Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH

Gotha, Germany

HOERBIGER Hydraulics give Shape to Airplanes

[ Published in HOERBIGER@MOTION 01/2011 ]

High-end technology for the air and down-to-earth classical design: the application spectrum of machine tools is very broad. Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH in Gotha, Germany, has manufactured press brakes since 1872. Over the decades, these press brakes have been transformed from simple mechanical pipe-bending machines to computer-controlled high-precision presses. The high-tech machines give shape to airplanes and lamp posts. HOERBIGER hydraulic drive technology provides the power required for precise bending moments.

The Airbus is one of the best-selling airplanes in the world–and Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH in Gotha ensures that even the huge components of this airplane are shaped automatically and economically. The company specifically developed a system consisting of two press brakes with two robots for the airplane manufacturer. And this is just one highlight of the recent past. Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH can build up to 700 presses annually.

Producing press brakes is a high-tech process. This is reflected not only by the machinery in the new production hall of Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH in Gotha, but also by the qualification profile of the staff. About every fourth person of the approximately 200 employees holds a university degree, and ten percent of the workforce is engaged in design and development. In addition, the company relies on "home-grown" talent and attaches great importance to education and training.

However, these are just a few of the factors for its success. Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH primarily sets itself apart from the competition by providing individual solutions on a series production basis. The customer can put together a machine using a catalog of features. Moreover, Bystronic offers a wide range, covering everything from a very small press (capacity: 600 kilonewtons, corresponding approximately to a mass of 60 tons) to very large equipment (35,000 kilonewtons) for bending lengths from about 6 to over 60 feet. Another unique selling proposition is the high vertical integration, ranging from mechanics to electronics and software.

Drive technology plays an important role in the performance of press brakes. Traditionally Bystronic has relied on hydraulic power. Formerly, the required systems were developed and manufactured under its own auspices. Now Bystronic obtains these key components from an outside provider: HOERBIGER Automatisierungstechnik GmbH in Altenstadt, Germany. This company has evolved from a simple component supplier to a significant partner for the entire hydraulic system and is involved in new developments right from the start.


HOERBIGER supplies Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH in Gotha with hydraulic key components, notably cylinder and pump control blocks, and anti-cavitation valves as well as tool clamping systems for all CNC press brakes.

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In 1872 Carl Grübel founded a special factory for pipe bending machines using the “Rundus” trademark. Since 1916, under various ownerships and conditions, the long-standing company has continuously produced metal forming machinery. After expropriation and dismantling (1948), restart in the German Democratic Republic (1950s), integration into the ”Forming Technology Combine” (1970) and privatization (1990), the company was acquired in 2002 by Bystronic Laser AG headquartered in Niederönz, Switzerland (2009: about 1,400 employees, sales: 356 million Swiss francs). Within the Bystronic portfolio, the site in Thuringia is responsible for developing and producing press brakes of the Xpert and Hämmerle 3P series. Like the Hämmerle 3P, Xpert systems rank among the leading-edge products in the entire market. The laser cutting machine business forms the backbone of Bystronic. Bystronic's portfolio is rounded out by the Division Waterjet, which develops, produces and distributes water jet cutting systems.


HOERBIGER Automatisierungstechnik GmbH in Altenstadt, Germany, is a worldwide leader of hydraulic systems and piezotechnology in machinery construction. The company has a long-standing partnership with Bystronic Maschinenbau GmbH in Gotha which started with supplying hydraulic systems and today includes joint development activities. HOERBIGER Automatisierungstechnik GmbH is considered to be a specialist for key components for machine tools and control valves.