Last year the Retecon Group of Companies celebrated the 50-year milestone, which all began with the establishment of Retecon Machine Tools in 1970. The company subsequently has become one of South Africa’s most successful machine tool, metalworking equipment and related equipment supply companies. Retecon (Pty) Ltd began operating as a machine tool importer, supplying equipment to the South African engineering industry, but would subsequently expand and include measuring and other related equipment in its portfolio.
The Retecon Group represents a number of well-known international manufacturers including Trumpf, United Grinding-Studer-Jung-Mikrosa, GF AgieCharmiles, Kasto, DMG MORI, Ficep, Heller, Kapp-Niles, Hexagon Metrology Group, Schuler, DEA-TESA, Renishaw, Leica, Mahr and EFD.
The variety of products marketed and serviced by the company cover all the disciplines in metalworking: Cutting, forming, shaping and removal. These include vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers, large boring mills, profile cutting and drilling lines, grinding machines, laser cutting systems, bending machines, punching and forming machinery, automatic sawing equipment, roll forming and tube bending machinery, manufacturing lines for tubes, presses, measuring equipment and much more.
Measuring and inspection equipment includes portable measuring arms, turned parts measuring, probing systems, laser measuring equipment, surface and form measuring, contact systems, fixturing, software, reverse engineering software, photogrammetry and white light scanner systems.
Retecon can supply complete machining facilities, manage and supply equipment for turnkey projects for machining of all types of complex automotive components such as inlet/outlet manifolds, crank shafts, cam shafts, conrods, cylinder block machining, complete forging lines, gear and gearbox manufacturing cells, hardening plants, to name a few but not limited to these areas.
The core of Retecon’s client portfolio is made up of companies, large and small, in the aerospace, automotive, tool and die, transport, mining, power generation, structural steel and service centre, defence, construction and general engineering industries.
Retecon has a number of long-standing relationships with internationally recognised machine manufacturers. DMG MORI is one. Another is German company Trumpf, where the association dates back to 1981.
At the EMO Milano 2021 held in October 2021 DMG MORI’s exhibit focused on automation, equipment-as-a-service and the premiere of their NZ platform of machines.
The NZ platform includes the DUE, TRE, QUATTRO for production turning with up to four turrets and four B-axes. Available in two sizes, the short version is designed for workpieces up to 690mm in length, while the long version extends to 1 290mm. Chuck machining is possible up to a diameter of 120mm and for bar machining it’s 65mm. The NZ series is extremely compact. Including the three metre length bar feeder, the NZ requires only 17.8m² of floor space.
DMG MORI’s NZ DUE, TRE, QUATTRO series was launched at EMO 2021
Some highlights of the NZ platform are the individual equipment options, so every user can install a manufacturing solution tailored to their precise requirements. Because of the modular machine, the NZ platform includes the NZ DUE, NZ TRE and NZ QUATTRO, which means that 2, 3 or 4-turret machining stations can be placed in the workspace. Each of these units can act autonomously and has a Y-axis with 80mm travel and a B-axis with a swivel range of -10° to +100°.
Promoted as the Netflix of machine building, DMG MORI’s PAYZR business model for equipment-as-a-service launched earlier this year with the compact M1 vertical machining center. For a monthly basic fee, customers receive the machine and an all-round carefree package for service and maintenance, for example. In addition, in a pay-per-use model, the fee is calculated based only on the machine’s actual usage – exactly according to spindle minutes. A second machine has now been added to the PAYZR portfolio and was the CLX 450 TC introduced this year. With the B-axis factor and equipped with a compactMASTER turn and mill spindle, the turn and mill complete machining center reduces setup and non-productive times in variant-rich production of small to medium batch sizes.
The NZ platform includes the DUE, TRE, QUATTRO for production turning with up to four turrets and four B-axes
In recent results released by the company during the first three quarters of 2021, DMG MORI’s order intake rose by 62 per cent to €1 928.6 million (previous year: €1 187.8 million). Sales revenues increased by 11 per cent to €1 450.9 million (previous year: €1 305.3 million). The earnings and financial situation also continued to develop positively. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) rose to €83.7 million (plus 57 per cent; previous year €53.4 million). The EBIT margin improved to 5.8 per cent (previous year 4.1 per cent). As at 30 September 2021 free cash flow reached a new record level of €149 million (plus 326 per cent; previous year: €-65.8 million).
Ditzingen, Germany based Trumpf recently released very positive results. At the end of the fiscal year 2020/21 on June 30, 2021, the Group recorded a slight increase in sales revenues of 0.5 per cent to €3.50 billion (fiscal year 2019/20: €3.48 billion). Order intake value increased significantly by 19.7 per cent to a record level for the company at €3.9 billion (fiscal year 2019/20: €3.3 billion).
With sales revenues worth €579 million, Germany is still the largest single market for Trumpf, closely followed by China, the largest single market in Asia
At €370 million, the Group’s operating EBIT grew very positively by 19.5 percent compared to the fiscal year 2019/20 (€309 million). Despite the low level of sales revenues in the first half of the year, Trumpf was able to stabilise earnings by increasing productivity, changing the product mix and consistently cutting non-personnel costs. In the second half of the year, earnings increased significantly as a result of higher sales revenues. Also due to investment restraint, the company achieved an EBIT margin of 10.5 per cent (previous year: 8.9 per cent).
