The Best of Partners

Leicht Stanzautomation develops and manufactures systems, such as for winding and unwinding strips and wires, and sells them around the world. For the first time, SI6 series drive controllers from STOBER are installed in the newest generation of the manufacturer's automated multiple winders. Compared to the previous version, this not only allows for increased performance, but also for an extremely space-saving design, thanks to the multi-axis drive system concept. While product development is based on the extensive experience of the machine manufacturer, STOBER integrated the drives and designed them optimally. This is one of many references of a partnership that has successfully grown over the years.

"Playing in the Champions League is much more fun than playing on an amateur team," affirms Jürgen Leicht with a smile. Neither soccer player nor trainer, Leicht is the CEO of Leicht Stanzautomation GmbH in Ölbronn-Dürrn, barely 10 km away from Pforzheim. And he is not talking about any ball game, but about the increasing requirements of the market—his market. The company develops and manufactures strip welders as well as an entire range of winders and re-coilers for punching and shaping technology, which it sells around the world. Its customer base includes renowned suppliers from the automotive and electrical industries, aerospace and medical technology, as well as the furniture industry and manufacturers of household appliances.

What are the requirements of the market? Leicht opens the door to the conference room and steps up to the balustrade that overlooks the assembly hall. It is strikingly clean and organized. At the assembly stations, employees are screwing or adjusting modules and machines. "The customer wants the highest product quality. To be able to play at the top," he says, keeping with the sports analogy, "we respond with solutions that we tailor accordingly. As we design our machines, for example, we pay attention to durability and reliability. At the same time, we always have our eye on design and functionality." And since Leicht Stanzautomation does not manufacture everything in-house, the market leader places very high value on selected suppliers—or better yet, partners. For many years, STÖBER Antriebstechnik GmbH + Co. KG from Pforzheim has been among these partners.

Drive Technology for Peak Performance
"In almost all of our systems, we have gear units, motors, drive controllers or complete automation solutions installed from STOBER," says Leicht. For example, this includes the newest generation of ASW series automated multiple winders, in which SI6 series drive controllers are being used for the first time. The special thing about this machine is that it changes the reels automatically. This means that production at the upstream punching machine does not have to stop. The reel is simply changed for the next available reel as soon as the preselected quantity has been reached. "The STOBER drive controller enables us to increase performance noticeably compared to the previous version," the CEO says, satisfied.

Dynamics and speed are extremely important for the user to be able to operate cost effectively, he says. The faster the processes are, the more productive the machine is. The time factor is critical for customers to be able to be competitive. "We have a total of seven drives installed in the system," Leicht explains, pointing to a helical bevel gear unit that tilts the feed head. Another space-saving right-angle gear unit handles the precise feeding of the strip. The highly dynamic drive controllers operate reliably, going unnoticed in the background even for challenging movements. STO (Safe Torque Off) and SS1 (Safe Stop 1) functions are integrated. In the SI6 series, these are certified in accordance with EN 13849-1 and can be used without function tests that interrupt production. After components are punched, the new machine automatically winds them in a few minutes; the reels are driven by coaxial synchronous servo geared motors and it takes barely two seconds to change from reel to reel with a planetary gear unit.

"The drive controller has a width of only 45 millimeters and is designed as a multi-axis drive controller," says STOBER sales representative Markus Stolowski, who has been taking care of Leicht Stanzautomation for years. "A single SI6 drive controller can control up to two axes. Thanks to the multi-axis drive design, the number of axes to be controlled can be scaled without limit." Installing individual components could not be easier. The patented Quick DC-Link modules can be simply clicked into the standard copper rails for power distribution and enable the simple installation and connection of the drive controllers.

"The electronic geared motor nameplate is available with the HEIDENHAIN EnDat 2.2 encoder system and easily and reliably handles parameterization of the motor and gear unit data," the STOBER expert explains. "Previously, only motor parameters could be transmitted, but now we also make it possible to transmit additional application-relevant gear unit data completely electronically."

The individual devices are connected to the central PS6 supply module. As a result, there is no need for decentralized supply modules or fuses and cabling for each axis, states Stolowski. "The user saves a tremendous amount of space in the control cabinet. Simply put, Leicht Stanzautomation can enable customers to have a considerable number of winding machines in a small installation area. In addition, the new ASW is easily accessible, and the user can conveniently operate the system using a ten-inch display.

Good Partnership
"The development of the entire machine is based on our experience; we collaborated with STOBER to integrate and design the drives," says Leicht, nodding toward Stolowski. "STOBER was with us from the beginning and supported us from the first stroke of a pencil in the design phase until the machine was commissioned."

Both are very satisfied with the cooperation. It is open and honest, Leicht says, and emanates a rather special spirit. "We are united by a similar demand for quality, a similar way of teasing out nuances so that, in the end, we can also be at the very top," the STOBER sales representative adds.

There is also the very short distance from door to door. This makes it easier for employees of the two companies to quickly sit down at the same table. "The technical consulting, the support—that is real, experienced partnership," the CEO describes. The goal of Leicht Stanzautomation is to reduce the number of suppliers in the interest of increasing cost potential and reducing expenses. Partners like STOBER are to remain.

How did this all begin? Leicht smiles. "It is hard to believe, but the connection goes back to August 2, 1982." This was the day he began his commercial apprenticeship at STOBER. When he ventured into self-employment after completing an additional technical course of study in 1995, he took with him not only his knowledge, but also the team spirit and the way in which people at STOBER work together to achieve common goals. This spirit is still in the air today in Ölbronn-Dürrn. "Our partnership has grown and grown over the years," the CEO says. This not only makes it possible for the two companies to interact pleasantly with each other as they also influence each other, such as in the development of the automated multiple winder. "STOBER's support helps us continue to qualify for the Champions League," Leicht says assuredly.

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