Sibert Instruments selects MayTec aluminium profiles

Sibert Instruments Limited, a leading manufacturer of equipment and a supplier to the optical disc industry for the preparation of the nickel stamper, has chosen to use aluminium profile extrusions and accessories from the MayTec division of Applied Automation (UK) Ltd.

Sibert supplies punching and finishing machines to the optical disc (CD, MD, DVD, DVD-R, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray) industry and is renowned for its stamper preparation equipment. The company has recently launched two new machines to form the next generation of production machinery. The SPS system consists of separate modules that can be used on their own or as part of an automated system. The SPS Punching module utilises software that is capable of optically measuring the edge of the data to calculate the offset for automatic stamper centring, to allow the hole to be punched within 2um of concentricity to information. The SPS Finishing module utilises accurate and totally controllable finishing head positioning technology within a wet finishing process to complete the back finishing process of the optical disk production.

Comparison with castings

The previous Sibert machines were based around a cast machine frame; this was due to the need for a heavy-duty machine bed to support the tooling operation and finishing processes. The management at Sibert, recognising that the cast machine frame was not efficient due to long lead time and the time-consuming task of machining the casting, together with its lack of versatility due to it being a fixed-purpose casting, started the process of machine evolution. Driven by the growing demands made by their existing customers and Sibert's own desire for a more versatile state-of-the-art machine that would allow them to enter new markets, the key parameters for the new machines were defined. It was recognised that the new system had to meet the following parameters:

  • Need for a reduction in production cost while not compromising the position as market leader
  • More versatile design to ensure the manufacturing technology and expertise can be utilised to access new markets
  • An aesthetically pleasing machine suitably appropriate for this hi-tech market

Supplier selection

The team of R&D engineers from Sibert identified no less than six potential suppliers of profile systems, then selected three of these to provide a proposal and tender for the contract. Interestingly, the first prototype of this next generation machine was manufactured using a competitor product to the MayTec aluminium profile system but, due to assembly problems and strength of the final assembled frame, this was rejected and subsequently more extensive trials were carried out with the remaining two potential suppliers.

A torsion test, the harshest and final test, was carried out to an assembled MayTec machine frame. The test was made by applying a 400kg weight diagonally across the frame and, while the frame did have an element of flexure, there was no permanent damage to the frame. The Sibert engineers were very impressed with the result of the torsion test and by the rigidity of the MayTec product. This result and the ease and speed of fastening the MayTec aluminium profile were key to the decision in choosing MayTec over the competitors.

Applied Automation (UK) Ltd has executed numerous projects using the MayTec aluminium profile system in a variety of industries. With a dedicated team of application and support engineers and an informative web site, Applied Automation worked with Sibert to identify the requirements.

3D CAD library

Once the requirements had been decided, the final machine design was created with the Sibert engineers making use of the 3D CAD drawing library available on and also further support and knowledge from the Applied Automation MayTec team.

By taking advantage of this latest technology in the machine frame design, the new Sibert system offers the following benefits over the old model:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Flexible assembly - allowing upgrades to be made to the basic machine by setting a series of 'standard options' that can be added to the basic machine either ex-works or at a later date as an on-site upgrade
  • Target turnaround from order to shipping in five days is now realistic
  • leading to less work in progress
  • Sub-assemblies are kept in stock
  • Quick response to market demands

Successful launch

Sibert unveiled the new SPS system modules during a launch event in May 2006 at the MediaTech exhibition in Frankfurt. Since that date the production has met the demands made on them and has since led to the development of new additions to the range.

With the Sibert SPS punching module and SPS finishing module now in the market, the next step is to introduce the SPS handling module. This new handling module will fit in between the punching and finishing modules, completing the optical disk manufacturing process by providing a fully automatic feed and unload system; it ensures the production system is capable of running unmanned for hours.

Applied Automation Industrial Systems

Concept House, Eastern Wood Road
Langage Industrial Estate

+44 (0)1752 343300

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