Becoming world class with multi-spindle technology
Cengiz Makina – a manufacturer of precision parts in the vicinity of Istanbul – has supplied parts for injection systems to theautomobile supplier, Bosch, since the 80s. The company took a decisive step in improving process reliability and the costeffectiveness of precision machining in large-scale production with the introduction of INDEX multi-spindle turning machines.
When Cengiz Basokutan founded his company, Cengiz Makina, in 1981, he only had access to a „garage space“ of about 200 qm. He starting making money completing turning jobs on two INDEX cam-controlled machines that had already seen their share of use by that time. One year later, Cengiz Makina had already secured Bosch as a regular customer with their site in the Turkish city of Bursa, supplying Bosch with nozzle bodies for diesel injection systems for high capacity utilization.
15 years later, with the relocation to a 3,500 qm, two-story factory building in the industrial area of Gebze/Kocaeli near Istanbul, Cengiz Makina turned to single-spindle CNC technology. In no time, numerous orders for various CNC turned parts flowed in. When Bosch decided to start common rail production in Turkey in 1998, the tried and tested supplier, Cengiz Makina, was on board. To be able to manage the large scale required for the production runs, the company invested in its first multi-spindle turning machine in 2002, which was to be followed by many more in subsequent years. New sliding headstock automatic lathes were also procured in parallel: Six TRAUB TNL26 and one TNL12 are now responsible for the precise manufacturing of injection components.
Front-opening construction and fully CNC-controlled
The decision by Cengiz Makina to purchase three INDEX MS32C multi-spindle machines in 2006 was based, on the one hand, on the good experiences with INDEX TRAUB, and on the other hand, on a new large order from Bosch for nozzle bodies. The performance of the INDEX MS32C was no small factor either.
>> It was a deciding factor for us that even difficult materials can be machined reliably. << (K. Mert Yilmaz, Managing Director Cengiz Makina)
The MS32C provides six individually driven motor spindles with C-axis functionality, speed control to ensure the optimal cutting rate, favorable chipping, and short machining times, as well as twelve independently operating, CNC-controlled tool carriers, which can be equipped with one or two travel axes as an option. K. Mert Yilmaz, Managing Director of Cengiz Makina, explains: “For us, the high torque was also a deciding factor, since it allows even difficult materials to be machined reliably.”
This investment was the first step in a successful collaboration between Cengiz Makina and INDEX in the field of CNC multi-spindle technology. In the meantime, of the 31 total multi-spindle turning machines, more than half of them are from INDEX – trending upward. Alongside the INDEX MS32C, there are also INDEX MS22C machines – three of which are in eight-spindle configuration. These machines are predominantly used for large-scale production.
Cost-effective large-scale production
Mert Yilmaz emphasizes cost-effectiveness as a fundamental advantage of multi-spindle technology over single-spindle technology: “Turkey is a low-cost location, and the cost situation has been worsening due to wage increases and the shifts in exchange rates between the euro and the Turkish lira.” Thus, he sees the added value per employee as one of the most important figures today. “An employee can operate four single-spindle machines, or one multi-spindle machine. If he operates two multi-spindle machines, which will be the case for us by the end of the year, the investment in this type of machine easily pays for itself.” The productivity, which is to say the part output, is also significantly higher. This is enormously important at volumes like those seen at Cengiz Makina, which are currently climbing into the double-digit millions range.
Mert Yilmaz worked at Bosch for ten years before switching to the supplier side in 2009, where he has led the business since 2014. He has witnessed the technological development of Cengiz Makina: “The company stands for quality, reliability, and innovation. We have been recognized by Bosch and other customers many times for this. We currently rank among the top ten turned parts suppliers to Bosch. The further development of our machine park has been a big part of this. Now, using the modern technology, we can handle batches up to 20 million in a reliable process, and thus we also receive such projects.”
Seven to nine multi-spindle machines are in operation at Cengiz Makina in a production line that achieves annual capacities in the double-digit millions range. But even production runs of 1.5 million parts are ideal for multi-spindle machines. The most critical requirement: The company must be in a position to map a manageable process on the machine.
