Restructuring and emerging stronger for the future

The objectives of the CHIRON Group will remain the same. Firstly, to continue to be a strong, long-term and reliable partner for customers all around the world. Secondly, to use innovative products and services to facilitate manufacturing which is precise, productive and flexible across a range of industries. However, the upheaval in the automotive industry and the generally declining and fluctuating markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made restructuring necessary. These measures are intended to secure a leading competitive position and for the Group to emerge stronger for the future.

Situation
A downward trend in demand was already noted in 2019. This was predominantly due to the shift in the automotive industry and a weaker global economy. In 2020, the situation was further aggravated by the direct and indirect affects of the coronavirus pandemic. A further decline is even expected in the core market of aviation. In addition, the markets as a whole are fluctuating greatly. While the forecasts for the German machine tool industry are less dire than predicted, they are not very encouraging either.

The CHIRON Group does not anticipate a speedy market recovery and is making adjustments for reduced and unpredictable levels of turnover. In light of this outlook, a restructuring of the Group is vital.

»We – the Board of Management, the Board of Directors, and the company owners – have all drawn up a comprehensive package of measures to secure the long-term future of the CHIRON Group and to be a strong and reliable partner for our customers into the future.«
Vanessa Hellwing
Managing Director of the CHIRON Group

Targeted measures to be stronger in the medium term
In 2019, the CHIRON Group already started working on strategies for mitigating the aforementioned market fluctuations. These focused on pooling expertise and processes at individual sites. Here is an overview of the measures which have been initiated, some of which have already been implemented:

  • Strengthening our core competencies of milling and milling-turning
  • Concentrating manufacturing at the Precision Factory (Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany)
  • Focusing on e-mobility and future combustion engines
  • Completing the product ranges for medical and precision technology

Changing focus in the automotive industry
The automotive industry will remain an extremely important market for us, but our focus will increasingly shift towards e-mobility and future combustion engines. The CHIRON and STAMA vertical machining centers – particularly the new series – are ideal for manufacturing workpieces with the highest degree of precision. These workpieces include vehicular and structural components for electric vehicles and combustion engine components. As a turnkey specialist, the CHIRON Group also has the necessary expertise in processes to implement increasingly complex requirements in tailor-made, automated manufacturing processes.

Focus on core competencies
Milling and milling-turning are the technology competencies that we, at the CHIRON Group, have deepened and honed to perfection over decades. For this reason, SCHERER, which specializes in vertical turning centers, will become a member of another strong group. This group will add to SCHERER's range of lathes and provide SCHERER will the necessary space for further positive growth.

Manufacturing at the best site
With its Precision Factory, the CHIRON Group has one of the most state-of-the-art machine tool factories in Europe. This site offers customers the best production environment. All of our production and assembly capacity will be brought together at Neuhausen ob Eck and – as with the Taicang Innovation Factory in China – the Precision Factory will become the CHIRON Group's production facility.

The Schlierbach site will concentrate on STAMA sales and service; production, assembly and application will be relocated to Tuttlingen and Neuhausen. STAMA customers will continue to be supported by their usual contacts in Schlierbach. Even in the new structure, the STAMA brand will continue to embody advanced expertise in heavy-duty machining and turnkey solutions.

Completing the product ranges in precision and medical technology

To broaden the Group's base in medical and precision technology and to complete our portfolio of machines for smaller components, the CHIRON Group acquired a new brand, FACTORY5, for its portfolio on August 1, 2020. In addition, with CHIRON Swiss SA the Group now has its own company in Switzerland. FACTORY5 offers a range of compact, high-precision machines for manufacturing micro technical components which can be incorporated into an innovative digital platform for networked production. The CHIRON Group is also intensifying its activities in the growth market of additive manufacturing. A prime example of this is the new AM Cube, a 3D metal printer with innovative, patented technology for a wide range of tasks.

Any questions?
Would you like to know how these changes will affect your day-to-day work? They won't! Your usual contacts will still provide you with support, answer your questions about the restructuring and look forward to continuing to work together in a spirit of trust.

