UNITED FOR YOUR SUCCESS
The slogan of the UNITED GRINDING Group was also its motto at this year's EMO Hannover: UNITED FOR YOUR SUCCESS. The group celebrated its 30th anniversary and announced its partnership with Transaction-Network. It also presented three product innovations in grinding and measuring technology on 1,000 sq m.
This year's EMO Hannover 2023 was once again a showcase for the latest technologies from the manufacturing industry. With its 1,000 sq m (10,765 sq ft) booth, the UNITED GRINDING Group was again prominently represented this year too, and presented several innovations.
Premiere of three new products
At the Customer Care special exhibition area, numerous visitors were able to inform themselves about all the products and services available to sustain efficient production over the complete lifecycle of the machines.
At the 16 machines on display, the trade professionals were also able to experience the following innovations live:
BLOHM, the specialist for surface and profile grinding machines, presented the UNIMATE workpiece automation system for the PLANOMAT XT, a more precise and productive solution for the internal machining of hydraulic motor stators. The new vertical grinding arrangement offers numerous advantages for this application. And the automatization solution developed specifically for this purpose also contributes to higher productivity.
STUDER presented a universal automation solution for the S33 and S31 cylindrical grinding machines: the new insertLoad loading system. This new standardized loading system can handle horizontal- and vertical-oriented workpieces and load the parts between centers and into a chuck.
And WALTER, one of the leading manufacturers of machine tools, presented the innovative "Laser Contour Check" measuring system for the first time at EMO. This combines a new type of blue laser with an intelligent measuring system and is used for highly accurate, contact-free measurement of various tool parameters on cylindrical tools directly in the working area of the grinding or eroding machines.
Partnership with Transaction-Network
The UNITED GRINDING Group used this year's EMO Hannover as an opportunity to announce its partnership with Transaction-Network. The customer portal developed by the company with the same name can be used to order spare parts, open service tickets, or maintain the machine file. The portal proactively supports customers in service processes and provides 24/7 access to all important master data, documentation, and the history of their machines. This takes the digitalization of after-sales service to a new level and further simplifies the work of the users.
Since UNITED GRINDING is not the only user of this digital platform, and other machine manufacturers can use it too, the portal can be implemented for a large part of the machine park. Paul Kössl, Global Head of Business Development and Customer Care, therefore, recommends the implementation of the portal at machine manufacturers who want to digitalize the provision of information, rapid spare parts supply, and fast processing of service requests in an uncomplicated manner. "A manufacturer-independent customer portal offers users many advantages, such as uniform logins and user interfaces," says Kössl. And he adds, "In Transaction-Network, we have found the ideal partner to expand our digital after-sales offering. We are so convinced by this solution and the cooperation with Transaction-Network that we have acquired shares in the company beyond the licensing".
Also, Gerd Bart, founder and managing director of Transaction-Network GmbH & Co. KG, based in Gottmadingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, welcomes the collaboration: The "UNITED GRINDING Group is the ideal partner for us. We can best demonstrate the performance and advantages of our portal with the rather high complexity of this group," says Bart. Thanks to the open architecture and the DataX data integration platform developed by Transaction-Network, the portal was quickly and flexibly integrated into the existing IT infrastructure at UNITED GRINDING in just a few weeks. It provides an overview of all machines across all brands and customers of the group. "The advantage for the customer increases additionally, if machines from other manufacturers are also connected to the portal," Bart continues, looking positively into the future of the partnership with UNITED GRINDING.
However, the group did not only have new products and a new partnership to celebrate, but also a round birthday.
30 Years UNITED FOR YOUR SUCCESS
The history of the UNITED GRINDING Group goes back to 1993, a time when the global economy was in crisis. Körber AG, which is owned by a foundation, had invested in the development and expansion of the Schleifring Group – as it was then known – during this turbulent period. The vision of the technology group, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, was to bring together companies with similar business models and technologies to form a powerful group that would support and cooperate with each other for the benefit of its customers.
Twenty years later and under the leadership of Stephan Nell, CEO of the UNITED GRINDING Group, the group had made significant progress towards this goal. At EMO Han-nover 2013, the group presented itself under its current name "UNITED GRINDING Group" and with a uniform corporate design, which also includes the machine design. "For the first time, it became visible to the outside world that we were one group," recalls Nell. And this visual togetherness also had an internal effect. Cooperation within the group was greatly intensified, application and technology know-how were systematically exchanged, and infrastructure and international subsidiaries were jointly established and expanded.
Another six years later, the cooperation within the Group reached its preliminary peak with the development of the cross-brand C.O.R.E. technology. The development of such an innovative and complex technology could not have been accomplished by a single company in this form. "We pulled together the know-how and experience of all the software and mechanical engineering experts from our entire group," says Nell, explaining the success of this major development project. "And, of course, the investment was also borne by all the companies in the group, which was not insignificant, as you can imagine," Nell continues. "Research and development have always been an important issue for us. If we want to make our customers more successful, we also have to offer the best available technology – not only today's, but also tomorrows too. And that's why we invest the same amount in research and development every year - regardless of the economy."
However, a successful and long-term customer relationship is not only based on the latest technology. Above all, it is also based on shared values, a trusting and appreciative approach to one another, open and honest communication, and reliability – especially in turbulent times. And it is these values to which the group attaches great importance, both within the group and in its dealings with customers.
The secret of success lies in this strategy and in the vision developed in 1993: "Together with our nine brands, our different competences, our common values, our broad know-how and our numerous international subsidiaries, we as a group combine a strength that is hardly comparable and that we use every day for the success of our customers. Or in short: UNITED FOR YOUR SUCCESS," says Nell, explaining the group's slogan, which was also the motto of this year's EMO presentation, and not without reason.