All-round versatility – from steel beams to complete building solutions.
The economic backbone of the SME sector is undoubtedly comprised of the many successful family businesses. It’s clear that when commitment, hard work, profound expertise and a strong desire to produce quality work come together, satisfied customers will ultimately be the result. This is the recipe for success you’ll find at Stahlbau FASSHAUER GmbH. At FASSHAUER, the entire family works right alongside their 50 employees every day to turn ideas into reality in the form of every kind of steel product – from steel beams to complete building solutions.
The metal fittings business that the Fasshauer family established in Großalmerode east of Kassel back in 1961 has since grown into a highly respected steel construction company. From its initial three employees it has since expanded to a staff of 50 while its original 180 square metres of production space now covers 5,500 square metres. And as befits a family-owned business, the Fasshauer’s two children have also chosen to make their careers with the company. The founder’s two daughters have been successfully helping oversee the company’s interests for quite some time, dividing the technical and business sides of the company evenly between themselves.
A strong foundation built on tradition and innovation
The company’s wide variety of customers appreciate the productive way Fasshauer combines traditional values with innovative solutions. So it’s no surprise that they have clients not only in Germany but throughout Europe, and even in Indonesia. FASSHAUER turns ideas into steel. The broad array of projects they handle is quite impressive, everything from car towers, a practical way of saving on space while providing a novel platform for displaying new vehicles, to crane tracks, silos and complete foundations. They also supply standardized structures as well as customized industrial and commercial buildings ready for immediate occupancy. For the experts at Fasshauer, completing a project quickly and on schedule is just part of the job. And the company’s credo is its ability to provide everything from A to Z: from project consultation to construction management and supervision as well as post-completion services.
All the technical aspects of steel construction demand not only skill and creativity but also processing equipment capable of translating ideas into precision and quality steel and metal products. Lasting value and durability are what customers want and a company like Fasshauer, with its half century of achievement, appreciates how important it is to take the long view and in doing so provides proof of a company’s skill and ability, but it also confronts the same company with the need to invest in new equipment.
Quality always prevails
In 1990 the company purchased a KALTENBACH KB 125 drill (manufactured in 1974). Since then, it has remained an important element of production – simply indispensable, but what was at that time state-of-the-art has since undergone a series of technical advances so that even the continuous maintenance service that KALTENBACH provides, could not circumvent the necessity of investing in new equipment. New and expanding demands made automated systems and additional flexibility essential.
The question about which supplier to choose was quickly answered after analyzing all the providers: Fasshauer chose equipment from KALTENBACH, the international manufacturer of metalworking machines from Lörrach. Their decision was based on Fasshauer’s experience with its over 40-year-old drill. What made the project more complicated, however, was that KALTENBACH had to find a way to deal not only with space limitations, but also special requirements in terms of operating height. And in addition, the equipment had to be tendered and installed in just four weeks because the whole project had to be completed without interrupting ongoing production operations. Questions about which equipment to choose – whether used or new, and in which design – were quickly settled after experts inspected the circumstances on site and put together the right package. What needed to be integrated into production and made fully functional within four weeks was a combination consisting of a KDM 1015 high-performance drill and a KBS 1051 DG precision saw, together with a M 152 GG measurement system with two grippers.
High speed and great precision in drilling, milling and cutting
Kaltenbach’s KDM series of drilling machines has a worldwide reputation for speed and precision. This is due to its high-performance drive, automatic tool changer, mechanical drill feed with a ball screw and force-fit, backlash-free drill spindle. This very sturdy machine can be used to mill on all axes, which is of great value to Fasshauer and all steel construction companies (in the production of slots, rotation locks, recesses, etc.). Fasshauer quickly realized that this allowed them to significantly increase capacity and streamline their operations. The KDM 1015 model scores points for its robust design and advanced technology, as well as by virtue of its fully automated linear tool change system with five tools on three drilling axes. Along with increased speed, drilling precision has also been significantly improved and the optional use of carbide drill bits makes it even faster still. The automation of the individual processing steps provided by an easy-to-use, graphically structured PC program is excellent in providing for greater flexibility in processing a variety of orders, which is commonplace at Fasshauer.
Fasshauer also appreciates the materials-marking feature, which uses a special high-speed contour-marking tool. The contour marking tool applies indicators or references as instructed by the program onto the materials being processed, which significantly simplifies all subsequent processing; for example, when welding parts onto a steel beam (eliminating the need for marking during crimping/riveting). Data transfer is carried out quickly and securely via DSTV files. It can even convert customer data from different CAD systems.
The drill works in conjunction with the extremely fast KALTENBACH KBS 1051 beam band saw. Thanks to its sophisticated technology, it is one of the fastest of its kind worldwide. In addition to a powerful drive motor for maximum speed, the ball screw provides for smooth operation and consistent feed rates. The automatic and variable adjustment of the saw blade provided by the AFC auto feed control ensures optimal positioning for different profile cross-sections. This lets the company generate significant savings in terms of both material and time. The band saw allows for the use of carbide saw blades and demonstrates outstanding results especially on upright H-profiles. The production staff appreciates how easy it is to operate as well as its flexibility in day-to-day use, especially in handling a wide range of different specifications and an advantage of automation is that it allows them to accomplish things that weren’t possible before now.
The drilling /cutting unit operates in conjunction with the M 152 GG sliding measurement system with its dual gripper tongs. The elimination of the need for a “measurement cart depot” is what made the retrofit possible, given the limited space available. The advantage of this system is that once measurements have been made, they cannot be altered during processing, this reduces the error rate previously resulting from additional measurements being made by hand, marking a clear gain in terms of precision and safety.
What was successfully integrated into production in just four weeks should last for years to come, or as managing director Gabriele Fasshauer put it: “In 1990 we bought our first KALTENBACH machine and were more than satisfied with it for years after that. Its 40-year service life attests to the high quality of the products and professional services that KALTENBACH provides, that’s why we are sure that the KDM 1015 and the KBS 1051 DG will be with us for a long time to come.”
The past decades have demonstrated just how reliable a partner KALTENBACH could be when it came to service, spare parts and timely support and nothing about that is likely to change in the future – of that the Fassbauers feel certain.