Smart machines, smart production behind the number 5

CHIRON, STAMA, CMS, FACTORY5: Since 1st August, the CHIRON Group's range has included a new brand. And with CHIRON Swiss SA, which was previously known as Mecatis SA, they now have their own company in Switzerland. Both partners benefit from this acquisition: The CHIRON Group is adding small, highly precise machining centers to their range, along with an innovative digital platform for networked production. While CHIRON Swiss can now distribute and sell their products and services across the world and has access to the Group's entire service network.

»The FACTORY5 machining centers perfectly round off our product range below series 08, meaning that we can strengthen our offering for the watch and jewelery industry, as well as medical and precision engineering. This means that we can now optimally meet the demand of many customers for compact, highly dynamic machines for microprocessing,«, explains Dr. Claus Eppler, Head of Research and Development at CHIRON.

For Samuel Vuadens, founder and former CEO of Mecatis, and now Managing Director of CHIRON Swiss, the advantage »lies in the strength of the CHIRON Group. We were looking for an internationally renowned partner who understands the effects of digitalization on the industry and with whom we can work to further expand our expertise. The integration into the CHIRON Group offers us the best opportunities for further stable growth, to distribute and sell our products internationally, and to even tackle large projects. We are also looking forward to intensive brainstorming with the aim of coming up with additional innovative products and services.«

 Samuel Vuadens, Managing Director of CHIRON Swiss. The trained mechanic and mechanical engineer who specializes in mechatronics began his professional career at Affolter Technologie, where he was already developing his first highly precise machines. In 2007, he founded Mecatis with Pierre Fournier and, in 2017, he developed the Micro5, which is not much bigger than an ordinary coffee machine.
Samuel Vuadens, Managing Director of CHIRON Swiss. The trained mechanic and mechanical engineer who specializes in mechatronics began his professional career at Affolter Technologie, where he was already developing his first highly precise machines. In 2007, he founded Mecatis with Pierre Fournier and, in 2017, he developed the Micro5, which is not much bigger than an ordinary coffee machine.

Micro5: For micro-precision
The highlight of FACTORY5's product range is the Micro5 milling machine. A machining center with 4 or 5 axes, yet the »5« in the name stands for so much more than this. It also represents the ideal ratio of machine size to workpiece – 5:1. In terms of weight, it is also 5 times lighter than conventional machines in the same performance class. Lightweight and small, the Micro5 can be set up almost anywhere and is also quick and easy to move location without changing the machine settings.

The »5« also stands for maximum efficiency: When compared with conventional CNC machines, the energy consumption during the dynamic machining of microtechnical components is not just 5 times lower – it is 50 times lower. This saves valuable resources and guarantees an even quicker return on investment thanks to massive savings on energy costs.

Micro5 – one of the 1000 most efficient solutions in the world
In 2019, the Solar Impulse Foundation awarded the Micro5 the world-renowned Label #1000 for the 1,000 most efficient, most innovative and most environmentally friendly technologies in the world. The foundation, which was launched by Bertrand Piccard (son of the famous deep-sea researcher Jacques Piccard and the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered aircraft), brings together start-ups, companies, institutions and organizations with the goal of combining economical and ecological targets and demonstrating that the gulf between economy and ecology is irrelevant.


FACTORY5: Greener, smarter, better connected
FACTORY5 is more than just the brand name of all of the products and services from CHIRON Swiss. There is a clear philosophy behind the name: Experts and skills from the industry are brought together at a virtual location, on a platform, in order to pool their expertise for the benefit of the customers. In addition to production expertise – design, manufacture, measure, service – this also includes management applications, such as MRP, CRM, HR and even the automation of marketing campaigns. And, of course, »smart machines« like the Micro5. Intelligent production tools, which form a separate ecosystem when combined with other elements: www.factory5.tech – a physical and digital factory with a vision for a greener, smarter and better networked industrial world.

CHIRON Swiss SA
Founded in 2007 as Mecatis SA, CHIRON Swiss, which is based in Isérables in the Swiss canton of Valais, is a dynamic company with a young team. At present, the company, which is the youngest foreign subsidiary of the CHIRON Group, has 18 employees. Flat hierarchies, intensive collaboration and the input of individual ideas are central elements of the corporate culture.

