly area. For two reasons: firstly, to integrate the production of STAMA machines from Schlierbach. Secondly, to take account of current market requirements and to be able to act more flexibly. Both in terms of throughput times and in terms of which series are in demand in which markets. In other words, the order structure can be one thing today and something completely different in a month's time. We have to be able to map this accordingly.

How is the Precision Factory organized now? There was a variety of series to bring under one roof. Is there one section for STAMA and another for CHIRON?

That wouldn’t make a lot of sense in terms of complete integration of the STAMA manufacturing. As I said, we want flexible and efficient use along the entire order structure, and, where possible, to work at maximum capacity. Only then can our customers fully appreciate the positive effects of the ultra-modern halls. That’s why we defined a line structure. We use the »Cluster« or »Fixed place« assembly concept as the basis for allocating the series to the current six lines. We also consider the complexity, dimensions and the lead time of machines. A STAMA MT 733 or the new CHIRON MT 715– with an installation area of approx. 25 m² – can’t just be shifted to the next station, it has to be assembled in a fixed place. For example, we organize one line using the Cluster concept, with the 08 and 12 Series assembled in a transfer line. The immediate neighbors are the precision+ models, which are more complex. 

A direct question now. What advantages does manufacturing in the CHIRON Group Precision Factory offer customers, what is the added value?

It’s quite simple. If we manufacture all machines in the optimum environment with the best processes, under reproducible conditions, we give our customers the optimum machines for their uses. A constant temperature is particularly important for this. We don’t have seasons here; no icy temperatures or sweltering summer days, it’s always the comfortable 23 degrees required for maximum precision. Centralized logistics, material preparation and good crane capacity also contribute to us being able to fill our halls well, and thus to fully utilize our capacity.

Of course, certain expertise are required so that the advantages you’ve mentioned come to fruition. These expertise were also transferred from Schlierbach to Neuhausen. How was that?

Since January, our subject experts have been fully integrated into the team here at Schlierbach, guiding them in the particularities of manufacturing and assembling the STAMA machines and ensuring that the often-very-complex assembly processes here go smoothly. For pre-processing in Tuttlingen, we took over systems from the STAMA machine park. We use these to produce both parts for machine production and spare parts. By the way, customers with STAMA machines can also continue to rely on the best service, just as before.

Flexibility is the name of the game. Is that just true for configuring the assembly lines, or for employees too?

It’s a good motto. Our goal is to have employees at the site with the widest possible range of qualifications. It doesn’t make any sense to have someone who is an expert in the 08 Series  when there are no machines to assemble at the moment. That’s why we really rehearsed and established the change over the last few months. However, we make sure that special qualifications are also used accordingly.

The original plan for the Precision Factory assumed around 400 machines a year, has that changed too?

Of course. If we are fully flexible, it doesn’t make much sense to have a fixed figure as a target since the lead times differ greatly. In 2019 and 2020, the incoming orders were lower than the previous years, and so we still had capacity to spare. Today, we’re pleased to say that the Precision Factory is working at capacity as planned; even our additional space is occupied.

Earlier, you mentioned the large machining and milling-turning centers were hard to relocate. How do you handle the turnkey projects, which was separate up until now?

Sure, but that has changed. Since this year, we are carrying out the turnkey projects, including test machining, also in Neuhausen. Here, we assemble, build, equip using automation, install the software, start up and complete administration – the full program. We can also complete the final inspection. Customers can come by – when the COVID-19 guidelines permit – and see for themselves how precision is born. We actually encourage this and are always happy to receive visitors!

Mr. Schauland, thank you for the interview and may the CHIRON Group Precision Factory always be working at capacity.