Urban production – WITTENSTEIN shapes the future of society and industry
Back at the beginning of the year the vision finally became a reality: WITTENSTEIN bastian GmbH's Urban Production facility in Fellbach. It heralds in the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution by redefining the relationship between industrial production and society. Urban Production is low-noise, low-emission and ecologically trendsetting – yet this sustainable approach is far more than just a "green" end in itself: as an innovative overall concept comprised of optimized processes, the building itself and the energy supply systems, it supports WITTENSTEIN's striving for economic and technical excellence.
Consistently sustainable concept
It was the idea of taking work to people, rather than the other way round, that originally inspired WITTENSTEIN to erect its new production facility for gearing solutions – such as bevel and spur gears or internal gearings – and customized gearhead development directly adjacent to a residential area. To rule out potential sources of friction between the company and the local population, Urban Production is guided by a consistently sustainable concept: minimized resource usage coupled with very low emissions of noise, waste gas and CO2 and significantly reduced refuse volumes. "Effective environmental protection goes hand in hand with social responsibility", says Michael Müller, General Manager of WITTENSTEIN bastian. "What's more, Urban Production provides an intelligent illustration of how a natural resource like energy can be optimally utilized." Rainwater is collected and used for sanitary facilities, for example. Electricity is generated with the aid of solar panels, several biogas-operated microturbines and a combined heat and power plant. The waste heat from the production machinery is fed into the building's grid and reused to heat the offices. Full air conditioning and dehumidification in conjunction with displacement ventilation help keep the consumption of resources in the production processes to a minimum – and that's not all!
Perfect climate, perfect precision
The dehumidified air and the constant room temperature together create a perfect room climate. Both WITTENSTEIN staff and their customers profit as a result – an optimal working climate is the best way to protect employee health and guarantee technical precision. The repeatable manufacture of highly precise gear wheels is WITTENSTEIN bastian's core competency along with the development and design of gearings and customized gearheads. Based on DIN 3961 bastian achieves DIN 6 for its internal gearings, DIN 3 for spur gears and DIN 1+ – the finest of the twelve possible qualities – for bevel gears. "We also attained a similar degree of excellence in the old manufacturing plant, but the superior air conditioning here has demonstrably stabilized our production processes", Müller continues. "At the same time, we've virtually eliminated prefabricated parts, which don't come up to our high standards of quality and precision, leading to more efficient use of resources and less scrap." This outstanding precision is tested, assured and documented in the new Class 2 measuring room – with a high basic accuracy of 0.4 µm +/- 0.6 µm/m.
The advantages of Urban Production, with its modern equipment and structures, are especially appreciated by customers, who profit in a number of ways from WITTENSTEIN bastian's manufacturing and gearing expertise. A thorough analysis of each individual task is equally important and WITTENSTEIN is justifiably proud of its comprehensive consulting and engineering know-how. Technical consultancy, the development and design of gearings and customized gearheads, detailed calculations, noise optimization, load testing and expert training and reports are just a few of the engineering services offered by WITTENSTEIN bastian.
Gearing technology also benefits WITTENSTEIN alpha
The WITTENSTEIN alpha subsidiary and its customers also benefit from the state-of-the-art production opportunities available in Fellbach.
The production and assembly processes have been optimized, for instance, enabling the torque of the LP+ Generation 3 to be increased by up to 75%; this planetary gearhead now runs two or three times as smoothly, setting new standards in its class.
Precision hypoid gearsets manufactured at the Urban Production facility are featured in WITTENSTEIN alpha's servo right-angle gearheads. This special type of bevel gear unites high accuracy and power density with low operating noise and is therefore ideal for servo applications. The flexible modular system chosen for these servo right-angle gearheads provides exceptional design freedom.
The High Performance Linear System (HPLS) – an innovative unit consisting of a gearhead, rack and pinion – incorporates extremely precise helical gear wheels made in Fellbach, opening the door to totally new machine concepts, particularly for makers of machine tools.
WITTENSTEIN alpha additionally offers a broad portfolio of engineering services: "Thanks to our product and application know-how as well as powerful tools like the cymex® sizing software, we are also in a position to calculate complex kinematic systems, carry out multibody simulations and generate FEM analyses", explains Andreas Mei, Sales Manager Germany at WITTENSTEIN alpha.