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First Time Quality – High-Volume Production in Germany

stoba and KROMI launch tool management project as a Best-in-Class partnership

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stoba is an innovative group of companies consisting of three specialists in the fields of special machine construction – stoba Customized Machinery, stoba e-Systems, who make of electric drives, controls, and energy storage systems, and stoba Precision Technology.  

For almost 60 years, stoba Precision Technology has been a project partner for high-precision, metallic components and assemblies in mass production, which are used worldwide in a wide variety of applications. The main focus here lies on complex components for high-pressure injection systems and assemblies for the international automotive industry. Precision and the ability to work together towards custom-fit solutions are seen by customers as the company‘s core competence, and accuracy, thoroughness and punctuality as its outstanding characteristics.

DThe company stands above all for innovative processes, some of which are developed and implemented in-house. The almost 300 plants and manufacturing islands, for instance, include not only self-developed production and assembly stations, but also a number of high-production Swiss rotary transfer machines that only exist at stoba. The close development partnership with the machine makers is a guarantee for quality and efficiency – also, or especially, in Germany. Intelligent automation solutions make it possible to produce complex components with a high degree of availability and flexibility at high volume even with a small team of personnel.

stoba Precision Technology supplies the right processes to meet the requirements of its customers. To this end, the company is prepared to enter into a development partnership at the early stage of a project. In this way, the optimal production concept can be developed for each component together with the customer to deliver the desired function and quality in line with cost targets. The latest technologies are always in use for such projects and are further developed with any eye to customer and product requirements. stoba Precision Technology employs more than 900 people at its five locations around the world. They are the driving force of the company. With their qualifications, passion, and motivation, they decisively determine its future viability and competitiveness.
Cooperation is also a focus of management in the field of precision tools. With a large number of variants, long delivery times and high-priced products, the value as new of a complete warehouse containing precision tools quickly runs into the millions. As stoba Managing Director Christoph Bode sees it, this is an important argument in favour of external tool management: “Within the framework of a close partnership with a supplier, the capital commitment and the costs of warehousing should be almost completely covered by a service provider. Functioning as a consignment warehouse, the KROMI Tool Center concept will in future offer us 100% availability without inventory costs – all from a single source.”

In order to ensure the required quality of machining, effective and informative controlling tools from KROMI will in future be used. Also particularly important in this context is the correct recording of the actual performance data. The rough estimate of cost rates and general planning figures which have been customary to date did not allow an objective comparison in this respect. One of the most important indicators for the stability and process reliability in production is the actual tool consumption during manufacturing. With its Tool Center KTC, its eCommerce System KeC and the online controlled tool cost monitoring system KCo, KROMI therefore provides not just a reliable logistics solution, but also an efficient platform for the qualified benchmarking of the process capability of individual machines and plants. Particular attention is paid to the permanent monitoring of the tool costs per component. As opposed to the case with other concepts, this is where the service as such begins for KROMI: through the detailed recording of the actual tool use in real time, the current costs per component can be continuously monitored. That makes options for intervention available before the costs get out of control.

For Ralf Miller, Head of Tool Management at stoba, optimising production is part of day-to-day business: “The central job for us in tool management here at stoba is to constantly scrutinise our own processes by determining and analysing the tool costs per component and to try and replace cost-driving tools or processes with more economical ones. Having a manufacturer-neutral machining expert as a service partner is of course very welcome in this task.”

Ralf Miller (right), Head of Tool Management at stoba, and KROMI branch manager Marcus Herzog (left) in front of one of the new KROMI Tool Center (KTC) dispensers. (Photo: KROMI)

Ralf Miller (right), Head of Tool Management at stoba, and KROMI branch manager Marcus Herzog (left) in front of one of the new KROMI Tool Center (KTC) dispensers. (Photo: KROMI)