Find out more about the new Swiss colleagues, the production of the innovative machining centers and one of the most beautiful views of all of the CHIRON Group's sites in a video:

Photo: VDW/VDMA

umati: A shared language unites machines

The more easily machines from different manufacturers »communicate with each other«, exchange information and use it together, the faster and better the potential for increased productivity can be tapped. This is precisely why the VDW industry initiative is laying the foundation with umati. umati is a universal interface, which is establishing itself worldwide as an open standard for the machine tool industry.

For Pascal Schröder, Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group, umati – short for universal machine technology interface – is »a crucial step towards networked production and Industry 4.0. umati makes it easier to connect machining centers and peripheral devices from different manufacturers to customer-specific IT ecosystems and therefore has the potential to establish itself as a global standard for the machine tool industry in the medium to long term.«

How umati works

 Image Source: VDW/VDMA
Image Source: VDW/VDMA

Shared effort, shared standard
In addition to having a lot of potential, umati also has strong advocates, who are jointly promoting the project of a standardized interface: Alongside the CHIRON Group, other leading machine tool manufacturers such as DMG Mori and Trumpf are also part of the core team behind the initiative. All reputable providers of control systems are also represented, as well as other supporters, such as SAP and the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units at the University of Stuttgart.

»As a manufacturer of high-quality machining centers, we, as a strong interest group, are facing the challenge of digitalization by pulling together with the umati interface.«
Pascal Schröder
Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group

For the first time, umati offers the possibility of simple and defined integration of machining centers in superordinate MES or ERP systems. umati is based on the OPC UA interface standard, which is becoming increasingly established in machine and plant engineering. The advantages are platform-independent, cross-manufacturer communication and integrated mechanisms for high data security.

The CHIRON Group has already demonstrated how networked production works in practice at the EMO 2019 using a DZ 16 W five axis machining center with umati interface. The machine was integrated in both the VDW-Cloud and the CHIRON DataLine. In addition, umati was used to integrate other external machines from different manufacturers in DataLine. Using DataLine, it was possible to determine, analyze and visualize machine information from the CHIRON machining center as well as from the external machines live.

For more information about umati and the EMO Showcase, see here

umati: Strong network with strong partners

Machines: CHIRON, DMG Mori, Emag, Grob Werke, Heller, Liebherr Verzahntechnik, Trumpf, United Grinding
Application partners:
GF Machining Solutions, Pfiffner
Control systems:
Beckhoff, Bosch Rexroth, Fanuc, Heidenhain, Siemens
OPC UA Support:
Institute for Control Technology of the University of Stuttgart

 At the EMO Hanover 2019, 70 companies with 110 machines presented a live implementation of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Specification. They connected via a data hub with 28 software solutions. Image source: VDW/VDMA
At the EMO Hanover 2019, 70 companies with 110 machines presented a live implementation of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Specification. They connected via a data hub with 28 software solutions. Image source: VDW/VDMA
 The umati network has grown significantly.  Bildquelle: VDW/VDMA
The umati network has grown significantly. Bildquelle: VDW/VDMA
Photo: farukisin / istockphoto.com

doğum günün kutlu olsun, CHIRON Türkiye!

»Happy birthday, CHIRON Turkey!« The CHIRON Group congratulates its colleagues based near the Bosporus in Istanbul on their tenth anniversary. The team provides comprehensive sales and service throughout the entire country and has, to date, commissioned over 250 machining centers.

Founded in Istanbul in 2010, CHIRON Turkey initially supported CHIRON Group customers with global operations at its sites in Turkey. The company now has three branches and has developed into a partner that is sought-after both by international and local companies, as well as being an attractive employer. Serkan Ozcan, the company's General Manger, believes this is because, »Employee satisfaction is very important to us. This is the only way of ensuring that they complete their work successfully and with dedication, and that they provide our customers with the best possible support, from Izmir in the south west of the country to Trabzon in the north east by the Black Sea.«

 General Manger Serkan Ozcan
General Manger Serkan Ozcan

Hard work deserves to be celebrated! On August 14, 2020, the teams first met in Izmir for the official part of the celebrations. Serkan Ozcan took stock of company's past ten years of success and thanked everyone for their work. Next on the agenda was an excursion to the visit the cultural highlights of the Izmir region – while, of course, complying with all coronavirus safety precautions. They set off for Ephesus, one of the oldest and most important cities in Asia Minor in ancient times. They wandered around the historic center and visited the House of the Virgin Mary, a site of pilgrimage for Muslims and Christians. Having finished the cultural part of the trip, they then traveled to the village of Şirince, where they sampled some very special melon and black mulberry wines and raised their glasses to many more successful years to come. Şerefe! Cheers!