“Owing to our systematic crisis management, Trumpf managed to survive the pandemic well. Due to a strong rise in demand, we entered the new fiscal year with an unexpectedly high order intake. Nevertheless, there will still be a lot of uncertainty over the coming months with regard to how chip shortages in global supply chains, inflation, and increasing energy costs and their effect on transportation costs and transportation capacity will affect our business,” said Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, President of the Group Management Board of Trumpf.
Trumpf’s largest single markets
With sales revenues worth €579 million, Germany is still the largest single market, closely followed by China, the largest single market in Asia. Having experienced weak growth the previous year, in China sales revenues grew by 50.7 per cent to €525 million. The third-largest market for Trumpf was the USA with €485 million. In fourth place was the Netherlands as the largest European single market with €460 million, due to its EUV business with the client ASML.
Ditzingen, Germany based Trumpf recently released very positive results. At the end of the fiscal year 2020/21 on June 30, 2021, the Group recorded a slight increase in sales revenues of 0.5 per cent to €3.50 billion (fiscal year 2019/20: €3.48 billion)
Growth of employee numbers
Once more the number of employees at Trumpf grew over the course of the reporting period. The two growth areas EUV and Electronics in particular saw the creation of new jobs. The company employs 14 767 people globally (previous year: 14 325). In Germany 7 602 people are employed with 4 400 of them at the Group’s headquarters in Ditzingen.
Due to the economic uncertainties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, investment was scaled back in the previous fiscal year. The company invested a total of €145 million in land and buildings, technical facilities and operating and office equipment. This is 25.2 per cent less than in the previous year (€194 million).
The company employs 14 767 people globally (previous year: 14 325). In Germany 7 602 people are employed with 4 400 of them at the Group’s headquarters in Ditzingen
With effect from July 2020, Trumpf sold its majority stake in BeSpoon SAS to semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics as part of a strategic partnership in UWB positioning technology. In March 2021, Trumpf acquired the Spanish software provider Lantek.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
As a leading metrology and manufacturing solution specialist, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division offers expertise in sensing, thinking and acting on the collection, analysis and active use of measurement data. Their knowledge and experience gives customers the tools – and the confidence – to increase production speed and accelerate productivity while enhancing product quality.
While industries have their own unique challenges and motivations, productivity is central to manufacturing success across the board. Manufacturers must find the right balance of speed, efficiency, cost and quality to ensure they maintain the right level of productivity. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division combines technologies and ideas to enable this closed-loop manufacturing – developing solutions that solve challenging customer issues.
See what we do in your area of manufacturing
Design and Engineering: Embed quality into product design and engineering to ensure component manufacturability and downstream production productivity
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence supports the design and engineering phase of the manufacturing process by providing software solutions that enable designers, engineers and analysts to embed quality into product design, ensuring manufacturability and productivity downstream. Their simulation software lets users quickly explore many different scenarios to find the best design, without making expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes.
Hexagon’s computer-aided engineering (CAE) software range encompasses simulation for materials, products and process performance. With solutions for finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and multi-body dynamics (MBD), as well as cost estimation and design optimisation, they help designers, engineers and analysts to share responsibility for product quality and collaborate with colleagues throughout the manufacturing process to make improvements. Their technologies are trusted by users around the world as they design, optimise and validate the products people use every day.
Production: Ensure that design intent is maintained through the production cycle to improve productivity and continuously deliver high-quality components
Production is the stage of the manufacturing process where designs become reality. Whether it’s machining, forming, casting, moulding, joining or 3D printing, or a combination of several processes, the production floor is where components take shape. It’s the manufacturing process phase where productivity really matters. Efficiency and throughput are essential to remain competitive and costs must be controlled and downtime avoided. Production is where product quality is set in stone, metal, wood or composite – whatever material you’re working with – and the pursuit of manufacturing ‘right first time’ is increasingly high priority.
The role of metrology within the manufacturing process has long been associated with quality assurance – a post-production inspection of the dimensional measurements of a part against specifications
Manufacturing quality products requires production software designed for the task at hand. The Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence production software portfolio includes specialised packages to generate, manage and optimise toolpaths in a range of industry and material applications. Their software solutions address the requirements of the tooling, production engineering, sheet metal, metal fabrication, stone and woodworking industries. Despite these diverse applications, their production software solutions share a common focus on driving manufacturing efficiencies and adding value to operations.
Metrology: Capture real-world quality data for measurement, positioning and inspection, and use actionable information gained by analysing the results to improve manufacturing processes
The role of metrology within the manufacturing process has long been associated with quality assurance – a post-production inspection of the dimensional measurements of a part against specifications. Results either indicated that the part was either good to go, or that it was not to standard and needed, at best, reworking, or at worst, to be scrapped completely. Metrology was the necessary evil – quality the barrier to productivity.
Quality data provides manufacturers with much greater opportunities than simply checking components
Yet quality data provides manufacturers with much greater opportunities than simply checking components. The function of the quality department shouldn’t be to find fault. By analysing quality data to its full potential, the quality department can influence decision-making upstream and downstream. It can help other stakeholders within the manufacturing process to ensure that quality runs throughout the product lifecycle. It can be the architect of quality design, quality production and quality outcomes.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s metrology hardware captures quality data for measurement, positioning and inspection. It is the key bridge between the real and virtual worlds, bringing real-world data into the digital domain. Their technology is helping manufacturers to pioneer mechanisms for utilising this data more effectively – using it to inform design and engineering processes and provide feedback to the production process. Their measurement-assisted production technology is best-in-class, and Hexagon continues to innovate towards more real-time feedback loop applications.
For further details contact Retecon on TEL: 011 976 8600 or visit www.retecon.co.za