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Top Performance “made in TCC”

Company highlights

Even if the businesses at the TCC haven’t made it into the Guinness Book of Records, they are still a worldwide success with their innovative products and services. The Highlights section will present regular updates on the top performance and achievements of TCC tenants.


The Machine Flies over the Workpiece

Saxon company METROM GmbH excels with its flexible and mobile machine concepts

With work-pieces such as wind turbine rotors continuing to increase in size, it is not always logical to send them half way around the world if they happen to develop a fault. Dr. Michael Schwaar, managing director of METROM Mechatronische Maschinen GmbH, the Saxon company based in Hartmannsdorf, Chemnitz is aware of this. For this very reason his business has developed the mobile Pentapod, a compact, flexible and above all mobile, machine tool, which can be packed up in a container and transported to the workpiece. “With the Pentapod we have a niche market with no direct competition”, cites Schwaar as one of the reasons for the success of the concept, which won the company the Saxony Prize for Innovation in 2009.
The mobile Pentapod is a further development of an existing milling machine concept by METROM, based on the use of patented parallel kinematics. Five moving arms, with longitudinal flexibility, based in a 5-axis coupling, guide the main spindle of the machine. “Because of parallel kinematics, the mass of the tool to be moved is only around ten percent of the mass of conventional machines – and this results in a huge energy saving”, Schwaar explains. In addition, the precision and flexibility of the main spindle, with a pivoting angle of over 90°, enables workpieces to be machined from all sides and therefore repositioned less often.
METROM has designed its machine to be flexible, based on parallel kinematics. “The parts are modular, which allows us to assemble each individual machine according to customer requirements”, explains the Managing Director. For customers in Germany, Eastern Europe or Korea, the machine dimensions are selected according to the field of application, the tools for use such as drills, milling machines and cutting tools are adapted, and the workpiece feed is organised. At the Leipzig Trade Fair for Manufacturing, Tool and Special-Purpose Machine Construction (INTEC) in early March, METROM exhibited a Pentapod, a 5-axle processing satellite suspended from a crane, flying over and processing a workpiece. For this innovation, the company won the trade fair prize in the category Businesses with Less than 100 Employees.
METROM has grown at the Technologie Centrum Chemnitz. In 2001, when the business was founded, it moved into the local site for technology start-ups, knowing full well that here, it would find the best conditions to take its first steps towards business independence – an exceptional infrastructure with offices, as well as workshops and laboratories, flexible rental agreements and business advice. Fledgling technology companies have been promoted and supported in Chemnitz since 1990. Over the years, the Chemnitz start-up centre has looked after over 180 businesses. The founders of Roth + Rau AG or Isra Union Parsytec AG, Aachen, now both listed on the stock exchange, were some of the companies who were supported by the TCC in their early days. In excess of 1,500 jobs have been created by the “TCC companies”, predominantly for highly-qualified workers. “For some time now we have grown beyond the areas of industry that are traditional to Chemnitz and the region – mechanical engineering, textiles and the automobile industry”, reports Dr. Jenz Otto, Managing Director at the TCC since the beginning of the year. “Typography, environmental technologies and, at the new local site - the start-up building on the Smart Systems Campus close to the university - also the field of microsystems and nanosystems engineering.” 120 of the firms supported were able to relocate to the commercial areas in the town and the region. METROM GmbH also took this step in 2010 when they moved out of the TCC and built their own large 600m2 production facilities in Hartmannsdorf.
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