Precitrame Machines is an internationally active Swiss manufacturer of precision transfer machines. Currently the company can count on more than 300 highly qualified employees. For more than 20 years Precitrame has been supplying the production workshops of the most important Swiss watch brands. About ten years ago, Precitrame took over the robotic polishing activities of a spin-off from a regional engineering school. This new product line, named Cyberpolish, allowed a diversification of the activities. 

Most recently, Precitrame Machine has acquired Kummer Frère SA, a company active in hard precision turning and which has developed a 5-axis micro machining center. Precitrame intends to develop this product in order to create compact and flexible machining cells. 

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Precitrame Machines: Precitrame is mainly active in the watchmaking sector for the transfer machine and robotic polishing part. The consumer electronics sector, for the production of metal components used in the manufacture of smart devices, is another growth area for the transfer machine. We are also present in the automotive sector, for the production of various engine components. The development of the range of micro machining centers will also allow us to satisfy the needs of the medical and aeronautical sector.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

Precitrame Machines: The latest innovation is the Kummer K5 5-axis micro machining center. This machine requires only 2m2 and has an energy consumption of 0.8 kWh and is a revolution in the machining of microtechnical components. Indeed, this machine allows to rationalize the production of parts with dimensions included in a cube of 50mm side. The scaling of the production equipment allows the creation of micro factories inside the workshops by combining these micro machining centers in flexible cells by using a central automation.

This machine has amazing features. The machining axes have an acceleration of 2.5G, coupled with an electro-spindle at 60’000 rpm, it allows to do high speed machining. Moreover, the machine is equipped with a B axis with a stroke of +/- 90° and a C axis rotating up to 5’000 rpm, which allows turning operations. The flexibility of the machine is also guaranteed by a 54 position tool changer.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

Precitrame Machines: As mentioned above, Precitrame Machines is mainly a supplier of innovative machining solutions in various fields. These are transfer machining for micro precision components, robotized polishing of high value components and high precision hard turning. In addition, the new micro machining center Kummer K5 and its flexible machining cell.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

Precitrame Machines: Precitrame Machines is active in different markets and these are also each at their own stage. In the watch industry, our customers are active in the high-end sector, which is in good condition. On the other hand, the automotive sector is in full mutation. Dieselgate and the massive arrival of electric cars are considerably changing the typology of this sector. As a result, most of our target customers’ investments are frozen.

As for domains where we are currently in full development, they are the medical and aeronautical field. These two sectors are of great interest to our Kummer K5 micro machining center.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

Precitrame Machines: The market trends are clearly towards the rationalization of production methods and the optimization of resources. Producing parts weighing a few tens of grams with machines weighing several tons is clearly seen as unreasonable. This is why our Kummer K5 micro machining center is meeting with great interest.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

Precitrame Machines: As stated above, we provide machining solutions rather than products. That’s why it is difficult to answer this question. Each solution we build is innovative and different from the previous one.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

Precitrame Machines: For 2022 the forecasts are rather encouraging. The good situation in the watchmaking sector and the enthusiasm for the new Kummer K5 micro machining center ensure a good level of business for 2022. The only downside is the worrying situation of shortages in the supply chain.