The Chinese giant is on the Czech and Slovak Markets

Roman Dvořák

If the technical community talks about SYMG, to the uninitiated, this name does not say much. But if we talk about SMTCL (Shenyang Machine Tool Co. Ltd), engineer of machining technology already know about who is talking. However, the association SYMG including SMTCL currently ranks among the largest machine tool manufacturer in the world and last year surpassed the turnover of production even all the companies of the DMG Mori. SMTCL then marks one of the machines, which the association produces. Closer we will SYMG activities that dominate so. China’s huge five, presented on pages MM Industrial spectrum in a number of reports from previous years Beijing fair CIMT.

Roman Dvořá

Jednatel společnosti Zenitec Vadym Kovalchuk

Jednatel společnosti Zenitec Vadym Kovalchuk

Vadym Kovalchuk

It is surprised that such a giant with annual production of up to 80,000 machines and historically strong connections with our country has not yet had their dealership. At the beginning is was licensed production based on traditional Czechoslovak products under the brand TOS, coat of arms of the famous horse. Manufacturing plant even used the name Factory of Czechoslovak-Chinese Friendship. The specific dealership attempts occurred on several occasions, most recently last year. Finally, the official partner for the Czech Republic and Slovakia became the Zenitec. We bring you an interview with its director Vadym Kovalchuk.

MM: Please introduce SMTCL, its history and nowadays, the products range and the field of activities

V. Kovalchuk:

SMTCL was established in1995 and belongs to the corporation SYMG whose history goes back to the early 1930. It began in a small tool factory in the Chinese city of Shenyang. The company then grew steadily to gradually become a global giant machine manufacture. SYMG includes SMTCL (Shenyang Machine Tool Co., Ltd.), Schiess GmbH Germany, CY Yunnan Machine Tool Co. Ltd. and Kunming Machine Tool Co. Ltd.

Worldwide, the corporation consists of more than 18,000 employees. It focuses on machines for turning, boring, milling and drilling, and for customers is in more than 80 countries.

SMTCL group itself or the Shenyang Machine Tool is a relatively young company was founded in 1995, by consolidation of several generations older firms Shenyang No. 1 Machine Tool Works, China Czechoslovakia Friendship Works and Shenyang No. 3 Machine Tool Works.

SMTCL current range is very extensive. It includes vertical lathes, horizontal boring machines and gantry machines. The main commodity products is turning, milling, drilling and boring.

During its existence, the SMTCL was developed to a very modern and world-recognized manufacturers. Also delivering series of foreign acquisitions, we should mention, for example, in 2004, they purchased a German manufacturer of heavy machine tools Schiess, who with his 150-year history belonged to the German treasures. Over the last decade SMTCL group has made a big leap in their production and, for example, in 2011 at plants in Shenyang and Kunming, China and Germany Aschersleben produced machines cost 3 billion Dollars.

In recent years, the company invests heavily in design and new technologies, not only to improve the competitiveness of its product portfolio, but also to occupy its rightful place at the technological cutting edge of the industry. Through a strategic expansion into the aerospace, defense, shipbuilding and energy markets with stable while its product development towards high-grade CNC machines gives message to the world that “the greatest” can also be “the most perfect” !

And thanks to combination of excellent German engineering and Chinese production efficiency, which we have never seen before. The company in addition to ongoing research and manufacturing transformations constantly supports the sales, marketing and consulting. According to it customer will be totally supported.

MM: Why did SMTCL finally decided to have direct representation in Czech Republic?

V. Kovalchuk:

One of the slogans of the company SMTCL is “Work side by side with customer”. It means that in practice it is as close as possible to each individual person, shop, small and large companies, of course, large multinational companies are our future partners. We do not want to sell the machine and then finish business. We want to be with our customers in constant contact. Dealing with them any further solutions, service sites collaboration, and so on. The prerequisite for this is, of course, have in each country, as well as Czech Republic, exclusive dealer and service station for representation SMTCL. Being as close as possible to customers. It is important to keep continuoued interest of our customers and listening to their need is among the essential part of our business. Worldwide already this cooperation works perfectly. We already have representatives on all continents. Europe remains, unfortunately, a little unused. Now we are trying to change this and we have strong support directly from SMTCL. I mean to support both know-how and financial. SMTCL’s Machines range possibilities are enormous. CNC machines from small up to the largest multi-axis machining centers. That meets the requirements of the most demanding clients Who need perfectly machine axes in many of the largest and heaviest work pieces.

MM: Introduce yourself please and Company Zenitec. What experience behind you and what is your strategy for the next period of, let say, five years?

V. Kovalchuk: I have ten years of experience in the field of machine tools trade. All these years, is engaged in supplying equipment from China and Taiwan to East Europe. Behind a few dozen visits to Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers of various machines, attendance and participation in international exhibitions.

