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MOTOREX Magazine 2009 87 EN

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MOTOREX_Magazine_2009_87_en

I n s i d e I n s i d e

I n s i d e I n s i d e MOTOREX’s innovative EASYTANK supply solution has been a firm part of the lubricants market for over two years now. We spoke to Serge Zwahlen, director of precision turning company ZWAHLEN SA, about their experience with the system. Well-integrated: MOTOREX EASYTANK A calibrated counter records the exact amount delivered, which is then printed off on a printer in the truck. 12 The four 1000-liter tanks are connected by chrome steel pipes to several dispensing stations in the machine room. Over 100 automatic lathes produce tiny, complex high-precision parts for the watch industry – a ZWAHLEN SA specialty. ZWAHLEN SA is a family business founded in 1974. Its current production site is in Court near Moutier. Over the years, the producer of high-precision micro-turned parts has found a secure place as a supplier to renowned watchmakers. The company primarily produces components from bars with a diameter of 1 – 3 mm. Just over twenty employees put their deftness and skill on daily display in every area. The machine room houses over a hundred automatic lathes of differing ages. Many of them are cam-controlled and repeat the same work steps thousands of times. Their output often consists of precision parts barely visible to the eye. MOTOREX magazine: “Mr Zwahlen, the cellar of your factory houses four central tanks that each hold 1000 liters of metalworking fluid. They’re monitored using fill level sensors and connected to MOTOREX in Langenthal by the mobile telephone network. What was your primary aim in choosing the MOTOREX EASYTANK system?” Serge Zwahlen: “We wanted the infrastructure at our current location to match our needs exactly. Our main objective for the fluid supply system was to achieve a high level of autonomy. We have to be able at all times to fill several machines at once with, say, fresh cutting oil.” MOTOREX magazine: “Did you ever have doubts about the capabilities of the automatic resupply system?” Serge Zwahlen: “No. I was glad we finally had a system that would let us avoid the reordering process. Our quality control procedures are very strict. Every one of the several million parts we produce a year is individually inspected! So we’d rather invest our time in quality assurance.” MOTOREX magazine: “How are your logistics expenses working out?” Serge Zwahlen: “Very well, they’ve declined quite a bit. For one thing we have pumping stations right in our machine room. Fresh Advantages of EASYTANK • Less paperwork • High reliability of supply • No handling of empty containers • Improved workplace safety • Significantly less waste – lower environmental impact oil is pumped to the stations by powerful electric gear pumps designed specially for industrial use. The risk of using the wrong fluid is also sharply reduced.” MOTOREX magazine: “What does it look like in francs and centimes?” Serge Zwahlen: “Oh, (laughs), that’s a good question! The system has certainly helped improve our staff productivity, but I’ve never actually done the calculations. Improved safety is also definitely a factor from my perspective as director of the company. Manhandling 200-kg barrels the way we used to was anything but safe. Speaking of barrels, since we’ve had the MOTOREX supply truck pumping refills directly from tank to tank we’ve had hardly any empty barrels standing around. That’s something I’m personally glad of. Somehow it makes things look neater right away.” MOTOREX magazine: “Have you ever had any problems with EASYTANK?” Serge Zwahlen: “None worth mentioning, really. (Grins.) If the fill level in any of our four product tanks falls below a predefined minimum of 25%, the fill level sensor sends a text message to MOTOREX. Shortly thereafter we get a call, or if we prefer an e-mail, from MOTOREX to set the delivery date. Soon after the system was installed, our first delivery from Langenthal arrived with everything we had ordered. The driver unreeled the fill hose but noticed after 25 meters that it was a few meters too short. He quickly arranged for an extension that got the job done.” MOTOREX magazine: “What’s your final word on MOTOREX EASYTANK?” Serge Zwahlen: “In my opinion, anyone thinking about the future and planning to build a new facility or refurbish an old one should consider the EASYTANK system. I’m sure the main factors will be different from one case to another. For ZWAHLEN SA it was clearly the right choice.” The EASYTANK supply truck delivers just the right quantity of product with no packaging. The integrated fill level sensor (back) measures the current fluid level and transmits the result to MOTOREX daily by text message. 13

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