Constant clamping

The company started as a small engineering company, which was founded in 1918. At that time, its main customers were primarily farmers. The company later developed into one of the leading suppliers to the automotive industry within conveying and automation technology.

In 2007, it was sold to EK-Fin, an Austrian subsidiary of Bank Austria. Initially, this brought the company further success. However, the economic crisis and the unfavourable conditions it brought about led to a negative trend. During this period, ROFA GmbH acquired the conveying technology section of the business, and MAT GmbH, the subsidiary founded in July 2010, relocated to Leiblfing.

With 160 employees and bolstered by its association with the ROFA Group, “MOLL Automatisierung GmbH” began trading on 01 July 2011. The company currently employees around 230 staff worldwide and has an annual turnover of €90 million. The main premises of the company are high flexibility, competence and the spirit of partnership. Its customers include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, MAN, Mercedes, Porsche, Scania, Skoda, Tesla, Volvo and VW: the who’s who of the global automotive sector.

Moll Automatisierung GmbH has relied on the precision of the GARANT ZeroClamp from the Hoffmann Group since the year 2010. The zero point clamping system is used within the machining of machining steel, flame cuts, aluminium and fabricated frames on several milling machines. It has enabled the company to reduce its setup times and boost productivity significantly.

“In 2010, we were looking for a zero point clamping system (ZPCS) for our milling machines as we wanted to reduce setup times and speed up our procedures. Our long-standing relationship with the Hoffmann Group suggested that we should look to their offering for a suitable solution,” reports Erhard Urlberger, head of training at Moll Automatisierung GmbH. That same year, the decision was made to purchase the GARANT ZeroClamp from the Hoffmann Group. Since then, it has been used on a daily basis for the machining of machining steel, flame cuts, aluminium and fabricated frames on several machines. This choice was not least due to the excellent advice offered by the external sales team at the Hoffmann Group.

Precise and reliable clamping – even for complex tasks

ZeroClamp scores highly thanks to its simple design, high flexibility and vast range of applications. With compensation for thermal expansion always in relation to the centre axis (absolute zero point), only one type of clamping stud is required, released pneumatically at an air pressure of 5.5 bar. This eliminates the need for sword studs and floating studs, and also ensures a highly modular design. This means greater freedom in the setup of clamping points on the component.

Conventional technologies operate a different approach, using floating studs to compensate for thermal expansion. This can lead in particular to inaccuracies around the centre axis during workpiece turns. With GARANT ZeroClamp, absolute thermal symmetry is provided at all times due to the central zero point. That increases the precision of the production process and reduces scrap. Additional security (form fit) against centrifugal force also offers security when turning.

What’s more, using a single type of clamping stud enables a whole range of additional components such as the GARANT multi-point clamping rail, extension bases, NC vices and also components to be positioned precisely on the zero point clamping system to an accuracy of micrometers. This makes the system flexible to use and easy to handle. Moll uses clamping pots with a 120 mm diameter and 25 kN clamping force.

Shorter setup times – higher productivity

Now in use for over eight years, the verdict is more than positive: the time saved when milling due to the reduced setup times amounts to 50% or more depending on the process, which in turn has resulted in an increase in productivity. And if the component needs machining again after the measurement process, the ZeroClamp makes positioning quick, precise and capable of repetition accuracy. The repetition accuracy of less than 2 µm is a major advantage.

These positive results have led Moll Automatisierung GmbH to plan equipping two further milling centres with the zero point clamping system in August and December 2018. “It has more than proved itself within our operations. As well as the high levels of process reliability and employee satisfaction, the cost savings achieved also indicate we should expand the system further,” explains Urlberger. “Based on the reasons given, we would recommend ZeroClamp every time,” he says in conclusion. “It is a low-maintenance, sealed system without hydraulic oil, which means it has no leakage and is unaffected by chips. It’s easy to use and increases process reliability.”

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