At the beginning of 2015, ZENITEC company was founded, in the company’s strategy lies the main goal – an exclusive cooperation with SMTCL, namely, trade and service of CNC machines in the territory of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This market is famous for metalworking and SMTCL can satisfy even the most demanding consumers. Because SMTCL machines are very strong, well equiped in standard and prices are very competitive. Thanks to daugther company SMTCL Frankfurt GmbH we can plan stable development of sales and service.

Another, extremely important, the subsequent service. Currently we have outlined an experienced team of technicians. Regarding machines, SMTCL going to gradually involve all its range to the European market and that, as you know, is extremely extensive. We are looking forward to seeing it. Support from SMTCL at the moment is enormous, given the timetable, but certainly now I will not reveal.

MM: Are you going to create your own showroom, or will use an existing one in Frankfurt?

V. Kovalchuk: Of course we want to build own showroom in the Czech Republic in Kolin, where we have good space for this. But certainly our showroom can not be equal to Frankfurt (7500 m2), where the whole scope of machines always stands and it is ready for delivering to the customers. To all our customers we offer a trip to visit our showroom in Frankfurt, this is the best way to see SMTCL machines range and try machines in power.

MM: Let’s talk now about the service. Who will provide the service and supply spare parts?

V. Kovalchuk: Service is key Question for us. Every day when the machine does not work, it costs a lot of money for customer. Our Czech service team has already finalized. Will under go regular training in Germany. The service center, will be in Kolin. Of course there will be some spare parts.

In case of difficult breaking service is covered from Germany and guarants within 48 hours to report the failure. In Germany, service technicians are working for SMTCL long years. It is of course the fact that in Germany the turnover of these workers is minimal. It definitely does not mean that we will wait for a spare part arriving from China. Thus, it definitely does not work. Czech Republic is not the first country in Europe where the SMTCL has its representation. As I said our key points are service together with the quality of machines. It is well known from the previous years of our practice.

MM: Please indicate reference customer here in the Czech Republic, which uses machines SMTCL.

V. Kovalchuk: For example, I would mention the Brno company OMNI-X produces bending tools for tube shaping. This company works on milling center VMC 850B in two shifts and seven days a week. Since the installation itself six months ago up to the present there have not been mechanical service. The company employs several years more than thirty machines of other competing manufacturers. The owner finally decided to buy milling center from SMTCL. The reason was a better standard equipment and other basic parameters such as power, spindle speed, the maximum load on the table, weight machines and more than offered by our competitors. We actually beated brands that the company already OMNI-X used several years.

MM: Particular machine will be discussed in the following articles. Now please present flagship in your range of products which can have the highest demand from the domestic customers.

V. Kovalchuk: Now we concentrate mainly on two production line of machines – lathes VIVA TURN and vertical milling center VMC series. Of course, for these machines available to add additional axes and other accessories and options. everything is according to individual customer’s needs. Generally speaking, it is a middle class of machines. For example, vertical milling machine VMC 850 is the top sales machine, it is the second smallest size of a variety of VMC. Already, however, Germany is working on a new series and we hope that it will bring more news to the benefit of even better machining.

MM: Please specify technical competitive advantages of SMTCL machines. What is the difference from the competitors in their construction, using, materials used, rigidity, accuracy, etc.?

V. Kovalchuk: The basis of all machines forms a single piece of casting. Nothing is welded. All other major components SMTCL machines are also made of cast steel and feature high rigidity, which is important not only for accuracy but also for fast machining. For example, type VMC 2100B offers table clamping surface dimensions 2200 x 800 mm with a maximum load capacity of the table -3000 kg. in addition, the machine is equipped with a ZF transmission as standard. SMTCL machines compare to the competitors are bigger and heavier. During the development of the VMC series our engineers focused on superior technical performance and affordability.

Design and technology center is in Germany and production facilities are in China.

Our machines are made of components from Germany, Japan, Thaiwan, Korea and China. No doubt that the production of far more than 80 000 units per year already gives assurance in our experience and expertise with which then helps customers worldwide. SMTCL Europe has a sales network of the best professionals in the field of sales and services, with headquarters in Germany, where professional service staff have decades of experience.

What can we offer more? For example, a full-featured, high-quality chip conveyor as standard equipment, which, as you know, is not the standard from all our competitors. All our machines have oil collector from coolant surface in standard and now also RENISHAW Machine tool probes in standard. The price of these devices are not insignificant.

SMTCL machining centers are able to complete even difficult machining with high torque reliably and with minimal vibration thanks to high-precision linear guide, cast iron guide for the Z axis and powerful drive with ball screw.

Machines can also be equipped with CNC-swivel rotary table made by the Japanese company Tsudakoma, Iscar tools and systems (probes), measuring the workpiece and tool manufactured by Renishaw.

MM: Thank you for the interview and good luck for your work.