Unique residential environments thanks to unmatched quality in processing
The employees at Schlosserei und Metallbau Hirt GmbH in Villingen never compromise when it comes to their customers’ residential lifestyles. Their credo is: “Think outside the box, seek continuous improvement and pursue innovative solutions.” Through their creatively designed sunrooms, stairs, railings and steel facades, they see to it that residents and tenants feel comfortable in their living environments. And they do so by bringing together top professionals with the best in steel-processing technology.
Hirt’s success speaks for itself. What began in 1984 as a small-scale metalworking and construction business has now grown into a company with 23 employees and over 2,000 square meters of modern production and office space. It’s a family-run company where company founder Heinz Hirt and his wife, together with junior manager Steffen Hirt, stay focused on both the customer and the future. Customers from all over Baden-Württemberg have long appreciated the creative potential represented by the company’s employees, who are skilled at putting their ideas to work in designing stairs, railings and sunrooms – but also in giving each structure as distinctive a character as possible, appropriate to the people who live in them.
Special needs call for top-rate partners
In addition to creativity, it’s quality and precision processing of steel materials that mark the work that Hirt produces, because in the end it’s quality and durability that they stand for above all. Given the company’s superb reputation, which extends far beyond the Black Forest-Baar-Heuberg region, increased demand has meant that the company has had to boost productivity while maintaining a consistently high level of quality. So it was particularly important, within the limits of the company’s investment options, to exploit every opportunity available in the areas of drilling and cutting. As is often the case when new machines are purchased, a great deal of experience is required on the part of suppliers in dealing with limited work space in order to avoid collisions during processing. The same was true in this case.
In searching for a suitable partner, the choice quickly fell on Kaltenbach, a well-known company located in Lörrach, Germany. This international manufacturer of metalworking machinery, with its comprehensive technical solutions for steel and sheet metal processing, proved the right choice not only by virtue of its exceptionally wide range of products but also because of its proven track record across multiple sectors and with companies of different sizes, ranging from large corporations to emergent family-owned businesses.
Success comes from everything fitting together just right
In order for Hirt to achieve its objectives of increasing productivity and capacity as well as enhancing flexibility, the proposal was to install a cutting / drilling unit with a measuring cart. This combination marked the company’s first step into CNC technology. This technology is particularly useful for jobs involving repetitive actions, for example in drilling and cutting parts for stairs. Increasing the degree of automation in production not only relieves employees of certain tasks, it also ensures a higher level of safety and continuous precision – both now and in the future. Minimizing errors and reducing costs go hand in hand. Heinz Hirt, managing director at Schlosserei und Metallbau GmbH, sums up the change brought about by the company’s latest investment: “Kaltenbach equipment has allowed us to increase productivity. It’s proved to be the perfect solution and absolutely reliable.”
So what does this solution look like in detail? The Kaltenbach KDE 603 drill is used at Hirt in a variety of drilling, counter-bore and punching operations as well as in thread cutting. It has proven economically advantageous, in particular in plant construction and in light-to-medium steel construction projects, which makes it the perfect fit for Hirt’s needs. It has one tool with a manual quick-change system for each drilling axis. The unit uses HSS drill bits, which are fast and safe. Extras like a hydraulic vertical / horizontal vice to clamp materials securely in place as well as a step-less drill feed with a pre-loaded ball-bearing spindle ensure the highest degrees of precision. Simple and intuitive operation using the professional software package PROFILINE guarantees flexibility in terms of both handling and productivity growth. It also reduces the amount of work required by employees. The drill has been designed so that it can be easily combined with a cutting-drilling unit.
Sophisticated technology made-by-Kaltenbach
Hirt decided in favor of the KBS 620 miter band saw. It’s right at home in light-to-medium steel construction where it cuts profiles and flat steel to perfection. The material may be separated using either straight or miter cuts, which is precisely what the company needs. And there are still more impressive technical features: The horizontal saw’s twin-shaft design provides excellent cutting quality and a high cut rate thanks to its high-performance drive. The NC-controlled angle adjustment ensures precise accuracy, particularly in stair construction. And the low-maintenance design typical for Kaltenbach is yet another advantage in terms of economic efficiency.
This cutting / drilling machine works in conjunction with a sliding measurement cart with dual 152 GG gripper tongs. It’s absolutely exemplary in terms of precision. Once measurements are taken, they can’t be altered during the course of the process. This significantly reduces error rates previously resulting from measurements made by hand. In addition, owing to the extremely restricted work spaces at the production site, it was important to avoid collisions during processing operations. This was accomplished by means of a double gripper. A second, longer gripper ensures that long steel parts are easily maneuvered through the two connected machines. This increases throughput rates and prevents collisions. Sophisticated technology made-by-Kaltenbach – because it’s often the little things that make all the difference.