High tech in the shadow of the Mont Blanc
To be successful in contract machining in the long term, a company must be able to offer more than quality and favorable prices. The French medium-sized company JCM Décolletage masters the increasing demand of customers for flexibility regarding quantities and deadlines as well as further services with great success.
“We have developed from a traditional bar-turning machine operator to a very broad-based machining specialist with a high service share,” explains Michel Jiguet-Covex, owner and managing director of JCM Décolletage in Sallanches (FRA). This region within sight of Mont Blanc is a center of the French metal industry. Founded by Jiguet-Covex in 1979, the company initially began producing series parts on low-cost and highly productive automatic lathes. It was recognized early on that the best strategy for the future is to expand the range of technologies and services offered step by step.
Complete package of services ...
Instead of limiting themselves to cheap mass-produced parts according to drawing specifications, the company consistently pursued the path to becoming a full-service provider capable of offering its customers the required process chain, including the necessary additional services, right up to development partnership in the design of new products. In addition to the production
of prototypes and pre-series, these development services also include the complete development of the production process. Today, JCM supplies numerous industries from automotive manufacturers through mechanical engineering and aerospace to medical technology.
... Flexibility ...
“Another of our maxims is to respond as flexibly as possible to customer requirements,” reveals M. Jiguet-Covex. In principle, this is also part of the company’s service philosophy, as he explains. This starts with the response time to requests. A first statement is sent to the customer within the same day if possible. Flexibility also includes the aspects of materials, dimensions and quantities. In addition to practically all common industrial metals, plastics are machined as well. Series sizes are flexible. The company handles everything from small series to quantities of several million units and thus offers the customer a “one-stop shop”.
... and a wide range of technologies
“For the same reason, we have systematically expanded our technology range over the years,” says D. Grandjacques. Therefore, around 10% of annual sales are consistently invested in new machines. At present, the production is divided into four different areas. The “classic” automatic lathe shop with multi-spindle lathes mainly controlled by cam plates was expanded in 2013 and 2017 by two CNC-controlled INDEX MS40 multi-spindle automatic lathes. These allow simultaneous processing of bars up to 40 mm in diameter on 6 spindles and are much easier and faster to convert. In two In other departments, complex parts are manufactured on 26 CNC-controlled sliding or fixed headstock automatic lathes, which can handle high-precision and very complex machining operations. This is where predominantly parts for electronics, aerospace and medical technology are manufactured.
"We have again opted for an INDEX machine because we have had a very good experience with it."
Why the INDEX MS40 was chosen
The decision to purchase the INDEX MS40 was made solely because we wanted to address new, as yet untapped market segments with this system,” smiles Jiguet-Covex. With the cam-controlled multi-spindle machines previously used, certain categories of parts with higher requirements in terms of geometric complexity and precision simply could not be produced. The existing single-spindle machines, on the other hand, could not keep up in terms of productivity and costs. With the new systems, he was able to manufacture more sophisticated products at competitive costs and at the same time react much more flexibly to requests for smaller series or to sudden fluctuations in order activity. His experience was so positive that he has now purchased another INDEX MS40, which is used together with a fully automatic inspection and assembly device for the manufacture of a sophisticated module for automotive turbochargers.
Close partnership with the manufacturer
“We have again opted for an INDEX machine because we have had good experience with these products and with the local representative,” M. Jiguet-Covex sums up. They were always very satisfied with the service, advice and training provided by the manufacturer. Beyond normal business relations, there is also a development partnership with INDEX, for example, to assess new tasks with regard to their feasibility or to develop special accessories for special applications.