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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures


    First thing in the morning we had a introduction to the Flex Power Tools including the history of the company to the present day and the long term outlook for the future moving forward in the Flex Training Facilities.




    The training room is spacious and we were spoiled with an excellent selection of beverages and



    These are a traditional pretzel, sliced open with butter spread inside, they were soft and delicious. The pastries to the right are actually filled with different types of meat and were super delicious!



    This is Siegfried Suby, who is the Sales Manager for Export, everyone calls him Suby and he led the introduction for the power point in the morning. Suby is a most gracious host and between him and Bob Eichelberg, took care of everyone with VIP treatment then entire week and weekend.



    After the introduction to the company, we broke up into 3 teams to take a tour of the manufacturing plant. Here they are building the coils for the electric motors...



    Every inch of the manufacturing plant is filed with all types of machinery humming and buzzing along...



    The copper wire that is used for the windings is powder coated, which keeps the wires clean and provides long term protection from corrosion and deterioration, this is a unique feature to all Flex electric motors that you don't find on similar tools in the industry. It adds extra time, labor and cost to the part but the end-result is a component that will outlast the competition.


    Here the copper windings are being powder coated...


    These are the armatures moving through the assembly line with multiple different processes being performed to them before they are assembled into the coils.





    This is Frank, one of the Engineers inspecting the finish quality of the armatures as they progress through the assembly line.





    The coper wires on the armature get a special plastic coating to protect and insulate them...










    Inside this one station the robot performs 3 different high speed operations removing, moving and re-inserting components incredibly fast!



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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Continued...

    All the way through every process, all components are continually assembled into more complete and complex components and after each assembly step the individual component then goes through further refining step to perfect them and then they are measured and tested for precision and performance.






    Here you can see the armature before and after it has been turned and trued-up to even tighter specifications...



    This looked like an old oil can that's been used for decades so I snapped a picture of it as we walked by...



    Every process for every component all the way through the manufacturing process has it's own station and each station has any and all maintenance tools plus check lists and documentation specifications where they are accessible to both the employees, Plant Managers, Quality Control and Engineers.



    Here's a finished Armature that has been balanced and give an individual part number for future quality control identification.



    Every process station had pictures documenting the finished components.



    Each step of the way, each process is monitored and logged for quality control.



    These are drums of different types and outside diameters of wire used to build electric motor components.



    These are some of the different shafts that are all turned individually at the Flex Manufacture Plant. Each of these is a perfect part that can be used for test and measurement at each station where they are built or later modified.




    Finished parts inventory...



    At each station we were able to hold, inspect and photograph any of the individual components, the quality was impeccable...






    Another thing both Nick an I noticed was a happy workforce, everyone was enthusiastic and to the best of their ability able to show us the processes they were in charge of and what they did to each component as it traveled through their area.


    Here's one of the other teams working their way through the tour...



    This is a CNC Mill that appeared to work at the speed of light after each new part was inserted for machine work.



    Some parts were so perfectly machine they look more like art than a machine component...



    Here you can see a lubrication spray being blasted at a component while it's being milled...




    All the way through the assembly line you would find perfect parts awaiting their turn to be assembled to create a finished product. The different assembly lines for all the different tools Flex manufactures are incredibly organized, which speeds up the manufacturing processes and assembly times.




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  3. #3
    Senior Member bigbadbp7's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Wow that is awsome you got to see first hand how they are made. I noticed when I was in Europe and I walked through a machine shop there was always good moral.
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  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Continued...

    Here we're entering into the work stations for the Flex PE14 Rotary Buffer



    This is machined gear that will drive the shaft of the Flex PE14 Rotary buffer, after all machining work is completed the gear is heat treated for long life and quiet operation.



    Flex uses rubber encased electrical cords for their tools for export, not cheapy vinyl cords which easily get kinked or retain a coiled shape if you wrap them around the body of the tool. If you own a Flex power tool, pay attention to how nice the cord is and compare it to just about any other cord on any other tool you own.



    Here are some of the various components of the Flex PE14 ready to be assembled...





    These are assembled gear heads ready to be assembled. The box looking contraption is for holding the body of the tool in a specific orientation to make assembly fast and easy.



    You'll see these tool holding block throughout all the assembly lines...



    Gear heads after quality control measurements and inspection ready for assembly...



    This is the trigger switch and wiring assembly read to be installed into the body of the Flex PE14




    This is Heinrich who is in charge of assembly the gear heads into the head casing...




    This is where the machined, heat treaded drive gear will install into...








    Before installing the gear Heinrich adds a lubricating grease which is prevented from leaking out by seals...



    Time to install the machine screws to assemble the finished product...






    After each Flex PE14 is assembled it is then ran on a testing machine for a specified amount of time where all the components and circuitry is measured and tested. I think Heinrich was amused by our interest in his work...



    He warmed up to us thought as we continued to take pictures and hold and inspect the various components of the tool...




    Here are Flex PE14 Rotary Buffers each being individually tested after assembly...



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  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadbp7 View Post
    Wow that is awesome you got to see first hand how they are made. I noticed when I was in Europe and I walked through a machine shop there was always good moral.

    I think if we would have stuck around any longer they would have started training us and then putting us to work!


    :D
    Mike Phillips
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  6. #6
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Very nice and informative Mike. it give me a greater appreciation for my Flex power tool. Now I am even more proud to be a Flex Power Tool owner!!!

  7. #7
    Wow. Amazingly clean assembly environment. Seeing how these machines are made and assembled gives me a whole new level of respect for the Flex brand. Truly a high quality tool.

  8. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Continued...


    Now we're into an area where the Drywall Sander is built. The Flex engineers will at times name some of their tools after an animal if the term fits the look or use of the tool, in this case this tool is known in the industry as the Giraffe.


    The Giraffe has a long body or neck for reaching ceilings and the tops of walls.




    Here the main body housing is ready for the internal components to be installed...



    All the parts necessary for assembly are neatly organized and readily availalbe...


    Giraffe body casings...



    Nick listens as the assembly is explained...



    In under 10 minutes we watched as a complete tool was assembled right before our eyes...























    Mike Phillips
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  9. #9
    Senior Member C. Charles Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Autogeek View Post
    I think if we would have stuck around any longer they would have started training us and then putting us to work!


    :D
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  10. #10
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    Re: Germany Flex Plant Tour Pictures

    Thx for sharing

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