The marina in Monaco, the Titanic Museum in Belfast or the university library in Freiburg – all buildings have one thing in common: facades made by Metallbau Früh GmbH. Based in Umkirch in southern Baden, the company implements international projects in facade construction – from planning to production and installation. In order to be independent of suppliers in the production of cut-to-size aluminum sheets, Metallbau Früh decided to purchase a laser cutting system.
Metallbau Früh GmbH, a specialist for modern facade constructions, is based in Umkirch, a municipality in southern Baden not far from the French border. The owner-managed company with a family tradition of over 100 years is contracted for projects throughout Europe. “We live by our reputation,” reports Anton Früh, owner and managing director of Metallbau Früh GmbH, looking back on spectacular projects: such as the marina in Monaco or the Titanic Museum in Belfast. With a team of over 150 specialists, the company implements complex special constructions made of a wide variety of materials and types of construction in facade construction: Facade areas of up to 25,000 m², order volumes of up to € 30 million and project durations of up to five years characterize the projects.
Planning, manufacturing and assembly from a single source
A decisive advantage of Metallbau Früh GmbH compared to many other companies in the industry: The company implements the commissioned facade constructions made of metal and glass completely with its own skilled personnel, from planning and calculation to production and installation. “This often starts with a blank sheet of paper. The architect has an idea, which we realize through a technical solution.
We are a large manufactory, not a mass producer,” emphasizes Managing Director Anton Früh. In order to cut the individual constructions from different materials such as steel, stainless steel or structural bronze, the company has been using a waterjet cutting system for many years. Sheet metal parts, in particular 3 mm thick aluminum sheets, were purchased from external suppliers until the beginning of 2022.
Laser cutting system meets all requirements
Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the quality of the purchased parts and the associated costs and waiting times, Früh decided to also cut thinner sheets in-house. Thus, in November 2020, the search began for the right machine to cut aluminum sheets with a thickness of 3 mm and a sheet size of 4 x 2 meters. By means of Internet research, Metallbau Früh looked at and compared different cutting systems on the market.
After a discussion with MicroStep Europe, the decision for Anton Früh was then clear: The laser cutting system of the MSE Smart series meets all requirements. “Reliability is very important in construction. MicroStep area sales manager Daniel Moser was able to quickly convince me that MicroStep was the most reliable supplier, and so we signed on the same day as the bid presentation.”
Convinces with reliability and performance
Since commissioning in February 2022, the 2D laser cutting system with shuttle table has been in continuous use to produce sheet metal cladding for facades. “The machine control is very user-friendly, the initial instruction by MicroStep Europe employees was uncomplicated, and the service is also top-notch,” reports Michael Salenbacher, machine operator of the CNC cutting systems at Metallbau Früh, “we can now react much faster and more effectively.”
The MSE Smart was connected to the company’s existing Lantek software to enable jobs to be processed on the waterjet and the new laser cutting system using the same software. “All the tasks we have had so far, the machine has done flawlessly. We are very satisfied with the reliability of the system and the cooperation with MicroStep Europe,” emphasizes Anton Früh.
The highlights of the MSE Smart laser cutting system At a glance:
For precise and fast 2D cutting of aluminum in thin sheet thicknesses of predominantly 3 millimeters, Metallbau Früh GmbH relies on the latest laser series from MicroStep Europa GmbH: the MSE Smart. The fiber laser cutting system is a powerful entry into high-quality 2D laser cutting with consistently high-quality components from well-known manufacturers and state-of-the-art Intel processor technology. The machine is characterized in particular by a solid frame construction and a highly dynamic machine gantry.
Powerful cutting system with 3 kW cutting power and automatic shuttle table
Metallbau Früh opted for a design with a processing area of 4,000 x 2,000 mm and automatic shuttle table for loading and unloading sheets. A YLR 3000 from the German manufacturer IPG Photonics with 3 kW cutting power is integrated as the laser source. The MSE SmartControl machine control system – a modern, intuitive user interface – guarantees that cutting plans can be reliably and effectively converted into finished components. The powerful Teka EXCube T1 filter system with 7.5 kW nominal power is used for extraction.