How Karl Eugen Fischer company used the MLG-2 WebChecker to improve operations

It’s a crisp Friday morning in mid-January 2024. The air in the large assembly hall at the mechanical engineering company Karl Eugen Fischer GmbH in Burgkunstadt, Upper Franconia, is charged with anticipation. Today, we’re about to witness something extraordinary: the world’s leading manufacturer of cord-cutting lines for tire manufacturing is putting one of its cutting-edge lines through its paces. And we’re here to capture it all – the whir of machinery, the precision of steel, and the magic of innovation.

The Cord Cutting Dance

Let’s step into the heart of the action. The room smells of metal and tire rubber. All eyes are drawn to a brand-new, freshly painted, approximately 40-meter-long cord cutting machine.

This machine is no ordinary piece of equipment; it’s a tire-making maestro. Its purpose? To cut steel cord calender – the rubber-coated steel wire that forms the essential “belts” in tires.

Imagine the intricate dance: steel cord unwinding from a several-meter-long roll, a massive knife slicing it into individual strips, and then those strips joining back together to form an endless loop.

But this isn’t just any cord cutting line. Thanks to a groundbreaking solution from SICK, it’s taking tire manufacturing to the next level. The MLG-2 WebChecker is the secret ingredient. Let’s dive deeper into its magic.

The MLG-2 WebChecker: A Symphony of Precision

The MLG-2 WebChecker is no ordinary measuring device. It’s like a conductor orchestrating the tire-making symphony. Here’s what it does:

  1. Edge Detection: Imagine a machine that can find up to 10 edges within the web of steel cord. It’s like a tire detective, tracing the contours of each strip with laser-like precision.
  2. Web Width Measurement: Not only does it detect edges, but it also measures web widths with revolutionary accuracy. Whether the material is opaque or translucent, the MLG-2 WebChecker ensures perfection. It can simultaneously measure up to 5 different web widths – a feat that leaves tire engineers in awe.
  3. Modularity: The MLG-2 WebChecker is modular, adapting to various monitoring areas, interfaces, and detection distances. From a minimum of 150 mm x 200 mm to a whopping 2,500 mm x 3,150 mm, it covers the entire spectrum of tire-making needs.

From Idea to Reality

The story behind the MLG-2 WebChecker is one of collaboration and innovation. SICK and KE Fischer embarked on a pilot project to assess the feasibility of this groundbreaking solution.

The outcome? In 2021, KE Fischer became the world’s first cord cutting line manufacturer to equip its lines with the MLG-2 WebChecker. Initially, it was just one point in the line, but soon, more and more lines followed suit. The tire industry would never be the same again.

A Stroke of Luck and Trust

As we chat with Frank Schmidt, Head of Software, Electric Engineering & R&D at KE Fischer, we sense the camaraderie between the three men – Achim Sorg, Jörg Weiser, and Frank himself. Achim Sorg, the SICK sales expert, calls working with a customer like KE Fischer “an absolute stroke of luck.” It’s clear that trust and innovation fuel their collaboration.

So, the next time you drive on those smooth highways, remember the tire-making magic happening behind the scenes. The MLG-2 WebChecker, with its laser eyes and precision touch, ensures that every tire hits the road with perfection. It’s tire manufacturing elevated to an art form – a symphony of steel, rubber, and innovation.

Karl Eugen Fischer GmbH

Karl Eugen Fischer GmbH is the global market leader for steel and textile cord cutting lines, which are essential to the manufacture of tires for motorcycles, passenger cars, SUVs, trucks and offroad vehicles. Founded in 1940, its headquarters and main production facilities are in Burgkunstadt, Germany. The company operates subsidiaries in the USA, China and – following the acquisition of Konštrukta TireTech (KTT), a manufacturer of extrusion and cutting lines for the tire industry, in December 2022 – in Slovakia. Now home to more than 600 employees, over the past 50 years KE Fischer has delivered more than 900 cutting lines to customers in 50 countries around the globe.