Elevate and Xcelerate at Imminkhuizen Metaaltechniek
A real family business in metalworking, you can certainly call Imminkhuizen Metaaltechniek. In 2008, Rijk Imminkhuizen founded the company together with his wife. The starting point was to efficiently manufacture both complex and simple metal products. What started out as a modest workshop grew rapidly into today’s machine park. After five years Imminkhuizen Metaaltechniek purchased its first automation solution: Xcelerate. In the meantime, a second automation solution has been added: Elevate.
Growth with the help of automation
Imminkhuizen Metaaltechniek specialises in the production of parts for machine builders. They cover the full range from fine to coarser machine construction in food, shipping and transport, among others. These sectors require a high degree of efficiency and flexibility from their suppliers.
Automation was therefore a logical next step for Imminkhuizen. Rijk Imminkhuizen saw this as the only way to compete with low-wage countries. After all, automation allows production to take place at a faster pace and in larger numbers, without having to purchase an extra machine. It also frees the focus of the available specialist staff from simple and repetitive work.
The choice fell on Xcelerate, which Imminkhuizen has been working with for a number of years now. Xcelerate’s ease of use and flexibility were particularly appreciated. Although Xcelerate was initially purchased for the production of medium-sized series, Imminkhuizen quickly noticed that the system is very suitable for small series. In addition, the company designed its own gripper fingers and inlays – the plates in the drawers that hold the products in place – so that the lowest possible changeover time was achieved. In short, people got a taste for it at Imminkhuizen Metaaltechniek.
“The returns go up by as much as 100%”
After the positive experiences with Xcelerate and the growth the company had gone through, the need arose for a second automation. This time the company opted for Cellro’s Elevate, partly due to the high storage capacity of this automation solution. The work preparation was changed by using Elevate. Elevate can be fully loaded, also for next week’s production.
Elevate is used by Imminkhuizen for product loading. In addition, the cell is expanded with pallethandling, if relevant. The series size varies from 8 to 12 pieces or more. Different series sizes can be finished through each other. The yield is very surprising for Rijk Imminkhuizen. Elevate in combination with a 5-axis milling machine doubles the yield achieved with manned 3-axis machines.
Elevate is linked to a 5-axis milling machine from GF Machining Solutions. Xcelerate is also still used by Imminkhuizen, on a lathe from Mazak. Watch the video from 2016, in which Rijk Imminkhuizen talks about his experiences with Xcelerate.