Overview of CHIRON Turkey

Beginning:
Founded in Istanbul in 2010, CHIRON Turkey has also had branches in the regions of Izmir (since 2012) and Bursa (since 2019).

Sites' areas of expertise:

Istanbul: Sales, project planning, service, administration, finance
Izmir: Service, spare parts
Bursa: Service

Branch sizes:
Istanbul: 200 m²
Izmir: 100 m²
Bursa: 480 m²

Employees:
Total: 17
Service engineers: 8

 The teams from Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa on their anniversary trip, in front of the famous Library of Celsus facade in Ephesus.
The teams from Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa on their anniversary trip, in front of the famous Library of Celsus facade in Ephesus.

Tasks:

  • Distribution of CHIRON and STAMA machining centers
  • Engineering and technical application support
  • Order and project management
  • Technical support and service

Customers:
The majority of the customers are international car manufacturers and suppliers. The CHIRON Group's manufacturing solutions are also used in tool manufacturing, medical technology, mechanical engineering and the aviation industry.

A key factor in the positive development of CHIRON Turkey has been the further training offered to its employees. Despite global economic uncertainty, the company is investing in various further training measures, including courses in programming, languages and sales strategies, with the goal of providing customers with even better and more targeted support in the future.

Objectives:
Over the next few years, CHIRON Turkey plans to generate more new business in industries other than the automotive industry. However, the complicated processes for imports make any investment in this area difficult at the present time. General Manager Serkan Ozcan hopes that these processes will be simplified so that the company can serve the existing demand from various industries.

Things to see and do in and around Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa

Istanbul

Izmir

The Asansör: An elevator on a 70-meter steep slope. There is a café/restaurant at the top with a great view of the city.

OPEN HOUSE with a difference – and how!

It has been just over a year since OPEN HOUSE events were held at CHIRON and STAMA… people shook hands, machines were observed in action, projects were discussed, and delicious catering was served up. But things had to be done differently in 2020. And, as it turns out, doing things differently actually works – and really well too: With around 1,000 visitors, the CHIRON Group's first OPEN HOUSE ONLINE – OHO for short – was a complete success.

While many companies were still hesitating and mulling over whether it was even possible to put on an event to replace their 2020 in-house trade fair, and exactly what form it could take, a decision was taken quickly at CHIRON Group: We're going online! We grabbed the opportunity to meet our customers and prospective customers in a new way that would allow them to network with each other while experiencing our technology »live«.

The »making of« – a genuine feat of strength
A fantastic idea and a real challenge for the organization team, which had to get a completely new event up and running practically from scratch: An interactive platform with videos, communication and expert information in real-time. The content was tailored to the customers of CHIRON and STAMA and it was all incorporated into a joint event under the umbrella of the CHIRON Group.

Marketing and the specialist departments discussed, designed, rejected, rethought – and ultimately did the job bravely and decisively. In the end, the objective was to be able to welcome the customers of the CHIRON Group to the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE as close as possible to the planned dates of the actual open house days.

Once the framework was clear, attention turned to implementation and preparation: Scripts were written, machines polished, texts rehearsed for the video shoot, the online platform was designed, programmed and optimized. Entirely new skills were also demonstrated by our colleagues from Sales, Research and Development, Automation and Service: Instead of working with the actual machine, the machining options, process steps and customer benefits had to be explained digitally – in web conferences, on the telephone and, if invited by the chat agent, in a live chat.

