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The Sky is the Limit with High Precision Machining

By adding three C400U Hermle machines, Seyer Industries met increasing demand for high precision machining.

Sales Soar to New Heights

When World War II Veteran Louis Seyer founded his tool and die shop in

1957, with seed money he made from catalog sales of his innovative Easy Egg Cracker, he never imagined the heights to which the now third-generation family owned Seyer Industries would grow. But then again, back then Louis Seyer did not have access to today's 5-axis precision machining. Today, Seyer Industries' more than 150 employees specialize in manufacturing high-level assemblies for the aerospace and maritime industries as a major supplier for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Gulfstream Aerospace and the armed forces of the United States.

A New Opportunity

Seyer Industries supplies aircraft parts and assemblies ranging from fixed-wing electrical assemblies to flight control components for rotary wing aircraft. It is a long way from its days of largely providing ground support equipment that facilitated the loading of heavy ordnance. Before investing in its first Hermle, Seyer Industries' bread and butter was providing that ground support equipment. But in the world of aviation, 99% of the market is for component parts for planes or helicopters, leaving just a fraction available to those who supply support equipment. Due to the excellence they demonstrated supplying best-in-class support equipment, Seyer Industries began seeing requests from customers to expand its offerings into the components side of the industry. There was only one problem: support equipment was a 3-axis proposition. To meet the exacting specifications of precision aerospace parts, the company needed the capabilities only a high-end 5-axis machine could provide.

5-Axis Machining

By 2010, Seyer Industries knew it needed to invest in a 5-axis machine. The growing demand from customers simply could not be met by anything less than 5-axis machining. The Seyer team looked at a number of options, but before long it was clear that Hermle was a machine with which they could both learn 5-axis machining and continue to grow their capabilities. When asked what stood out about Hermle, Seyer's lead engineer made clear it was all about precision. "Our team quickly realized the possibilities of a precision machine that can measure out to five decimal points," he said. The first Hermle purchased by Seyer Industries was a C40U, which greatly expanded its capabilities to deliver precision parts. As its ability to meet the supply needs of the aerospace industry grew, so did the demand, leading them to invest in three more Hermle machines. This time the team chose the C400U model.

Designed for entry-level 5-axis/5-sided machining, the Hermle C400U offers 850 mm/700 mm/500 mm (XYZ) traverse paths and 15,000/8,000 RPM speed. Rapid linear traverse is 35 m/min (XYZ). The rigid clamping table measures 1,070 mm x 700 mm with maximum table load of 2,000 kg. The NC swiveling rotary table range is +91í to -139í. The machining center is equipped with two-part spindles featuring two speed ranges and different toolholding fixtures, making them suitable for a variety of machining tasks. The tool magazine holds up to 38 tools in the standard version and is integrated into the machine bed to save space.

Among the strengths Seyer Industries has today, due to the ability of its Hermle machines, is the ability to manufacture components to high profile and perpendicularity tolerances. That level of precision has allowed the company to machine rotor bearings for various helicopters and arresting hooks used to safely land aircraft on carriers at sea.

Raising the Bar

Five years since first stepping up to a Hermle, Seyer Industries is thriving under the leadership of Louis Seyer's son and grandsons. Their business model has evolved into a critical balance of ground support equipment and aerospace components.

Recently, Seyer Industries began filling orders for its lengthiest CNC program yet: an inlet barrier filter frame for the CH-47 Chinook helicopters flown by the U.S. Army. A single filter frame requires more than two million lines of code and more than 25 hours to machine. The precision and flexibility provided by the Hermle machines ensures that Seyer Industries has raised the bar and set a new standard for high precision aerospace component manufacturing.

For more information contact:

Seyer Industries, Inc.

66 Patmos Ct.

P.O. Box 100

St. Peters, MO 63376


Hermle Machine Company, LLC

5100 West Franklin Drive

Franklin, WI 53132


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