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Celebrating 1000 state-of-the-art PVD and CVD machines

Building 1000 specialised machines for discerning customers is an achievement that Hauzer and Bernex are rightly proud of. That’s why we devote this article to looking back – with people who have been there for a long time. Gabriel Jordan, now a Manufacturing Engineer, first joined Hauzer in 1985, only two years after Hauzer decided to start producing PVD machines. And Hüseyin Çankaya, Bernex Head of Operations, is just a few months shy of his 20-year anniversary at Bernex.

What do you recall about the first machines you were involved with?

“I remember working on one of the very first Hauzer machines, the HC3, which ended up in the Czech Republic,” says Gabriel. “It was very different then. No engineers or drawing room – just a small crew of technicians trying things out. It was very practical engineering, in a way. And it worked.”

“I wasn’t around for the very first Bernex machines,” says Hüseyin, “since the company is 90 years old. But when I started, all our machines had a single pump, and now the machines can have several. These improvements are not just available for the new machines, but also often for machines in the field. That’s part of our success.”

Better, faster, and more accurate: many changes over the years

Gabriel: “In the early years, everything was not just hand-operated but handmade. The frame, the braces, the control cabinets, even the power supplies. Just imagine how tricky it was to scale to a larger machine without 3D drawing software! We had many exhilarating midnight triumphs. I remember taking my 18-month-old son to work on a weekend with a tight deadline, keeping him happy in his pram with well-timed biscuits.”

Hüseyin is pleased with how Bernex systems – which are often heated to well over 1000 degrees Celsius – have become much safer over time. “At first, people really needed to know the process,” he explains. “Our processes work with hydrogen, which is explosive, and other dangerous and odourless gases. Now, our constant risk assessments have led to technology and software upgrades that help keep people safe.”

Of course, Hauzer and Bernex both have left the low-tech trailblazing of their early days behind. Although the pioneering spirit is still there, both companies have matured into sophisticated, engineering-driven technology firms. Machines are no longer hand operated, but have highly accurate automatic controls. The companies have increased the power, capabilities and sustainability of their machines. So, too, the efficiency of sourcing parts and building machines. Hüseyin: “At Bernex, even with the current global supply chain difficulties, we’ve still managed to reduce our delivery times by 2 months compared to four years ago.”

Celebrating 1000 PVD and CVD machines

What makes Hauzer and Bernex special?

Over the years, Gabriel has seen Hauzer weather and recover from heavy economic downturns. “I’ve worn so many hats,” he reminisces. “Draftsman, supervisor, assembly technician, purchaser, and now manufacturing engineer, working on every type of machine we’ve made. But all this time, the atmosphere within the company had been one of positive energy with a great working atmosphere, even in very busy periods. People at Hauzer have mutual trust, friendship and respect for each other’s expertise. That’s true even now the company has grown significantly. I’ve always enjoyed working at Hauzer, in a team that’s so committed to solving problems for our customers.” Hüseyin can echo these sentiments from his position at Bernex. He, too, has seen many parts of the company in his 20 years in his rise from Electrical Project Engineer to Head of Operations.

What does the future bring?

One type of functional improvement had been under development in both companies for years and has really come to fruition during the pandemic: improved remote monitoring and access functionality. “In earlier times, we’d talk to a customer on the phone and told them which buttons to press when,” says Hüseyin. “Now, we can just watch along with them via remote access, and it’s like we’re right next to them. We even worked with VR glasses.”

These developments will be increasingly important in the coming years. Remote controls and supervision, increased analysis capabilities, and integration with other machinery such as robot arms will transform the production plant of the future. “Predictive maintenance, where the machine will tell you that a part is about to wear out or that the machine is becoming less efficient, would save our customers a lot of downtime,” says Hüseyin. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 1000 machines will bring.”