Processing time reduced from one and a half week to one day

High quality production requires experience, precise work and modern machine solutions. Based on advice from MicroStep the professionals decided to procure a plasma cutting machine of the MG series for 3D processing of metal sheets and domes.
When it comes to the products of GEA Production Kitzingen, the highest possible precision is fundamental. That is what the customers expect from the containers and appliances of the major food processing industry supplier. High quality production requires experience, precise work and modern machine solutions. Based on advice from MicroStep the professionals decided to procure a plasma cutting machine of the MG series for 3D processing of metal sheets and domes. The Head of Production, Eduard Sauter considers this “a huge benefit. I recommend MicroStep at our other sites that have similar portfolio.

The containers and appliances that GEA Production Kitzingen builds for their customers are real giants, manufactured with the highest precision and cutting-edge technology. The products they make for the processing industry can be up to 70 tons heavy, up to 13 meters in diameter and 17 meters in length. Very high standards on surface roughness as well as high accuracies and tight tolerances are required so that the custom-made products may be installed and used as intended.

GEA Production Kitzingen has a total area of 63,000 square meters at its Franconian headquarters in Germany, divided into 9,000 square meters of production, 1,200 square meters of logistics and 2,900 square meters of office buildings (in the picture).

The internationally operating technology company GEA is one of the largest system providers for the food processing industry and focuses on machinery and equipment, process technology and components. At its site in Kitzingen, Germany, GEA manufactures equipment and apparatus for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. “We make possible what the customer wants,” says Eduard Sauter, Head of Production in Kitzingen.

For GEA's customers (food, pharmaceutical, chemical industry) precision is crucial – close tolerances are required. The domes prepared on the MG plasma cutting system are subsequently fitted with numerous nozzles.

Accurate advice from MicroStep given after rigorous analysis of production and portfolio

Customers are always demanding faster and faster delivery time with the same quality standards. In order to achieve this, the GEA Group is always on the lookout for new technology that offers process reliability and, if possible, has some added value in terms of quality and production speed. Due to these reasons, 2015 was the time to change the plasma cutting machine. Mr. Sauter preferred a laser cutting machine but also gave plasma technology a chance. MicroStep took a close look at the production time and the production itself. “We had the MicroStep specialists visit the production and evaluate which technology would bring the most benefits.

With the MG plasma cutting system at GEA, precise holes and contours with bevels can be applied to domes with a diameter of up to 3,500 mm.

And so, the decision was made to go with the “jack of all trades” machine from the MG series supporting 3D cutting of plates and domes. A comparable laser solution wasn’t available on the market and the rotator advantages and the ability to bevel bottom edge of the domes were the main decision factors. The plasma technology fits perfectly with the requirements. GEA produces small series of products and mainly cuts materials with thicknesses between 3 and 15 mm and in exceptional cases also cuts through 90 mm thick material.

The machine has been operating in production since June 2017. It can process plates on in a working area 12.000 x 3.500 mm large and domes up to 3.500 mm in diameter. The experience the company specialist had so far is positive: “The way the device works gives me an impression that it is rock solid. I recommend MicroStep at our other GEA facilities which have similar product portfolio.

Part of the MG cutting system at GEA is a CNC oxyfuel cutting table with energy-saving sectional extraction for processing large-format sheets measuring 12,000 x 3,500 mm.

Above all stands out the innovative mSCAN ® software from MictoStep for processing of domes and other 3D objects. Now, the Franconian company has no problem to keep up with the required tolerances and in addition a lot of extreme manual work that had to be done by people before like cutting of the dome bottoms, welding edge preparation, etc. is now done by the machine.

GEA Production Kitzingen relies on MicroStep's mScan® technology for the high-precision processing of domes. The MG plasma cutting system has an integrated laser scanner that determines the surface of the dome. With the mSCAN software, significantly better results are achieved in the precision of the cutting tasks.

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