Black Forest cabinetmaker's successful transition into injection molding production
| Petra Rehmet
Furniture specialists MS-Schuon relies on CX ClassiX machines
Showing entrepreneurial spirit and a nose for new markets, family business MS-Schuon GmbH in the Black Forest town of Haiterbach has taken the leap from manufacturing high-quality solid furniture and kitchen fronts to its own injection molding production. The move has been a successful one. Since February 2019, two KraussMaffei CX ClassiX hydraulic injection molding machines have been producing components for the automotive and furniture industries.
"We've always been curious and open-minded about new materials and technologies. Our swift, agile business approach and our success based on that to date show that we are doing something right" explains Phillip Schuon, joint Managing Director with his sister Bettina and a representative of the third generation leading MS-Schuon into the future. Today, MS-Schuon employs around 100 people at three locations in Haiterbach.
In 2018, a new material and new applications were also being explored. At that time, MS Schuon had already been making foldable tables designed for a camping vehicle made by a large automotive manufacturer for several years. These tables comprise a special aluminum sandwich material that combines very high stability with low weight. The scope of delivery also includes plastic components such as caps and supports, primarily made of engineering plastics. In recent years, however, the quantities have increased dramatically, prompting the company to search for new solutions.
"Initially we bought in the plastic components. But as quantities increased, in-house production made more sense. This gave us the opportunity to explore new sectors once again. It's the reason why we started an intensive search in 2018 for an experienced partner in injection molding" says Schuon.
There were several suppliers to choose from. We eventually opted for KraussMaffei's offer of two hydraulic injection molding machines from the CX ClassiX series.
"The CX ClassiX was and is ideal for our requirements. It gives us a wide range of options for maximum flexibility. And it does so with reduced machine investment and fast delivery times."Phillip Schuon, Managing Director of MS-Schuon
In-house production is to start as soon as possible. Since February 2019, the CX ClassiX 50 and CX ClassiX 160 have produced components not only for the foldable tables, but also other components for the automotive, caravan and furniture industries. MS-Schuon had already started active marketing before the start of production. The company was therefore able to implement 3-shift operation before the start of production.
High level of automation and zero-defect production
In addition to processing PP, the CX ClassiX 50 and CX ClassiX 160 (with a clamping force of 500 and 1600 kN respectively) mainly process engineering plastics such as PC, ABS, TPE and PA with 30 percent glass fiber content. "The two clamping forces give us the necessary flexibility and are ideal for the required component sizes" explains the Managing Director. Overall, MS-Schuon has approximately 40 to 50 molds at the ready. In this regard, MS-Schuon works together with German partner company Moulds & more Werkzeugmanagement, which has a dense network of certified manufacturers. "Our experience has been positive from day 1. We benefit not only from extremely short delivery times of just six weeks to availability of the first off-mold parts, but also from high quality and availability of parts", concludes Schuon.
The two linear robots LRX 50 from KraussMaffei ensure a high degree of automation and fast cycle times. In each case, programming and handling are integrated into the MC6 control system. This makes operation intuitive and easy.
Both CX ClassiX machines feature the machine function APC plus (Adaptive Process Control) from KraussMaffei. This function recognizes process fluctuations caused by environmental conditions or viscosity fluctuations immediately and independently takes countermeasures. The results are consistently high component quality and low reject and material costs.
Equal partnership and excellent service
KraussMaffei supported MS-Schuon's transition to in-house injection molding production from the outset. In particular, the experienced manufacturer offered comprehensive advice on the selection of suitable injection molding machines and automation, training courses at the Munich head office and on-site as well as fast service and support.
"Everything just worked. Even though we were new to the industry, we were always treated and advised as if we had been a regular customer for many years. This was not the case with other companies. With KraussMaffei, we have the ideal partner on our side.“Phillip Schuon, Managing Director of MS-Schuon
Now, MS-Schuon is already considering new investments for the future. Based on its positive experience, the company is currently planning further investment in an injection molding machine in the clamping force range of 800 kN. This would provide a clamping force link between the existing 500 and 1600kN machine - and would work well again with a CX ClassiX from KraussMaffei.
From cabinetmaker to plastic processor - Milestones in MS-Schuon's historyMS-Schuon started in the early 1980s. At that time, the production of massive furniture was in the foreground. Since then, the former MS-Schwarzwaldmöbel has grown continuously. At the end of the 90s the portfolio was extended by an investment in aluminium milling for the production of kitchen fronts. In 2003, one of the largest automobile manufacturers joined the client book. Here, the experience gained in aluminium front production was used to develop a novel table and bed system for a camping vehicle. Further measures were taken in the following years, which led the company further towards the supplier industry and away from the furniture manufacturing. In 2016, MS-Schuon invested in the expansion of the new administration and production building at its Haiterbach headquarters in the Black Forest. Since the beginning of the year, two KraussMaffei CX ClassiX machines have been producing plastic components for the automotive and furniture industries.
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