Spühl GmbH chose GARANT clamping fixtures from SFS when using automation solutions

Spühl GmbH based in Wittenbach near St. Gallen (Switzerland) develops and manufactures wire bending machines used in the manufacture of sprung mattresses and upholstered furniture. Thanks to a high degree of vertical integration, Spühl are able to offer anything from individual components to assemblies and complete machines. Hoffmann Group products, marketed by SFS, have offered Spühl GmbH innovative, efficient solutions to streamline their production processes, making them both faster and simpler.

Added Value

  • Enormous precision and variety thanks to the strongly beveled interfering contour
  • Much faster conversion of the machine settings by saving one work step
  • Optimal accessibility thanks to convex clamping modules and high design
GARANT Xtric centre clamping

Innovation and continuous development

Innovation is second nature to Spühl. The company was founded by Heinrich Spühl in 1877 as a sort of inventor’s workshop, but within a few short years the first patent was registered for a spring binding machine, and the inventions featured at the Paris World Exhibition. The driving forces behind the company remain innovativeness and ingenuity.

Continuing to the present day, the machine park is continuously being updated, with the 2019 acquisition of a state-of-the-art 5-axis milling and machining centre. This robotically controlled machine combines the functions of milling and turning. Following on from this new investment, the workpiece clamping methods were also re-examined. Thomas Reis, the manager of 3-D CNC machining, had seen the centre clamping GARANT Xtric at a trade fair. It proved a revolutionary clamping concept, featuring a rapid jaw-changing system, which saved time with blanks and finished components alike. At the same time, it enables extremely flexible, multiple clamping capabilities. The exhibitor of the GARANT Xtric was SFS, who market the Hoffmann Group products in Switzerland.

One less processing step

The clever click mechanism offered by the GARANT Xtric for changing jaws without the need for a tool and the 180° indexing top jaw capability were key features from the start. These days Spühl load 70 pallets with the smaller GARANT Xtric (80SP/170mm) and plan to purchase a further 90 pallets in this size. In addition, eight of the larger models (125MP/270mm) are already in use.

Thomas Reis Manager of 3-D CNC machining Spühl GmbH
“We produce around 500 different components on the Heller HF 3500 each year. A high degree of flexibility and rapid setups are very important to us. We were particularly impressed that with the GARANT Xtric, the blanks can be clamped with the pendulum jaw without any pre-treatment; not to mention the attractive pricing. We are, quite simply, much faster setting up thanks to saving an entire processing step, because we no longer need to pre-position and align. The minimal interference from the low-profile jaws means maximum accessibility.”
GARANT Xpent 5-axis 5-axis clamping fixture

The high build means maximum accessibility

In connection with another major investment, Robert Schnyder, technical support specialist at SFS, presented the GARANT Xpent 5-axis clamping fixture. Schnyder was utterly convinced: “This clamping arrangement is ideal for the large Heller 5-axis machine with its pallet-changer and workpiece loading area. This automation solution enables very large blanks to be milled for their own spring core machines. The 5-axis GARANT Xpent is of a particularly tall build, which coupled with the convex-shaped clamping modules enables optimum access to the workpiece.”

Automation guarantees maximum precision

The incredibly precise GARANT ZeroClamp system works with a single clamping bolt design and positions the workpiece centrally to within a micrometre. Because the GARANT Xpent has bores for the retaining bolts, it can easily be matched to the centre point. The only remaining question was whether it was possible to work on the external preparation station with no risk of collision. The answer was in the affirmative and the existing clamping solution was completely replaced. These days, Spühl load one or two parts per pallet using up to eight GARANT Xpents. Up to twelve pallets with multi-axis machining can flow fully automated through the Heller FP14000 without issue.

Thomas Reis Manager of 3-D CNC machining Spühl GmbH
“What we love about the GARANT Xpent is the versatility and rapid setup. We clamp anything from 50 to 1000 mm, but always find new possibilities. Moreover, there is a top jaw for just about every new challenge, including jaw blanks which can themselves be milled to the required dimensions. The minimal interference from the chamfered profile is another tremendous advantage. It means we can work with shorter tools and get in closer to the clamps. Accessibility and minimum interference are extremely important in 5-axis machining.”
GARANT Xtric centre-clamping

Generating success together

The compact centre-clamping GARANT Xtric and the 5-axis GARANT Xpent clamps have been successfully in use at Spühl for some months now. Meanwhile the GARANT ZeroClamp system has established itself as a game-changer and become the go-to solution. Going forward, the company is in a great place to position itself at the top end of the market; whether for complete machines or sub-contract machining. Products from the Hoffmann Group, a subsidiary of SFS, enable enormous time savings. Thanks to close collaboration, technical support and co-development work, the right product can be found for virtually every application.

Used technologies

Contact & Services

Robert Schnyder