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Digitalization Serves as the Bedrock for Automation

by GO ON
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High variability and different batch sizes can be a challenge for many contract manufacturers, but not for Microart. The precision part manufacturer achieves efficient machining with flexible capacity using digital structures and automated Hermle five-axis machining centers.


Microart, with 180 employees, produces precision parts from aluminum, stainless steel, and special alloys, as well as from highly robust materials such as titanium, mostly in small batches of 50 to 2,000 pieces. All components are intended for the capital goods sector, especially for mechanical engineering and machine tools, but also for electrical engineering and process engineering.

Dr. Alexander Artmann founded Microart in 2007 with the help of his father. Michael Kerscher has also been with the company from the beginning. The engineer is still responsible for the company’s finances and is its driving force. Originally, the company focused on supporting tool manufacturers in the high-precision sector. „We then developed quite quickly into the field of machining precision parts and abandoned the original idea,“ says the company founder and managing director. Hermle has been with them from the very beginning: „Michael Kerscher and my father come from the tool manufacturing industry and knew about the reliability and performance of Hermle machining centers in terms of precision and good service. So we started right away with a C 40 U machine,“ says Artmann. Today, Microart has a fleet of 25 Hermle milling centers – the latest seven are automated by two RS 2L robotic systems.

Digitalization and automation

Artmann sees digitalization as the foundation of automation. „Without digitalization, automation is not possible today,“ he says. „The data from the machines, the software, and the employees must be connected and exchanged. This is the only way to achieve the efficiency and flexibility that are essential for us.“

Microart uses a variety of digital tools to achieve this. The company has implemented an ERP system and a document management system, and it has also digitalized the entire tool cycle. This includes everything from the design of the tools to their procurement, maintenance, and disposal.

Automated machining

Microart uses automation to increase productivity and flexibility. The company has two robotic systems from Hermle that load and unload the machining centers. This frees up employees to focus on more complex tasks, such as tool setting and quality control.

The automation also makes it possible to produce small batches efficiently. „We can produce even small batches with the same efficiency as large batches,“ says Artmann. „This is because we can use the same machines and processes for both.“

Microart is a good example of how digitalization and automation can help contract manufacturers to achieve high efficiency and flexibility. The company has invested in a strong digital infrastructure and automated machining to meet the needs of its customers.

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