Streamlining processes together: how a leading EDM system manufacturer went from 32 pump types to six with Grundfos
Charmilles supplies high-quality EDM systems to discerning clients all over the world. The company’s dedication to excellence and innovation makes it a perfect business partner for Grundfos.Charmilles Geneva is part of the Agie Charmilles Group, the world’s leading supplier of systems to the tool and mould-making industry. Specialising in superior solutions for electrical discharge machining (EDM) and wire cutting, dedication to quality is a Charmilles hallmark. This shared passion for excellence made Grundfos a natural choice when Charmilles Geneva went looking for a partner to supply the pumps used in their systems. And the partnership has yielded many benefits for both companies.
With a history going all the way back to 1861, Charmilles Technologies has succeeded in remaining a pioneer within the sector of electrical discharge machining (EDM). Today, the company continues to patent one new example of innovative technology every year on average and is recognised as a supplier of high-quality EDM systems all over the world. Success on this scale is the result of a dedication to quality and innovation which ties in perfectly with the Grundfos spirit and values.
It was only natural, then, that Charmilles Geneva should turn to Grundfos for pump solutions to place inside their EDM and wire-cutting systems. This led to a long-standing relationship that has introduced new solutions and development to the two technology specialists. And of course the net result of these combined efforts enable all Charmilles clients to increase their competitive edge in our increasingly global economy.
The Grundfos solution
The complex processes carried out by Charmilles equipment require a great deal of pump technology for a variety of cleaning, cooling, feeding, and flushing purposes. When a company depends on precision to the extent that Charmilles does, all suppliers and subcontractors are measured against very high standards. Fortunately, Grundfos was able to meet these strict requirements, and co-operation between the two companies began in 1990.
The partnership has spanned two decades of rapid development. Grundfos has introduced several changes in its product portfolio to accommodate the rigorous quality requirements set by Charmilles. During the early stages of the collaboration, Grundfos dedicated a lot of resources to accommodate Charmilles’ wishes within a particular field: making all connections just right to meet meticulous quality demands.
Once this initial adjustment was made, the Grundfos team moved on to suggest improvements within other areas to promote efficiency and performance.
For example, Charmilles used two different pump types – 50 and 60 Hz versions – to cater to European and US market standards. The Grundfos engineers saw an opportunity for more efficient production. They demonstrated that a 50/60 Hz pump was a better alternative, thereby simplifying logistics immensely with a single stroke.
Similar initiatives and the development of customised solution means that the Grundfos engineers have reduced the number of pumps needed in Charmilles EDM and wire cutting equipment from 32 (non-Grundfos pumps included) to just six! The advantages in terms of logistics, spare part handling, etc., are obvious.
The partnership continues with undiminished vigour and enthusiasm, helping both companies to go from strength to strength. The shared values and focus on delivering the best possible product to the end customer is sure to give rise to even more exciting developments in future.
With 3 or 4 pumps used in each machine, Grundfos has supplied very substantial quantities of pumps to Charmilles over the years. The Grundfos engineers have even managed to bring the total number of pump types necessary in Charmilles equipment down to just six from 32.