Helios Gear Products featured in Revolutions by Gear Technology Magazine
During the 2019 Motion + Power Technology Expo, Gear Technology Senior Editor Matthew Jaster sat down with Adam Gimpert of Helios Gear Products to discuss Helios’ plan to equip every job shop with the latest gear hobbing technology.
“Welcome to Revolutions, the show that takes an in-depth look at the gear industry. I’m Matt Jester, senior editor of Gear Technology Magazine. I’m here this morning with Adam Gimpert, from Helios Gear Products. Morning, Adam. Thanks for being here!”
Tell us some of the key products and technologies you have on hand at the show.
“Well, I’d say the number one thing that we’re excited to have here at the show is our new line of hobbing machines. The Helios Hera line of hobbing machines, these are full CNC pieces of equipment, Fanuc CNC and they’re really no frills gear hobbing solutions. So we have two models in our booth today, it’s a Helios Hera 90, so it’s a three and a half inch OD horizontal hobber with automation. And then we also have the Hera 350, so we are looking at a 14 inch vertical hobber. So it’s kind of cool for us because it lets us serve our existing customers with a fine pitch solution but it also opens new opportunities for manufacturers of larger gears as a new solution with proven support from Helios and some good stuff to talk about. In addition, we have a deburring machine representing some of our deburring solutions to offer as well as an analytical checker.”
Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about how Helios stays competitive in the global machine market today.
“Sure, sure. And that goes along with the the Hera line. When we came up with Helios this year with our name change, we really rethought about the market and where it’s been, where is it going over the next five to 10 years. And, you know, if you look at what the economist are telling us — that the North American US gear market continues to expand, but the proportion of that market that’s served by domestic manufacturers is shrinking. So that tells you that foreign manufacturers are taking more of the pie so to speak. So we really are working with our customers on a global scale, whether we know it or not. So when I look ahead five to 10 years that’s not going to change. So global competitiveness I think is number one for our customers today, whether they’re really thinking about it or not. So bringing them a globally competitive solution, like the Hera line, with our proven support, I think gives our customers affordability, a good technical solution, great support, and quick delivery. So when that opportunity arises, they can tackle it. So I think that’s really what’s cool about what we’re talking about at the show this year.”
What are some of the key features your customers are looking for regarding the machine tools?
“You know, they want the basics, right. They need CNC to be competitive today so — and it really should be a proven platform, so that’s Siemens or Fanuc really. So our machines, we focus on the Fanuc platform, then all the good stuff that you need along with that, so you know, crowning, automation solutions, easy taper correction, all those basics. What’s also interesting when you talk to customers about what are their pain points? One of the number one things they say is training, you know, skilled labor, right? We’ve all heard it time and time again. How are we helping our customers with that problem? As a machine tool supplier, maybe there’s not much we can do, but where we can help is by ensuring that the HMI, so the interface between the human, the operator, and the machine, is as friendly as possible and easy to use, so that training is minimized so that maybe you can lower the bar slightly on what skilled labor is to operate those machines and be successful with them. So I think that’s where having a nicely developed machine tool with a good interface that’s easy to use and intuitive is critical to manufacturers’ success.”
Okay. Let’s discuss a little bit about the sales partnership you have with KAPP Technologies.
“Sure, sure. We started that a little over a year ago. We announced it actually at IMTS last year. When we looked at the two companies’ products that we offer here in the United States, they’re very complimentary. You know, KAPP Technologies focuses on grinding solutions. Helios has traditionally been a hobbing solution provider. So by working together we bring to our customers access to the full line of gear manufacturing solutions. So, hobbing, grinding, deburring, inspection, those are the four big ones as well as the consumable tools that go along with those. So it really is a benefit to our customers. So they have one point of contact and also have access to all of those solutions.”
Do you have anything to add about the future of Helios Gear Products?
“You know, I want to reiterate looking ahead in the future. You know, I think Americans are really good at looking at what do we need this year to make sure that we have a good black bottom line. But when you want to look at the success of a company, especially an entrepreneurial job shop such as many that we serve, they need to be looking ahead and we need to help them have solutions and have the reliability that the machine tool investments that they make are going to be supported into the future and that they are going to adapt to the challenges that those customers are going to face in the future. So I think Helios today is more future oriented than ever before and I think we really understand our market and where it’s going and we have some great solutions to offer gear manufacturers today.”