There’s only one winner in major competitions. When the race was on to be the first expedition to reach the Geographical South Pole, the team led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen claimed victory on Dec. 14, 1911, beating the British party led by Robert Falcon Scott by more than a month. Not only did Scott’s expedition come in second place after reaching their destination on Jan. 17, 1912, the five members of the team died on their return journey while Amundsen’s group returned safely to base camp.
1912 was also the year that Fritz Studer launched Fritz Studer AG in Steffisburg, Switzerland. Today, the company is a leading builder of universal, internal and external grinding machines.
To update more than 60 members of the press from across the globe, including four from the U.S., as well as company representatives, about its business activities and new developments, Studer held what it called the Motion Meeting Expedition 2023 at its headquarters on Feb. 10.
In his welcoming address at the event’s press conference, CEO Jens Bleher spoke about the company’s roots and the South Pole expedition. “Since then, the pioneer in cylindrical grinding has presented countless technological innovations — a long tradition that is our obligation for the future. After a remarkable final spurt at the end of the year, Studer started 2023 in full momentum, with a large order backlog.”
Sando Bottazzo, managing director – chief security officer, emphasized that preparation was essential to the success of Amundsen’s expedition. He added that Studer takes the same approach to growing its business and experienced strong sales last year as a result. “Overall, it was the third-best year in our company history in order intake. All in all, in 2022, we once again succeeded in expanding our position in the most important markets in the world and increasing our market share.”
Daniel Huber, chief technology officer, pointed out that last year also brought numerous new developments and an expanded product range. “In 2022, we presented an innovation at almost every large trade show.” For example, Studer showcased the S36 production grinder at GrindingHub in Stuttgart, Germany. The machine closes a gap in the company’s portfolio between the S11 and S22 and is well-suited for grinding electromobility components. The S36 is available with a monitoring concept for energy and air consumption.
COO Stephan Stoll wrapped up the press conference by speaking about the company’s investment in the future. In the coming year, he noted, spindle shaft production will be renewed and expanded, and the warehouse and logistics infrastructure will be comprehensively modernized by 2025. In 2023, he said Studer expects a stable and strong output, possibly higher than last year.
With manufacturers continually automating their production processes and acquiring equipment with easy and intuitive programming or no programming at all, the event included a company tour that highlighted some of Studer’s developments to fit those trends. At the tour’s “Expedition Mars” presentation, for example, the company unveiled the uniLoad automatic loading system that enables operators of the S31 and S33 external cylindrical grinders to significantly increase productivity without any loss of quality, Studer reports. With a prismatic conveyor and all racks at full capacity, the system can perform automatic processing for about an hour, and no programming is required.
The ”Expedition Jungle” presentation, which focused on using, technology, concentration, instinct, and courage to successfully navigate the wilderness of manufacturing, showcased the new S100 internal cylindrical grinder for the entry-level segment. During development, special attention was given to a simple and efficient design of the components, making operation and maintenance easy, according to the company. In addition to typical parts that can be ground on the S100, including collets, bearing rings, ball bearings and cylinders, external and internal grinding of threads and non-circular forms is possible.
The Motion Meeting Expedition 2023 concluded with “surprise night” at the Eggli mountain-top restaurant in Gstaad, which was accessed via a gondola. The night included a series of challenges that each team had to complete. The team that completed them the quickest overall, while also creatively posing for a team photo, won. The challenges included a snowshoe race, packing and racing a sled, building and dismantling a tent, and lighting a fire with a starter kit and then roasting a marshmallow without burning it. This author was on the team named after the Schreckhorn mountain in Bernese Alps, which did not get to stand on the podium.
Related Glossary Terms
Rotary tool that removes hard or soft materials similar to a rotary file. A bur’s teeth, or flutes, have a negative rake.
- cylindrical grinding
Grinding operation in which the workpiece is rotated around a fixed axis while the grinding wheel is fed into the outside surface in controlled relation to the axis of rotation. The workpiece is usually cylindrical, but it may be tapered or curvilinear in profile. See centerless grinding; grinding.
Machining operation in which material is removed from the workpiece by a powered abrasive wheel, stone, belt, paste, sheet, compound, slurry, etc. Takes various forms: surface grinding (creates flat and/or squared surfaces); cylindrical grinding (for external cylindrical and tapered shapes, fillets, undercuts, etc.); centerless grinding; chamfering; thread and form grinding; tool and cutter grinding; offhand grinding; lapping and polishing (grinding with extremely fine grits to create ultrasmooth surfaces); honing; and disc grinding.