The OHO was uncharted territory for the Sales team in particular, where much of the work is done straightforwardly in direct, personal contact in »normal times«. Worldwide, the lines were kept busy and emails were sent. The Sales employees convinced their customers that the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE would be worth a visit and, in times of COVID-19, would be a good opportunity to find out about new products and join in expert dialog.

Finally, the time has come
Despite the best preparations, everyone was properly nervous at the start of the open house on May 14: Would their various efforts pay off? What if far fewer customers and prospective customers turned up than were registered? What if – worst case – the phones stayed silent? As it turned out, these fears were unfounded: In total, there were around 1,000 visitors to the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE. Some even visited several times! Happily, this time, the CHIRON Group was also able to welcome many European visitors from beyond the DACH region, as well as visitors from Asia and America. What the visitors liked in particular: The machines and services were presented by the respective experts, meaning it was easy to find out the right contact persons for further questions or future projects straight away.

Now as before: Lots to see and experience
Anyone who wasn't able to visit the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE or would like to see the highlights again at their leisure can find a few videos below: For example, a spectacular clip of the complete machining of a wing slot with the DZ 25 P five axis and an entertaining and funny collage of everything that, for good reason, didn't make the final cut. More subject-related videos are included in different articles of this edition.

Machining video DZ 25 P five axis

Benefits of the DZ 25 P five axis

Outtakes

Meeting up – live and »live«

Whether at the three »live days« of the multimedia D-EXPO Metall or at the first »real« industry meeting point, the AMB Technologieforum in Stuttgart, Germany: The pandemic is demanding completely new formats. The CHIRON Group took part in both events and presented its innovations.

Live streams, virtual trade fair stands, face-to-face networking with one click: It started with D-EXPO Metall, the digital exhibition for metal working. From September 8 to 10, visitors had the opportunity to meet exhibitors from the fields of machining centers, precision tools, standard components, software, measuring technology, automation, and tool and mold making. Among the exhibitors was the CHIRON Group, which was represented with three presentations on future issues.

With the motto »Ready for production«, Axel Boi, Head of Additive Manufacturing, presented the AM Cube , the multi-talent among 3D metal printers. Kristoffer Siegmann, Head of Global Account Management Automotive, addressed the subject of Automation with a talk called »80 hour week? No problem«, and presented three solutions for greater production efficiency in the form of VariocellPallet, VariocellUno and VariocellSystem.

In addition, Kristoffer Siegmann, together with Dirk Schmid, Head of Technical Sales Germany, Austria and Switzerland at CHIRON, presented the »big boys«: The DZ 22 W five axis and DZ 25 P five axis machining centers for highly productive machining of large components.

High five! Faster production with five-axis machining centers
»High five« was the title of the presentation given by Matthias Rapp, Head of Regional Sales Germany, Austria and Switzerland at CHIRON, at the AMB Technologieforum. On September 17, in the International Congress Center at Messe Stuttgart, it was possible to watch as, after a long time, many exhibitors, speakers and visitors greeted each other in person again with a »high five« – of course without physically high fiving each other.

In addition to presentations, there was an accompanying table top exhibition, and it was possible to arrange meetings with the exhibitors via a matchmaking app. Bernd Hilgarth, Managing Director Sales at CHIRON, was really pleased »that the current situation is also driving us towards new formats and that machine tool manufacturers like the CHIRON Group can, in this way, show their customers solutions that provide effective support in their current operational situation. In particular, the new model series and automation solutions enable our customers to increase their productivity, become more flexible and significantly reduce their costs. This means they are well equipped for the coming years.« 

Save the date: 11th Colloquium on Medical Devices online
On November 25, manufacturing experts will once again have the opportunity to learn about trends and challenges in precision machining at the Colloquium on Medical Devices organized by mav. In addition to experts from the Medical and Precision Technology Center of the CHIRON Group, other reputable manufacturers of machining centers, tools and peripheral devices will be providing information about their products and services for medical technology. FACTORY5, the new brand of the CHIRON Group for small, ultra-precise machining centers and an innovative digital platform for networked manufacturing, will also be there.

Register here!

For more information on the next trade fairs and events of the CHIRON Group, go to:

https://chiron-group.com/press/exhibitions-and-events