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The cutting edge


“We deliver the best possible production solution for specific, high-precision, large-volume applications, enabling our customers to set new standards in their production processes. This means our production systems can be used for many different applications, greatly reducing the necessary staff, time and space, while enhancing quality,” says Axel Warth, head of marketing and business development.

In doing so, Mikron Machining helps its customers to optimise their production processes sustainably and thereby strengthen their market position. He explains that different parts are placed in clamping fixtures and then transferred to workstations, enabling a range of operations like drilling, milling and turning to be performed simultaneously.

As an example, Mr. Warth describes the 30 to 40 machining procedures involved in producing a turbo charger compressor housing. He says Mikron’s systems can make the difference between twelve employees working in a 300 m² area (four machines) with an 80 min set-up time, and six people working in a 165 m² area (two Mikron Multistep XT-200) with a set-up time of 20 min, reducing the cost per part by about 35%.

What makes things even more efficient for clients is that Mikron is also a leading supplier of cutting tools. Companies can reduce hassles by getting these and the machinery from the same source. Mikron’s solutions focus on the production of complex, high-precision parts made of metal. Its business is an intriguing mixture of large and small scale, as it serves companies making little things in big quantities.

“Our clients produce large volumes of things that are up to hand-size”, Mr. Warth says. “About 40 billion ball-point pen tips per year, or 95% of the world total, are made using Mikron machinery. And every day, our equipment is used to make seven million automotive components.”

About 45% of the company’s exports go to Asia, especially China and India, while American exports make up a 5% share. European countries absorb the other half of Mikron’s exports. Founded in Switzerland in 1908, the company is listed in Zurich and is structured into two divisions: machining, with about 500 employees, and automation, with about 400.

Led by Chief Executive Heinrich Spoerry, the group has production locations in Switzerland, Germany, the US, Singapore and China. In 2010, its turnover reached 182.5 million CHF. For the future, the company intends to promote itself further on international markets. Already present at industry fairs such as SIMM in China, Usetec in Germany, and CIMT in China, Mikron intends to continue to exhibit and market widely.

“We have persuasive things to tell potential new clients, even ones that are already in world-leading positions in their sectors,” Mr. Warth says. “Thanks to our machines being both highly precise and highly efficient, our buyers can be sure of getting a competitive advantage.”

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