Success Story

Dörries Scharmann Retrofitting a vertical lathe

Business with a good profile

Supplier to the global tyre industry is on a roll. HERBERT Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG from Hünfeld produces moulds and tools for production of all kinds of vehicle tyres. To manufacture its tyre moulds, the Hessen-based company depends on high-tech equipment and on deluxe retrofitting by Dörries Scharmann Technologie GmbH (DST), a subsidiary of the Swiss Starrag Group.

Chip by chip the Hünfeld business creates moulds that make a positive contribution to mobility. HERBERT Maschinenbau & Co. KG in Hünfeld produces moulds that are used to create tyres for bicycles, cars, diggers and earth moving machines. The company also operates as a job shop, carrying out specific cutting tasks for its customers.

Unlike their competitors, the Hessen-based business cuts its moulds rather than casting them, production on its 50 machine tools plays a hugely important role. They have to cut some of the moulds with 30 to 50 µm precision. Six years ago, HERBERT discovered that used machines - after a targeted deluxe retrofit - can also meet their tough requirements.

"In 2005, we entered the market for 4.0 to 5.5 metre moulds", recalls Technical Director Wolfgang Stumpf. When a tyre manufacturer - like many companies in the tyre industry these days - outsourced its tyre mould construction, Herbert bought a Dörries vertical lathe type VC 6500/600 MC (produced in 1999) from them. The entire logistics, including transportation and commissioning of the machine, was handed over to Mönchengladbach-based DST. 

Because of their first-class experiences with DST, HERBERT decided to buy a Dörries vertical lathe for economical cutting of up to 4.2 metre moulds. "We needed a solid workhorse that would be efficient and durable, so that we could engage in more contract production for other companies in our region", Stumpf explains. "It needs to be very flexible. For example, we want to use it for turning components for wind power plants and wind turbines". 

retrofit, herbert, handshake, machine

In 2013, the Hessen company seized the opportunity to acquire a used Dörries vertical lathe type CTE 320 (produced in 1983) and with a new Siemens controller (840 D) fitted in 2001 from a Liebherr plant. "We were not willing to make any compromises in the retrofitting", the Technical Director recalls. "To ensure the quality was the same as with a new machine, we had everything replaced that did not meet our requirements". Retrofitting was carried out by DST Service, who replaced the entire hydraulic system and part of the electronics, as well as overhauling all of the guides. 

However, the used machine purchase was an exception, as the Starrag Group subsidiary normally only supplies new machines. "As a contractor, if we sell a used machine we only do so after a comprehensive retrofit", emphasises Hans Jeschke, Service Director at DST. "Our customers expect us to provide a used machine that will meet the same very high quality standards as a new one. That's why we overhauled the entire mechanical system so that it was as good as new".

A focus in the rejuvenation of the 30 year old machine was HSE: Health, Safety and Environment. Stumpf says: "Because the health and safety of our employees is so important to us, we had the machine completely rehoused". Thanks to the complete enclosure, employees are no longer exposed to aerosol vapours (mixture of air and cooling lubricant mist) and noise emissions are also reduced. 

retrofit, herbert, discussion

However, this kind of rejuvenation is not always an option. Kurt Frings, Head of Service, Project Engineering and Field Service, explains: "The machine must be of a certain size and must have particular features such as a robust mechanical system. There needs to be some substance to work on to make a retrofit worthwhile". In Hünfeld, the retrofit definitely paid off, as the client received more than just a vertical lathe that was as a good as new, with an added extra. Service Director Jeschke says: "The used machine was given a high quality 12-jaw chuck with pendulum compensation, which would have cost the customer considerably more as a new investment". 

Author: Nikolaus Fecht, technical journalist from Gelsenkirchen, commissioned by Starrag Group
Pictures: Starrag Group/Ralf Baumgarten 

HERBERT Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Hünfeld

The company was founded by Leonhard Herbert in 1905 and initially specialised in the manufacture of tyre moulds. Later, Herbert also started production of vulcanising equipment for tyres and hoses, as well as assembly machines for tyres. Bladder moulds and tyre assembly drums are also produced in Hünfeld. For years, many of the world's leading tyre manufacturers have been regular customers for the company, which is still owner-operated and now has 260 employees. HERBERT also operates as a job shop, which carries out demanding cutting tasks for its customers. 

herbert, retrofit, closeup

The Starrag Group: Company profile

The Starrag Group is a world technological leader in the manufacture of precision machine tools for milling, turning, drilling and grinding small, mid-sized and large workpieces in metal and composite materials. Its customers include international corporations operating in the aerospace, transport, industrial and energy markets. Its portfolio of machine tools is supplemented by technical and customer services, which substantially add to customers’ productivity.
Its products are marketed under the following strategic brands: Berthiez, Bumotec, Dörries, Droop+Rein, Heckert, Scharmann, SIP, Starrag, TTL, WMW. The group of companies, which has its headquarters at Rorschacherberg in Switzerland, operates production sites in Switzerland, Germany France, the United Kingdom and India, along with sales and servicing companies in many other countries.
The Starrag Group is quoted on the SWX - Swiss Exchange (STGN).


For more information:

Dörries Scharmann Technologie GmbH
Michael Schedler
Hugo-Junkers-Str. 12-32
D-41236 Mönchengladbach
T +49 2166 454 0
F +49 2166 454 300

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