Melior Motion has been part of Schaeffler since February. In an interview, Ralf Moseberg, Senior Vice President Industrial Automation at the group of companies, explains what this means from Schaeffler’s point of view – and how Melior Motion’s customers will benefit.
“Expanding production capacities together”
Why do Schaeffler and Melior Motion fit together so well?
Moseberg: Both companies are very technologically driven – products with unique selling points are the focus. Schaeffler’s product range has so far included precision shaft gearboxes and shaft gearbox systems with motors and, if required, integrated sensor technology for cobots and lightweight robots. Melior Motion’s ultra-precise planetary gearboxes offer solutions for industrial robots with higher payload requirements. With this combination, we can serve the entire robotics market: up to 20 kilograms payload with the Schaeffler shaft gearbox range, and above 20 kilograms payload with the planetary gearbox solutions from Melior Motion.
What does Schaeffler expect from the acquisition?
Schaeffler is expanding its portfolio of solutions. This also strengthens our role as one of the leading suppliers of rolling bearing technology in robotics in the direction of ultra-precision gearboxes. We want to become one of the key players in the market and therefore expand the capacities at Melior Motion accordingly.
The contracts have been signed and are legally binding – what happens now? What are the plans for 2022 and beyond?
Due to the high market demand for precision planetary gearheads, which is partly due to the global Schaeffler distribution, we are currently expanding production capacities. The investments for 2022 have been triggered, the machines are already in place or are being supplied. This is where Schaeffler’s expertise in large-scale production pays off. We also benefit from our network of machine manufacturers and suppliers. In this way, we create additional capacity as quickly as possible in order to avoid bottlenecks in the production chain. At the same time, we also enable fast component deliveries from Schaeffler production.
From Schaeffler’s point of view, what advantages does the takeover have for Melior Motion’s customers?
First and foremost, there is the reliability of Schaeffler’s ability to fully support its customers’ growth plans globally. In addition, Melior Motion’s customers now also have access to Schaeffler’s complete portfolio of products and services – all from a single source. In addition to precision shaft gearboxes, this primarily includes rotary and linear rolling bearing solutions as well as service products. The products are optimally matched to each other. A precision planetary gearbox is of no use if the bearings used do not also provide the corresponding precision. Furthermore, customers benefit from the worldwide sales, engineering and production support provided by the global Schaeffler organisation. This enables us to provide customers with optimum support. This has already got off to a very good start as well.
Herr Ralf Moseberg. Quelle: Schaeffler
Does Schaeffler also use the drive solutions from Melior Motion itself?
As a matter of fact, yes. Schaeffler has 75 plants worldwide. In all of them, the focus is on increasing efficiency and automation. This goes hand in hand with the need for lightweight robotics and cobots on the one hand and industrial robots on the other. This is how we improve processes, make them safer and increase quality. With the precision gears from Melior Motion, we also support our own production to become significantly more efficient. In addition, we have a nice playground to further develop our products together.
The trade fair season is just around the corner – what can customers expect?
In future, the Melior Motion portfolio will be integrated into Schaeffler’s trade fair presence: At the end of May at Hannover Messe and also in June at Automatica in Munich. There we will present Schaeffler’s extensive portfolio of products and solutions for the robotics market. Together, we are very well positioned to offer customers optimal solutions in the rapidly growing robotics market.