High-end parts manufacturing in the Far East

C 40 U RS 2 - C 42 UP | Shanghai Tobacco Machinery | Mechanical engineering

Partner to the best: With its high-performance CNC 5-axis machining centres supplied by Hermle, STMC Shanghai Tobacco Machinery Co. Ltd. sets standards in terms of precision and productivity.

From a tobacco and cigarette producer to one of Asia's leading tobacco processing machine

manufacturers and a competence centre for economical manufacturing of customer-specific precision parts – the story of how the STMC Shanghai Tobacco Machinery Co. Ltd. in Pudong/Shanghai has evolved is in many ways a mirror of China's explosive industrial development. The company was founded in 1902 as a British-American tobacco and cigarette manufacturer ShenZhong, and by 1952 it had developed into a manufacturer of machines for tobacco processing and cigarette packaging. The company was successful on the Chinese and neighbouring Asian markets, and then as a result of the increasing industrialisation in China from 2002 onwards, it was restructured to become the present-day Shanghai Tobacco Machinery Co. Ltd. Then, in 2009, the management set the stage for further expansion with the development of a new manufacturing facility. In China, STMC has a 65% share of the market for cigarette packaging machines, and it has similar shares in Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.

  • Robot components in various sizes, which are completely manufactured on the 12 new Hermle C 42 UP machining centres
    Robot components in various sizes, which are completely manufactured on the 12 new Hermle C 42 UP machining centres
  • Mr Hu, Service Manager Hermle China and Mr Zhu, Project Manager Shanghai Tobacco
    From left Mr Hu, Service Manager Hermle China and Mr Zhu, Project Manager Shanghai Tobacco

Only Hermle machining centres for precision part manufacturing!

A high degree of competence when it comes to developing and making machine components has to be based on a great deal of know-how in production technology. STMC has been relying on machine tools from the Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG for cubic machining for many years now. That came about as follows: On the basis of a targeted international call for tenders, Hermle machining centres performed so well in all areas such as precision machining, high production efficiency, reliability and service provision that as early as 2001 three C 800 U CNC machining centres were purchased. By 2010, these had been followed by four C 40 U high-performance CNC 5-axis machining centres that were then coupled with two RS 2 robot systems, so the four C 40 U machines are now fully automated. These machining centres are and were used primarily for the manufacture of components for cigarette packaging machines. With the purchase of twelve type C 42 UP high-performance CNC 5-axis machining centres, however, the company has something quite different in mind.


Constant productivity through adaptive levels of automation

For the supplementary business area already mentioned, namely parts production for customers, has been making steady progress because of the company's demonstrable capabilities as a supplier of machining technology services. Today, STMC supplies many machine manufacturers in China and elsewhere in Asia and has been obliged to increase its capacities by a considerable margin. Once again, STMC accepted Hermle's bid in view of its extremely good track record, the various automation solutions offered and its ability to deliver reliably and from a single source. Hence the investment in the twelve C 42 UP high-performance CNC 5-axis machining centres. The highly qualified and trained employees can operate two or even three machines in 2-shift or 3-shift operation, and with an appropriate level of automation this allows a very high level of productivity as well as the best possible degree of precision. In addition to this, the STMC employees appreciate the Hermle machining centres' extremely high degree of deployment flexibility: This enables them to cope with the small production batches (5 to 10 pieces) as well as the rapidly increasing number of parts involved reliably – and this will be possible in future, too.

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