Global pandemic notwithstanding, Vollmer of America completed its move into a new 30,000-square-foot facility near Pittsburgh International Airport in June of 2020. The company also participated in the Las Vegas AWFS Fair in July this year. Much of the equipment and software displayed at each of those events reflects the paradigm of manufacturing life as we now know it: Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and digital technology.
For a company that began building sharpening machinery for saws and cutting tools longer than a century ago, Vollmer is doing a darned good job at keeping up on all three.
Derrick Bailey was there. An application engineer with Vollmer, he noted that an increasing number of customers are asking about advanced technology.
“One of the biggest requests is for remote-monitoring capabilities like those in our oculavis Share application,” he said. “This makes it possible for a user to share a livestream of their Vollmer machine with our help desk via a mobile device. It also allows service staff to fix errors remotely, and to help customers with any application questions.”
Remote support is but one of the new products Vollmer has introduced over recent years.
In addition to its “constantly evolving” line of VGrind tool and cutter grinders, there’s also new grinding software that is of special importance to anyone producing the helical compression routers used to machine composite materials, laminates and wood.
Without these specialty cutting tools, Bailey said, part edges tend to fray and splinter.
“Vollmer recently partnered with Num Corp. on the new Numroto tool-grinding software,” he said. “It makes programming of these tools far easier, without all the manual calculations we once had to make. You basically just click a couple buttons and the software tells you what to do.”
Bailey’s also looking forward to working with Vollmer’s first laser machine, the VLaser 370, as well as the VHybrid 260, which combines grinding and erosion in a single setup. The company will introduce both at its open house in October, 2022.
“Look us up if you’re there, we’ll be happy to show you around,” he said. “There’s always lots of cool stuff to see here.”
Vollmer By The Numbers
ESTABLISHED: The Vollmer Group was established in 1909 in Biberach, Germany. Vollmer of America was founded in 1976 in Pittsburgh, PA, as the first subsidiary of the Vollmer Group.
EMPLOYEES: The Vollmer Group employs about 800 workers total, with around 580 of these (including more than 75 trainees) at the headquarters in Biberach. The North American subsidiary currently counts 25 employees, 18 of whom are based in the Pittsburgh office. The other seven are strategically located throughout the U.S., to cover more ground in sales & service.
LOCATIONS: Three production sites (the biggest one is at the headquarters), 14 subsidiaries, 30+ distributors
EXPERTISE: World technology leader in grinding and erosion machinery for the wood- and metalworking industries.
CUSTOMERS: 19,000+ sawmills, sharpening shops and tool manufacturers rely on their Vollmer machines every day.
RESEARCH MONIES: Vollmer invests around 8-10 percent of its turnover in the R&D of new technologies and products.