Success Story


Luxury products workshop uses Bumotec technology

Premium bodywork upstairs and high-tech production downstairs: There couldn't be a more perfect setting for a workshop producing luxury goods. The Lamborghini Geneve showroom is used to showcase luxury Italian sports cars to wealthy customers, while in the basement Niru Swiss is busy machining highly complex components for the jewellery and watchmaking industry. For a decade now, the starring role in the basement operation has been played by a Bumotec s191V from Starrag. 

Small, sophisticated and exclusive — three words that perfectly sum up Niru Swiss, part of the Tel Aviv-based international company Niru Diamonds Israel Ltd. Niru Diamonds Israel Ltd. was founded four decades ago in India by Mr Ranjeet Barmecha and has built a reputation for machining and finishing rough diamonds. In 2009, the company established a state-of-the-art CNC factory in Geneva with a view to extending its expertise into other sectors. In addition to taking on projects for the jewellery industry, Niru Swiss SA and its four employees now work primarily for premium Swiss watch brands. The work mainly consists of producing cases from all the established materials, such as aluminium, stainless steel, gold and titanium, and jobs generally involve between 15 and 300 units. 

"Competition in this field is extremely tough here", explains Managing Director Julien Ducommun. "We make our mark by focusing on producing incredibly complex components for the jewellery and watchmaking industry; we use our Bumotec to produce these components to impressive standards of quality and precision, guaranteed." The investment in the Geneva site has allowed Niru not only to gain a foothold in the watchmaking industry, but also to successfully tap into new industries. "I now occasionally even produce prototypes for medical technology," says Ducommun. "And I machine not just metals, but also plastics such as polycarbonates. Most of the prototypes are generally turned and cut in a single clamping operation." 

The team in Geneva uses a total of four CNC machine tools, three of which were already owned by a company that Niru acquired. When it came to selecting a fourth machine, Niru Swiss consciously opted for the Bumotec s191V vertical high-performance CNC machining centre, which delivers precise, productive machining. The combination of linear motors, direct drives, nano interpolation and a high measurement resolution of 1/100 µm supports excellent contouring accuracy (e.g. a roundness of 1.4 μm with a radius of 50 mm). The "excellent thermal stability" allows Julien Ducommun and his team to turn and cut components continuously from early in the morning until late at night without any loss of precision. With this technology, the team can work across five axes simultaneously and components are machined using a single clamping operation. "Used in conjunction with an automation unit, the Bumotec can also be operated without the need for human intervention — a bit like a ghost shift", adds Stéphane Violante, Marketing Project Manager at Starrag Vuadens S.A., Vuadens. "All in all, the costs per part are therefore significantly lower than with other machining centres that purport to be more economical."


Only by combining technology and craftsmanship is Zurich-based Urwerk subsidiary Uhrbahn able to produce chronometer masterpieces. 


"For me, the most important requirements in this competitive field are the ability to deliver optimum productivity, precision and stability. And that's why I can say with certainty that my next CNC machine will also be a Bumotec."

The investment also paid off by virtue of the impressive feed speed (50 m/min) and acceleration (1.2 g) as well as the ability to achieve an outstanding spindle speed of 30,000 rpm within 1.5 seconds. The s191V comes with a Fanuc-31i control unit that makes it easier to operate the Bumotec's special, interactive user interfaces. Julien Ducommun is painfully aware that Bumotec owners are clearly won over by all of the benefits the machine offers: "I would have bought a used Bumotec, but they very rarely become available." 

The sort of complex components that Niru is dealing with can generally only be manufactured effectively if there is close collaboration with the customer in relation to CAD/CAM considerations. Julien Ducommun generally receives a CAD file. He uses the GibbsCAM program to simulate the machining process on a computer; this optimises the subsequent process, including the traverse paths. The fine-tuning work is done on the Bumotec itself. Although Niru Swiss uses digital in-line measurement technology, Ducommun also carries out quality assurance on all components after the machining process using high-tech equipment. Julien Ducommun: "Even though we produce simulations and carry out optimisation work beforehand, continuous monitoring is the only way to ensure that we comply with all the applicable parameters for the complex components we are machining. The perfection level of each component we produce must always be documented. That is simply the reality of producing complex, high-quality components in small production runs."


With its UR-111C, Swiss brand Urwerk once again appears to have achieved the impossible — a mechanical wristwatch with a linear time display.

Stéphane Violante, Marketing Project Manager at Starrag Vuadens (right) talks with Urwerk founder Felix Baumgartner: "Urwerk's priority is using our precision CNC machining centre to produce parts that will subsequently be finely finished by hand and then fitted in an extremely complex chronometer." 

When new orders are received, the team in Geneva completes small test runs that involve producing a small number of test components. If the results are good, larger orders may be received. Word has spread within the famously conservative watchmaking industry about the efficiency of this small, specialised workshop. Gone are the days when Niru Swiss had to advertise — word of mouth now does the job. 

One of the factors that has helped Niru Swiss to build such a strong reputation is the collaboration with avant-garde brand Urwerk and its founder Felix Baumgartner, who Julien Ducommun knows from his time working in the watchmaking industry earlier in his career. The Bumotec machining centre is currently proving its worth with a special component for the Urwerk brand. The case of the new UR-111C wristwatch is just 15 mm high and 46 mm wide, and there is no screw-mountable bottom plate. Instead, it is cut from a stainless steel blank, and includes a 20-mm-deep side compartment to accommodate the movement. The work is completed to the high quality that is synonymous with the Bumotec, delivering excellent repeating accuracy to the last micrometre from early in the morning until late at night. 

Niru Swiss is set to gain even more recognition as a result of its work on this component.

With this in mind, 35-year-old Julien Ducommun is already turning his attention to a new workshop that will provide much more space for both staff and machines. But how does he view the importance of the Bumotec brand in this whole process, in particular with reference to the Starrag brand message "Engineering precisely what you value"? Julien Ducommun: "For me, the most important requirements in this competitive field are the ability to deliver optimum productivity, precision and stability. And that's why I can say with certainty that my next CNC machine will also be a Bumotec." 


"Urwerk chronometers are inspected by us every two to three years. We use a special treatment on the casing that allows us to polish out scratches, even those that are years old."


Niru Diamonds Israel Ltd.

In the mid-1970s, Ranjeet Barmecha set up a small diamond-polishing workshop in Navsari, India. Shortly after he set up the business, his brother Suresh joined him to help with setting up the sales division in Mumbai. With manufacturing increasing, Ranjeet found himself travelling to Belgium and Israel each month, in search of rough diamonds Tiring of the constant travel and time away from his family, in 1979 he decided to move to Israel with his wife, Nirmala. It was here that he founded the company, calling it Niru, his pet name for Nirmala. The company now operates worldwide and supplies customer-specific stones on a mass-produced scale. Niru cuts the diamonds to a precision level of 10 µm. The company also applies the same level of accuracy to the manufacture of precision settings. In 2009, the company founded Niru Swiss SA in Geneva, where it set up the CNC factory to serve the jewellery and watchmaking industry. 

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