Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AGMaschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG

C 12 U | C 400 U HS flex | HZT Honermeier | Spindle running times


The two storage modules of the HS flex system provide space for 15 pallets.

HZT Honermeier Zerspanungstechnik manufactures moulded dies, components, gages and prototype for machine manufacturers. That means that no order is like any other. For flexible and efficient machining, Honermeier invested in a 5-axis machining centre with adapted automation from Hermle.

HZT Honermeier Zerspanungstechnik, located in Bünde, a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, manufactures prototypes, individual parts and series for the printing and food industries as well as machine and automobile manufacturing. Lars Honermeier made himself independent in 2001 and since then has relied on flexible manufacturing and a personal relationship with his business partners. Currently twelve qualified employees are working in the successful family business. They create CNC programs and develop economical metal cutting and clamping strategies. Workpieces are also machined on milling centres from Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG. "For cost reasons, our first Hermle was a used 3-axis machine", recalls Honermeier. This was followed about five years ago by a series C 12 U compact machining centre. "There are many small details that make day-to-day work easier", explains the Managing Director, and he cites tool management as an example: "Instead of the operator looking for the tools manually, the Hermle machine indicates after the simulation whether the required tools are loaded."


The Hermle manufacturing cell at HZT Honermeier, consisting of the C 400 U 5-axis machining centre and the HS flex automation solution.


To respond effectively to the order situation with the usual quality and speed, Lars Honermeier decided in 2018 to introduce automation instead of investing in a second shift. Concerns that accessibility would be restricted by the HS flex handling system were resolved during a visit with extensive consultation at Hermle in Gosheim and he ordered a series C 400 U machining centre – including the handling system.

left to right Christian Sieks, Work Preparation, Marco Laute, CAD/CAM Programming, Lars Honermeier, Managing Director of HZT Honermeier Zerspanungstechnik

Von der Zeichnung in die Zelle

The advantage: The skilled worker can load from the side setup station in parallel to machining time during the day and later allow machining to continue running into the evening. "The key is spindle running times, and the way to increase them is through as much automation as possible", explains Honermeier. Thanks to the HIMS software solution (Hermle Information Monitoring Software) he always has an overview. The central monitoring tool not only returns the live status and a detailed evaluation of the status history, but also sends an e-mail for machine events or errors.

Using HACS order management (Hermle Automation Control System), machine operators can prioritise and plan orders, calculate runtimes and tool usage, and change the sequence plan dynamically. "That means we keep fewer important assignments waiting, which the machine can accommodate when there is a suitable time slot", explains Honermeier. That helps to avoid idle times and optimise utilisation. "My expectations were more than met", summarises the company founder. From consulting through commissioning and on to service, everything went optimally for him. He has also completely dismissed his initial scepticism concerning the front adaptation of the automation solution: "I wouldn't do anything differently. If we had to make the investment again, it would be for this combination."

Setup while the machine is running – a great advantage of automation with HS flex
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