Swiss job shop center: “All expectations were fulfilled!“

stürmsfs AG based in Goldach, Switzerland is an internationally operating steel and metal processing manufacturer with production sites in Switzerland, Austria and Slovakia.
stürmsfs AG is considered one of the leading job shops in Switzerland and one of the most modern across Europe. This steel and metal business is well prepared to take care of all jobs, both complex and simple. For this reason, the company has invested heavily into digital systems, automation, and cutting edge technology in recent years. Since July 2017, this includes also the MG plasma cutting machine from MicroStep. stürmsfs relies on this multifunctional cutter for 3D processing of sheet metal with a plasma rotator, 2D plasma torch and drilling spindle.

Small locksmiths, steel construction builders, large manufacturing plants, all depend on the stürmsfs AG’s high-quality products and their on-time delivery ensured by their own truck fleet. “It is the diversity that makes our company so important that we are considered the most established steel and metal dealer in Switzerland. We are competent in many areas like machining and thermal cutting. We are also known for a high degree of automation. We function as a detached workbench of the customer.” Marcel Meier, Head of Procurement & Corporate Development, explains. Automation of the whole production cycle – from placing of the order and manufacturing to delivery – is one of the company‘s many strengths.

The Swiss job shop center stürmsfs relies on a multifunctional MG plasma cutting system from MicroStep with a working area of 21,000 x 3,500 mm. Since its installation in July 2017, it has been running in two-shift operation with an additional optional night shift.

Wanted: Technologically advanced plasma cutting system with bevel cutting and drilling

As a part of a large-scale production optimization project, the company decided to build a new hall for thermal cutting. Their old plasma cutting machine was to be supplemented with a second one in order not to affect the current plasma cutting orders. After an extensive analysis of the market as well as the technical possibilities and considering their particular needs, stürmsfs finally decided in favor of a plasma cutting machine MG from MicroStep. “We were convinced by the whole package. From the start we had an impression that the bevel head we are getting is state-of-the-art,” says Marcel Meier looking back at the purchase decision at the end of 2016. In addition, performance of the drilling unit has also proven to be most convincing. “This is where MicroStep is far ahead compared to other CNC machine producers.”

Since July 2017 the machine has been in use for two shifts per day and when it is necessary, a third, night shift is added. The job shop has bought a plasma cutting system enabling both 2D and 3D plasma cutting, drilling, tapping and countersinking.

The MG series at the Swiss contract cutting specialist was equipped with a MicroStep R5 rotator. This enables 3D plasma cuts, for example for weld seam preparation up to 50°. The patented, automatic calibration unit ACTG® from MicroStep ensures exact repeatability of the results.

“The machine is two to three times more productive than its predecessor.”

The working area of 21 x 3.5 m, divided into two cutting zones, allows processing of large-format plates in parallel – while in one zone the material is being cut, the other one is safe for unloading of cut parts and loading of new material. The job shop is usually cutting plates between 5 and 35 mm thick. Both the drilling spindle and the plasma rotator with infinite rotation are being used quite often. The decision has proven to be the right one also for the plate production manager Markus Egger: ”We are very satisfied with the machine. Especially when it comes to drilling, it is two to three times more productive than its predecessor. We have a great advantage, we are able to cut threads, we are able to countersink. Both accuracy and quality of bevels are very high.”

A belt conveyor table from Beuting was integrated in the gantry cutting system with its guide rails. The system conveys slag and small parts directly into a container.

The switch to MicroStep was accompanied by the change to the SigmaNEST CAD/CAM software made by an American nesting specialist. Marcel Meier is satisfied: “We have taken some risks because we had to change both the machine and the nesting software provider at the same time. And the whole change with MicroStep worked out very well,” says the head of Projects and Corporate Development who played a major role in the investment decisions. This project has left behind many happy faces among the responsible people from stürmsfs AG. “The system is very productive and reliable – it has met all our expectations,” says Marcel Meier. “Our operators appreciate that they can actively influence the cutting result.

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