Special Interview

President of GROB shares insights on metalworking trends and OSG partnership

Rodrigo Katsuda  |  OSG Sulamericana

The manufacturing sector is consistently evolving through the new discovery of materials and technologies. Big data, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are some of the key trends that have been accelerating the next industrial revolution and a new era of global business. To achieve growth, rather than becoming a follower, one must lead change with new innovations. Constant development and the pursuit of perfection is the company vision of the GROB Group, a world-renowned manufacturer of machining center and production systems, who has established itself into a technology leader and trendsetter that it is widely known today. Recently, OSG Sulamericana in Brazil had an opportunity to sit down with Michael Bauer, president of GROB, to hear about his opinion on the outlook for the year ahead and the partnership with OSG.

From left to right, OSG Sulamericana Vice President Kenya Sugihara and GROB President Michael Bauer.

Please tell us a little bit about GROB. How many years has it been operating globally and in Brazil?

Founded in 1926, the GROB Group is an internationally operating family company. Headquartered in Mindelheim, Germany, the GROB Group has three production plants in São Paulo, Brazil, Bluffton, USA and Dalian, China. There are currently 11 sales and service branches in South Korea, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Mexico, Italy and Poland. As of 2016, the company generates a consolidated revenue of 1.3 billion euros and employs approximately 6,000 employees worldwide. GROB’s product offering includes universal machining centers, complex production systems with individual automation, manual assembly stations and fully automated assembly lines.

GROB’s Brazilian division, B. GROB do Brasil, was established on June 14, 1956 in São Paulo. It is GROB’s first overseas plant and plays a crucial role in its production system. B. GROB do Brasil produces machinery for the domestic market as well as for exports. Key products include machining lines for transmissions and engines, as well as 4- and 5-axis universal machining centers.

During fiscal year 2016, B. GROB do Brasil generated a revenue of nearly 102 million euros and employs more than 550 staff in a production area greater than 25,000 m². Having been in the Brazilian market for over 60 years, GROB is recognized for their quality and reliability.

Can you tell us about GROB’s market segment?

The automotive segment is GROB’s main business domain. GROB services large automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. In addition to automotive, GROB also attend manufacturers in the aerospace, mold and die, machine and mechanical equipment, medical, and energy industries.

Can you tell us more about GROB’s relationship with the automotive industry?

The automotive industry has always been GROB’s key domain for growth in both Brazil and abroad. GROB is always innovating to stay ahead of technological advances in the automotive market, such as engine coating technologies, the machining of turbochargers and structural components, as well as in the production of electrical engines, fuel cells and batteries.

What is your perception of the current market condition?

The metalworking industry is evolving rapidly. New trends and technologies such as Industry 4.0 and enhanced data mobility will have an underlying role in global manufacturing. Manufacturers and suppliers must stay ahead of change, identify and accommodate new market needs. At GROB, we are never satisfied with the status quo. Our company tradition lies in continuous innovation, which is a crucial value for ensuring long term growth and sustainability.

From left to right, GROB universal machining centersG550, G350 and G750 engineered to accommodate a wide range of industries for machining complex and high precision mold and prototype parts. Photo courtesy: GROB.

What role does OSG play in GROB’s growth?

OSG services for GROB in all machining segments that we operate, including automotive, aerospace, mold and die, etc. OSG acts as supplier of B. GROB do Brasil in the machining department, supplying a number of cutting tools for our machines. OSG also attend our clients’ turnkey processes during the final approval stage with tooling evaluation and technical support. In both cases, the synergy between GROB and OSG is critical in achieving optimal results. When GROB’s expertise in machining equipment is accompanied by OSG’s quality tooling, values are enhanced for our clients.

An aerial view of the B. GROB do Brasil facility in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo courtesy: GROB.

How does GROB benefit from this partnership?

Recently, OSG has been working side-by-side with GROB on projects for Nemak, a manufacturer of highly complex aluminum components for the automotive industry, in Monterrey, Mexico, supplying approximately 50 percent of the project tooling. GROB is receiving excellent on-site support from the OSG technical team since the implementation of the tools. OSG also provides assistance at Nemak’s plant in Mexico, ensuring absolute satisfaction for all parties involved.

From left to right, GROB Proposal and Sales Manager Ricardo Jorge Cruz, OSG Sulamericana Turnkey/Tryout and Tool Management Project Leader Giovani de Paula, OSG Sulamericana Aerospace Project Leader Gustavo Santos, GROB Sales President for Americas Christian Müller, and OSG Sulamericana Automotive Project Leader Maximino Maldonado Borges. OSG participated in the “Soluções Tecnológicas em Usinagem com 5 Eixos” (Technological Solutions in 5-Axis Machining) Workshop, held at the facility of B. GROB do Brasil.

What future plans does GROB have in terms of the OSG partnership?

OSG participated in the “Soluções Tecnológicas em Usinagem com 5 Eixos” (Technological Solutions in 5-Axis Machining) Workshop, held at the facility of B. GROB do Brasil in October 2016. Many consider the workshop to be a leading event for metalworking in the Brazilian market, as it presents new knowledge and innovations to its participants. During the workshop, GROB presented alongside with its technology partners, who are the best and most innovative solution providers in the machining market. OSG was present with a booth in the exhibition area, where it showcased the latest cutting tool solutions and specific technological advantages. GROB is always seeking to work with committed partners with high quality products. The next workshop is scheduled to be held in October 2018. GROB will look to continue its strategic partnership with OSG and the pursuit of perfection in order to deliver the best possible results for our clients.