Achieving the zero-defect target with process reliability
The importance of reliable processes is make clear by the imposed requirements. Mert Yilmaz tells of a zero-defect target that must be met: “That is to say that from the first to the millionth part, every one must have the same level of quality. We achieve this, but to be completely sure, we have installed a 100% check downstream of every machine.”
Particularly when dealing with complex components made of demanding materials, Cengiz Makina only uses INDEX MS machines, which is the case when machining stainless steel for injection components for gasoline and diesel engines. The Managing Director explains: “90% of our INDEX multi-spindle turning machines currently machine heat-treated steels and stainless steel. We can‘t achieve the required reliability on the other multi-spindle machines.”
Their precision also speaks for the INDEX MS machines, as Mert Yilmaz explains: “Using the INDEX machines, we can turn to exactly 10 µm, ensuring process capability.”
However, such results do not depend solely on the machine technology alone. Mert Yilmaz draws a fitting comparison: “It is a bit like with Formula 1: one manufacturer, two cars, two drivers, always different results. INDEX provides us with the car. We supply the appropriate interplay of machine, tool, and process know-how – and we want to stand on the podium in the end.”
Service – the basis of success
Mert Turan of INDEX also knows that the best results require more than just a good machine. That is why he has particularly high regard for the service of Cengiz Makina: “The company has developed process know-how over its many years that incorporates metrology alongside machining, and further extends to cleaning, scheduling, and logistics. This is made possible by experienced machine operators, application engineers, and a maintenance team that knows these machines inside and out. And when difficulties or capacity issues arise, we can be on hand to help with our sales and service partner in Turkey – Tandem.”
Tandem is a small service company specializing in machine tools with 16 employees, which was founded by both Managing Directors, Ertan Güney and G. Tankut Koçak, nine years ago. One thing was clear at the start for the two engineers: “We never wanted a company in the field of machine construction that focused solely on selling products. Our strengths lie in our technical competence, supplemented by the commercial components.”
For Mert Yilmaz, a clear argument for additional purchases at INDEX: “The INDEX MS machines offer the highest level of technology, and they do so at an acceptable price. In addition to this, INDEX offers on-site service from its partner company, Tandem, the quality of which we have not received from any other machine manufacturer.”
Expansion to China and the USA
Cengiz Makina is well positioned at the Gebze/Kocaeli location. Nearly 600 employees generate annual sales of around 50 million euros. This is expected to grow. Even now, attention is turning to China and the USA. In 2014, the precision parts manufacturer became a member of the Impro Group, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and has branches worldwide. Founded 16 years ago by Mr. Reb Lu, the Group has grown in the meantime to 6,000 employees.
The company – with its business areas in investment casting and sand casting, precision machining, and surface treatment – has a strategic focus on an international customer portfolio, including all of the prominent automobile manufacturers and suppliers, as well as aerospace, medical technology, or agricultural and construction machinery companies. Among the names Benteler, Cummins, General Electric, Caterpillar, Schaeffler, Continental, John Deere, and Boeing, now Bosch is also at the forefront. Mert Yilmaz describes the plans: “Naturally, we have contributed to the fact that Bosch is now among the top three customers of Impro. We are ultimately the center of excellence for precision machining in the Group. Branching out from Turkey, we are building additional Cengiz Makina locations – first in China and in the USA.”
We already have a 3,000 qm hall in Wuxi, China, which is currently being filled with machines. The strategy is clear according to Mert Yilmaz: “We want to transfer our process know-how. A similar machine park will serve as the basis for this, and this will also include INDEX multi-spindle machinery for the complex jobs.”
INDEX has been active with own subsidiaries for some time now in China and the USA to ensure fertile ground by providing the proper level of service. Mert Turan argues: “Without reasonable service, you cannot sell multi-spindle turning machines anywhere in the world. Since our market in China is opening up more and more, we also built a corresponding service and sales force in Shanghai. An experienced service manager from Germany and multiple employees with experience in the field of CNC multi-spindle machines are on hand to actively support our customers.”