Modular automation
in the automotive industry

Until now, it was common in the automotive industry to purchase an individual system for the automated production of a specific product or workpiece. This investment paid for itself due to the plant and product runtimes of almost ten years each. But the situation is increasingly changing. Production capacity utilisation with a single product type produced in high volumes over a long period of time is only possible in rare cases.
In addition to the decreasing product quantities and runtimes, there is also an increasing variety of series products that can no longer cope with the long plant runtimes.
The SW Automation, a subsidiary of Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW), recognised at an early stage that this discrepancy can only be eliminated through very flexible, modular automation solutions. The company's development from a special plant manufacturer to a supplier of modular automation solutions reflects this realisation and shows how the company is meeting future market requirements.
SW Automation GmbH was founded in 1998 as a special plant manufacturer near Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance.
The company designed solutions according to special requirements for a large-scale industry based in the region, ranging from workpieces of various sizes to assembly automation.
Innovative technology
In order to make the development and construction of the unique systems more efficient in the future and to take into account the changing requirements in the automotive sector, the company began designing an automation platform based on a modular system in 2014. Its standardised modules can be combined into a customised system according to the respective production concept and application. Currently, seven standard modules are already available in the company's modular system.
Through the integration into the group of machine tool manufacturer SW in 2015, the company also benefited from new options in the area of market access as well as on the development side: SW invested in new production buildings at the site in Tettnang in 2019, which will enable future growth.

Standard interfaces
allow adaptation in the field

The entire engineering process, from mechanical to software design, is carried out in-house. The assembly of the manufactured parts is also carried out by SW Automation, as are final installation, commissioning and service. The standard modules are plug-and-play compatible with both SW machine tools and systems from other manufacturers.
Customised manufacturing
solutions from SW
We see ourselves as an architect of manufacturing plants, especially for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in the automotive industry. For an optimal solution, we plan the entire process chain with the customer, from the individual component to the packaged product, and configure a modular-based flexible plant concept
Sven Makis, Managing Director of SW Automation
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