Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AGMaschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG

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From flying chips to “flying components”


Deharde is committed to the quality-oriented and economical production of "flying components" for the aerospace industry - Hermle's C 60 U, 5-axis CNC performance center makes that possible.

The portfolio of Deharde Maschinenbau Helmut Hoffmann GmbH from Varel in North Germany is very varied: At first, the areas of plant manufacturing, aerophysics (wind tunnel models), aerospace, tool manufacturing and the automotive industry seem to have little in common. But they are united in one thing: the need for highest precision in reproducible quality.

The company near the Frisian coast fulfills these requirements through consistent investment in the latest technology. At the very latest since Helmut Hoffmann took over the firm in 1968, Deharde has been delivering service and technological performance with an emphasis on machining technology for the North German aerospace industry.

Von links Markus Stocker, Leiter der Zerspanung, mit einem aus dem Vollaluminium 5-achsig gefrästen Integralbauteil und rechts Bernd Bredekorn, CNC-Fräser und Bedienung sowie Programmierung der C 60 U, beide von Deharde Maschinenbau Helmut Hoffmann GmbH in Varel

Precision machining on a large scale

With its ability to deal with "large parts", Deharde has acquired a special status. This has had the effect of attracting customers first from Germany, then Europe, and finally from all over the world and also a corresponding investment in machines, halls, QA and, of course, specialist staff. Markus Stocker, who supervises the company's machining tasks, explains: "To find a better response to globalized production, we have adapted our business model. That means broadening out on the one hand, but also becoming more focused. In other words, we're moving away from conventional machining towards highest-precision manufacture of complex parts. This has consequences for the plant, and in purchasing new equipment we didn't make any compromises." In concrete terms: Deharde went for 5-axis high-performance CNC machining centers from Hermle's C series, so as to be sure of being able to meet the exacting requirements associated with aerospace and automotive components. The first step was taken in 2011 with the purchase of Hermle's flagship, the high-end C 60 U machining center for processing workpieces up to 2500 kg. This move immediately proved to be successful, and meant that even more capacity was needed. Within a short space of time, Deharde ordered a C 42 U, a C 22 U and another C 60 U. Everyone from managerial staff to the machine operators are impressed by the high levels of quality and performance. "In combination with the very high and completely reproducible positioning and repeating accuracy we can achieve extreme precision and supply the parts in unvarying, optimal quality. Previously, we had to rough-work model parts with two or three hundredths overmeasure and then rework them to the final size. These days, we can achieve ready-to-dispatch precision and surface quality in a single process," says Markus Stocker. A specific example? A 1000 mm long wing section that displays a precision tolerance of 0.01 mm - milled! - over its entire length, i.e. contour.

Excellent milling quality

Within a very short period, Deharde expanded its high-performance 5-axis CNC machining center to four units with a view to becoming the benchmark for precision manufacture of complex workpieces. On the basis of thousands of "flying components" of aluminum, titanium, Inconel, steel and ceramic, an increasing number of automotive components and milled workpieces for plant construction, the technology integrator Deharde is achieving genuine synergetic effects. And that is just how its customers see it, as Boeing's award of the title "Supplier of the Year" in 2009 confirms.

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