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Manufacturing Case Studies

SW North America Boosts Efficiency

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The Michigan-based CNC machine and automation supplier helps customers save time, space and money.

“Whoever buys a SW machine will benefit from it for a long time,” James Campbell says. SW builds its machines to last for clients, he explains, as opposed to equipment that is meant to be frequently phased out due to the wear of a few years. 

“Our machines are made for generations of high-volume production,” he declares. “There are customers who have had our machines retooled four times and they are still running. Supported by our ‘life’ services, the machines still have high availability. ‘High’ for us means greater than 95 percent. Almost every issue with an SW machine can be resolved with a call to our service hotline; however, we can also send our experienced SW Technicians to a customer’s location. No matter how remote it is.” 

The current market conditions also make SW’s machines a good fit for its customers within the automotive, medical, firearm, aerospace and agriculture industries. 

“Everyone is looking at how to reduce their costs,” Campbell explains. “You can do that with multiple spindles. You lower your cost per piece, labor and energy costs while also saving precious floor space.” 

Campbell is president and CSO for the New Hudson, Mich.-based company, which is a subsidiary of Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, a machine builder based in Germany. “We build exclusively horizontal CNC machines with up to four spindles,” he says. 

SW has been making multi-spindle machines from its very beginning and added automation to its business in 2015. This created a great benefit for clients with big production lines who don’t want to deal with the integration issues of different vendors. 

After the machines are manufactured in Germany, they are transported to SW’s location in Michigan. SW North America then does the rest of the customization, like fixtures, tools, programming and run-offs, before shipping to clients. SW also provides expert support during installation and remains on-site until the machine is running qualified parts. 

“Everything the customer needs is done over here: engineering, installation, service, spare parts and after-sales,” Campbell affirms. The automations are completely assembled and run-off in the Michigan facility. 

Adapting to the Times 

SW North America keeps abreast of shifts happening across the many industries within its client base. Many companies, for instance, have increasingly struggled to find and maintain a qualified labor force. 

But of course, “If an employer is going to find good machinists, they need to be in a position to provide attractive compensation,” Campbell explains. 

This is just one of the many areas where the advantage of SW machines comes into play. “We have customers which locations are so remote, they can’t find more people to operate their machines,” Campbell continues. “So, we come in and help them with the switch to multi-spindle machines.” Fewer machines need fewer operators. 

Following the principle of quality over quantity, “We’re hitting in the market very well,” Campbell says. 

“No one wants inefficiencies, or any wasted space and resources on their floors,” he says.  “Our machines are the best solution on the market in this regard.” 

Legacy of Growth 

SW North America continues growing by reaching new customers and developing new machines to help them adapt to ever-changing manufacturing advancements. 

“Despite the difficulties of this year for everybody, we’ve been continuing to support our current customers through remote maintenance,” Campbell continues. “Our machines will help make up for the lost time created by the business shut-downs as soon as plants open again.” 

Campbell is anticipating a bright future for the subsidiary. In 2017, SW North America celebrated the grand opening of its new, 50,000-square-foot facility with technology center in New Hudson. 

The company is far from finished, however. “We bought enough land to triple the size of it, which will happen,” he promises. 

SW North America also wants to grow its presence with new locations in Canada and the United States. “We want to add facilities for spare parts and service to deliver even faster to our customers,” Campbell explains. The company prides itself on its ability to provide on-site support to its customers no matter how remote their location. 

This is an exciting time for SW North America, he says, as it continues to grow not only in technological capabilities, but in terms of reach as well.   

For more information on the full spectrum of machines, automation and engineering services, including technology demonstrations at the new SW North American headquarters and technology center, contact SW North America Inc. at: 30160 Lyon Industrial Court, New Hudson, MI, 48165, 248-617-3800 or contact.na@sw-machines.com. 

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