License to mill
Steeped in tradition, TOS Varnsdorf has used its century of experience in horizontal boring and milling machines to become a trusted manufacturer to customers across the globe
Situated in Varnsdorf, Czech Republic, TOS Varnsdorf a.s (TOS Varnsdorf) was originally founded in 1903 under the name Arno Plauert Works; while operating under this name, the company produced various types of machines such as horizontal lathes and grinding machines before realising the strategic advantage of specialising in a specific product.
Following years of product development, the company today boasts an impressive product portfolio, which has been segmented into separate divisions: horizontal milling and boring machines, floor type horizontal boring mills, machining centres and special machines; there is also a segment for accessories, should customers require items such as milling heads, milling attachments, add-on tables, clamping equipment, standard accessories and tool cooling. Alongside this range of products, the company also offers a wealth of services to customers; this includes technological solutions, where customers are offered information on the machine’s optimum configuration and most suitable technology to be used as well as a time study and list of suitable tools and clamping elements. TOS Varnsdorf also offers customers machine installation, training for operators and maintenance workers, programme training and technological studies. Other services include financial support, shipping and a rapid, high quality machine commissioning service in addition to machine modernisation, general overhauls, medium scale repairs and minor repairs of the machine.
This commitment to delivering a thorough and reputable service to customers has resulted in strong sales across the globe in a wide range of industries such as energy, oil and gas, mining, construction, transport shipping and even glass. Approximately 50 per cent of TOS Varnsdorf’s customers are based in Europe, however it has also developed a strong foothold in the US, South America, South East Asia and particularly China, where it has established a daughter company that delivers approximately 30 machines a year to clients in this booming market.
Discussing the company’s activities, Michal Machacek, Head of Marketing at TOS Varnsdorf a.s begins: “Today our core business is not only manufacturing and selling horizontal boring and milling machines, of which we produce approximately 140 per year to our customers across the globe, but also the development of the machine as well as a warranty service and overhaul of machines. Our portfolio is mainly comprised of three groups of products, the first of which is table type horizontal milling and boring machines; this means that the machine is small and light enough to move and fit on a table and also means that the weight of the work piece is between five and ten tonnes. The second product group is floor type horizontal boring mill machines, which must be clamped to the floor on a special surface of cast iron pieces with clamping equipment. The third type of product available is a machining centre; these products are much like the first group because they are table type, however they are designed for up-to-date technologies.
“When it comes to recent product developments, in 2014 we produced the first prototype of the WHR 13 CNC and WRD 13 CNC machines, these are family machines from the same frame parts and were developed in accordance with demands from our sales representatives. To get these machines developed in one year was their first target for us and since their development and launch into the market sales have been positive across the globe. So far we have produced 25 machines and now have many new orders, so these steps in our production proved highly fruitful for us,” he adds. “Meanwhile, in 2015 we launched our first machine with hydrostatic guideways; this was a big project for us as we have no skills in hydro, but the final development was perfect. So far we have produced two of these machines and we expect further positive results over the next few years.”
Not a company to rest on its laurels, TOS Varnsdorf is in the process of testing a mechatronical concept, as Michal notes: “Our machines are quite big, the machine part can be up to 30 metres in size and in this big cube we achieve accuracy in hundreds of millimetres, which is the standard level. However, with the mechatronical concept, we can provide accuracy in thousands of millimetres, which is more superior. Carried out by an independent measurement system on the machine, according to the information provided, the control system can adjust the machine and correct the errors. This concept is available to standard production programmes as we can customise any machine for our client’s demands, such as a need for in-processing measurement.”
Offering time and cost savings to customers, this mechatronical concept is certain to increase in demand as customers realise they will benefit from no longer having to move parts to the co-ordinate measurement machine that controls the shapes and data of the workpiece and will instead be added with new technologies without any transportation required.
Proud of its ability to deliver a complete customised solution to customers, the company will naturally continue this tradition for delivering satisfaction by maintaining a focus on enhancement, not only in product innovations but also in customer service, as Michal concludes: “In the past we have had issues with quality of service. Now we have twice annual meetings with representatives across the whole world who come to our company and see what changes need to be made. In line with these meetings, we are currently focusing on improving skills when it comes to motivation, communication and leadership. These are areas we will focus on enhancing over the coming years.”
TOS Varnsdorf a.s
Products: Manufacturer of horizontal milling and boring machines