Since its founding in 1995, Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) has developed into a successful specialist in high-precision machine tools.
Schramberg-Waldmössingen – SW started as a separate part of the Heckler & Koch group with 125 employees. Today, the company employs over 1,200 people worldwide and has increased sales more than twenty times. SW 2020 actually scheduled a 25th anniversary anniversary event for employees, customers and suppliers, but had to postpone it due to the pandemic. On Saturday, July 16, SW will make up for it in Waldmössingen with an employee event and an open day.
You can celebrate on the background of good business development. “Thanks to the backlog of orders from 2021 and an exceptionally large number of orders in the first quarter of 2022, we have started a very good start in this financial year,” reports Markus Schmolz, commercial director of SW. As the company produces precision machine tools with tailored automation solutions, the growth is supported by the current market trend. “At least 70 percent of the parts produced on our new machines go to e-mobility,” explains Stefan Weber, Managing Director of Production and Technology at SW.
During the 27 years of its existence, SW has established a strong position worldwide as a supplier to automotive suppliers. Multi-spindle machines produce up to four parts simultaneously with high precision. “Electric cars require complex battery housings between two axles that are up to two meters long and longer,” says Weber, describing the challenge. That is why SW has developed machining centers that can machine workpieces up to three meters long. For example, the supplier of the battery cases for the Mercedes EQE and EQS series together with SW completed the entire production process of the battery cases on the SW machine.
Through its SW Automation division, SW supplies not only machines, but also complete production solutions from a single source, from single machines with integrated robots and parts storage to complete production lines with connected machines. And since 2003, SW has been collecting and analyzing machine data from customers’ production for process control and maintenance. More than 2,600 SW machines are currently networked with SW Industrial Data Services (IDS).
SW has become a “global player” in its market with over 80% of exports. This was possible thanks to the opening of a production plant in Suzhou, China by SW in 2016. Around 300 employees assemble machines and production systems there. “The capacity of this plant is now doubled as SW achieves the highest growth rates in Asia,” explains Schmolz. SW also set up a factory in the USA. “We are taking advantage of global markets with local resources,” emphasizes Weber. Due to the proximity of regional customers, SW can respond more flexibly to their wishes and deliver products faster through local supply chains. In line with this strategy, HE has also established branches in Mexico, France, Italy, Poland, and now also in Hungary.
“We have a training rate of over 10% and we train specialists in many job profiles,” says Schmolz. In addition, SW will start building a new training center at its headquarters in Waldmössingen next year. SW has also transferred the German training model to factories in China and the USA. “We are also actively promoting the exchange of trainees and dual students,” explains Markus Schmolz. Such an exchange has been with the US for several years and is heavily planned for China. “We work in a very flat hierarchy and transfer responsibility quickly,” says Schmolz to the specialists.
Information open day
Schwäbisch Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) celebrates on July 16 from 10:00 to 17:00 “Open Day and Family Day”. The program includes company trips, also in the technology center and training workshop. There are also various attractions for children as well as food and drink stands. Registration is not necessary, free bus transfer is organized. From 17:00 to 22:00 there will be an evening party for SW employees and their families.