Hauni, a Hamburg manufacturer of machines and systems for the tobacco industry, relies on close technological cooperation with ASM. How it happened and how both companies benefited from it. (Photo: Hauni)

Strict customer orientation, short development cycles and digitization – speed determines the mechanical engineering business. Hauni, the manufacturer of machines and systems for the tobacco industry, is no different. As for the production machine e-cigarettes, a collaboration between the Hauni innovation team and a counterpart from the ASMPT SMT Solutions Competence Center team in Munich, ensured speed in development and production.

“Without cooperation, it hardly works anymore.” The words of Dr. Niklas Romming, project manager / product owner at the Hanseatic mechanical engineering company Hauni, are symptomatic of the current situation in the German flagship industry: Close technological cooperation between mechanical and plant construction companies is becoming more and more a criterion for when and how to introduce innovation in practice. After all, this notorious time-to-market was also a measure in Hauni, when planning the future in spring 2020 consisted of exploring new development opportunities in the booming e-cigarette market. Here, dr. Millions of consumer products are being sold, according to Romming, and will soon be replaced by others. Manager Hauni: “There is little time to develop the machines because the fastest do the business.”

How a long-established mechanical engineering group is entering new ground

To enter this fast-growing business with “countless brands, competitors and solutions” as a long-established mechanical engineering group in the tobacco industry, Hauni executives stepped onto a new ground: a think tank based on a start-up model that would hang directly underneath the management, was to follow the words of the project manager, introduce innovations and thus accelerate the development of technology, enabling entry into a new market segment. One of the goals of separating from the day-to-day operations of the parent company was to come up with fresh ideas for faster production of evaporators for bringing e-cigarettes. “So the first thing to do was think outside the box, regardless of the existing methods and processes of classical mechanical engineering,” recalls Dr. go crazy Accordingly, the production of SMT quickly appeared. Innovations in this industry should, above all, enable machine manufacturers from northern Germany to produce evaporators faster, cheaper and higher quality.

The people responsible for the innovation hatchery in Hauni have benefited from the fact that the manufacturer of SMT placing machines, ASMPT in Munich, also advocates a similar philosophy of fast and agile innovation research. Dr. Romming: “We have been informed about many companies. Thanks to the Competence Center, ASM was completely different from other manufacturers on the market. ” After just three months of open discussions and business games, the first results were tangible. “During this time, we found a completely new approach to the mass market and developed a viable solution.”

Dr. Niklas Romming, project manager in Hauni.

“As a standard stacking machine, the Siplace SX produces much cheaper, faster and with higher quality compared to the special machines that need to be developed first. Not to mention the manual work that was previously required, ”explains Dr. Niklas Romming, project manager at Hauni. (Photo: Hauni)

This is how new ideas arise in the Competence Center

It was possible not only because Competence Centers (CoCs) were created for such requirements – there are five such competence centers in the world – the ASMPT SMT Solution segment. “At our CoC in Munich, we offer users the opportunity to demonstrate ASMPT hardware and software solutions. Planned productions can be assessed and tested on real and ready-to-use production lines without disrupting or interrupting the processes of in-house production, ”explains Wolfgang Eisner, Head of Customized Products at ASMPT. “Together with our experts, customers grow here also special solutions, as they are required for your purposes. In this way, we help our clients to optimize their systems and processes, build new skills, and deal with unusual challenges in their production. “

The Siplace SX mount in detail

The SX Siplace SX exchange portals, which are unique in the industry, allow you to replace heads in approximately 30 minutes. The 1.5 x 2.8 meter stacking machine handles up to 43,250 cph in single lane with speeds up to 22 µm at 3 σ. With the help of three positioning heads, a range of 0201 m to 300 grams of components 200 millimeters long, 125 millimeters wide and 50 millimeters high is processed. Thanks to the OSC package, even unusual shapes can be reliably assembled, and the automatic crimping tool integrates the THT assembly into the line.

A tailored SMT solution is created from a standard assembler

In the case of Hauni, the high-end stacking solution Siplace SX played a leading role. With just a few adjustments, the ASMPT specialists were able to implement a tailor-made SMT environment for all requirements for the production of the basic element of the evaporators. “As a standard stacking machine, the Siplace SX produces much cheaper, faster and with higher quality compared to the special machines that need to be developed first. Not to mention the manual work that was previously required, ”says Hauni’s manager Dr. go crazy A big plus for the machine builder is that the assembler can be used for other applications thanks to extensive options and minor tweaks. “We are wondering how we could use our research results and, above all, the high production speed of Siplace SX in other production areas in the future,” says Dr. Keep going.

Considerations that would not be conceivable without the experience of a close partnership with ASMPT. Dr. Romming’s introductory summary: “As a mechanical engineering company, you can no longer hide behind walls and keep all your knowledge to yourself. Sustainable innovation in the technology sector results from partnership on an equal footing. “