Events Calendar

Banner
The need for speed
Monday, 02 May 2016 00:00

The owner of CNC-Bearbeitung Jürgen Buss GmbH, a thriving subcontractor in southern Germany, is a lover of all things American, including classic cars, motorsport (especially NASCAR), and Haas machines. Since he began his company in 1992, he has made impressive progress, thanks in large part, he says, to his investment in several Haas CNC machines, including a UMC-750 five-axis universal machining centre.

Located around 40 km north of Stuttgart, CNC-Bearbeitung Jürgen Buss GmbH (known locally as Buss Toolmaking) has earned its reputation as a competent and reliable partner in CNC machining and toolmaking to industries such as automotive, medical, environmental, and agriculture; the wisdom of not allowing more than 10 to 15 percent of turnover to be spoken for by any single customer demonstrates astute management. Indeed, this ethos is applied similarly to its machine tool investments, exploiting the industry-leading, price-specification ratio of Haas machines to ensure the company can compete in a highly competitive subcontract arena.

Overseeing the company is owner and founder Jürgen Buss. Mr. Buss ended his employment with a local engineering firm at the age of 26, 23 years ago, opting instead to use his CNC machining background to begin his own company milling plastic components that formed part of systems for chimney gas measurement. The systems were successful, and as well as several contracts for steel components, he had the beginnings of his business. So far, he hasn’t looked back.

Mr. Buss acquired his first Haas machine in the mid-1990s as a cost-effective, high-quality alternative to the established German, Swiss, and Japanese makes prevalent in the local market at the time. Several Haas CNC lathes were acquired to run alongside four Haas CNC Super Mini Mills. And, although the global downturn of 2009 meant the company had to restructure and sell some of its capacity, the revival of the economy at the turn of the decade soon saw Mr. Buss back on the Haas investment trail.

“The latest arrival is a Haas VM-6 vertical mouldmaking machine,” he says, “which joins a VF-2 vertical machining centre, a VF-2SS super-speed vertical machining centre, a DT-1 drill/tap centre, and a UMC-750 five-axis universal machining centre that was installed in January 2014. The Haas machines, which run for 10 to 12 hours a day, process all kinds of materials, ranging from plastics and aluminium castings, through brass and steel, to stainless steel and hard alloys. Batch sizes are anything up to 1000-off.”

Mr. Buss admits he has a soft spot for American engineering. He owns a Ford Mustang and a Jeep, as well as the obligatory Harley Davidson. Of course, he has already visited the Haas factory in Southern California to see where his machines are designed and built.

“The story of Haas is very interesting,“ he says. “The company’s history was explained to me, and I have total admiration for what Gene Haas and his colleagues have achieved. The idea of creating a virtually modular machine tool system based on low cost but high quality was a masterstroke. The success of the machines is mirrored by the success of the company’s NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing. In fact, NASCAR racing was definitely a highlight of the trip; a unique experience. Utter madness! The whole world is now curious to see if this success can be replicated in Formula One.”

Mr. Buss’s love of racing is repeated in his machine shop. As well as mounting several vises on each machine to give high throughput – the UMC-750 houses a pair of vises, the VM-6 has three vises, while the DT-1 has four – the high-speed machining option in the Haas control also features on every machine.

The high-speed machining option works by analysing the change in vector direction, or change in angle, from one block to the next. When the change in vector direction is very small, as with code produced by using a small cut tolerance value, the control can interpolate the motion at a higher feedrate than when the change in vector direction is greater. Impressively, the Haas high-speed machining option can process at a speed of up to 1000 blocks per second – that’s one block every one-thousandth of a second!

Today, the ISO9001 accredited company run by Mr. Buss has customers as far away as 100 km, securing new contracts largely through recommendation. Mr. Buss concludes: “Put simply, the speed and precision of Haas CNC machine tools – tolerances are often in the realm of 0.005 to 0.01 mm – have made our company the envy of the German subcontract machining industry.”