Anyone entering the office of Thürmer Tools in Gilleleje is met by large black-and-white portraits of four generations of Thürmer leadership looking solemnly down at the employees, emphasizing that the family history is a very visible part of the company culture. The present CEO of Thürmer Tools and fourth in the row of photostats on the wall, Erick Thürmer, dreams of having a portrait of his son hanging on the wall in the future to represent a fifth generation of the Thürmer family.
It all began with Fritz Carl August Frantz Thürmer who in 1898 invented the square cutting die and was awarded Danish Patent no. 908 for the invention. Based on the patent he established his own factory Thürmer & Co in Copenhagen and in the years to come a range of inventions mainly related to thread cutting tools were conceived and patented by Fritz Thürmer. Before the terms “disruption” and “innovation” were known, Fritz Thürmer single-handed revolutionized the production of the external thread thereby disrupting the thread cutting industry with his innovative solutions.
The fourth generation of owner-managers, Erick Thürmer, joined the family business in 2003. Erick Thürmer began working with 3D printing in metal in 2013 and already in 2014 Thürmer Tools applied for their first patent directed to a thread cutting tap having new features and new functionality, which is only obtainable with a 3D metal printer. Erick has made the headlines in numerous magazines and newspapers and has been invited as a speaker on numerous occasions. The overwhelming attention has catapulted Thürmer Tools from the purchaser level to the CEO level of their customers. So far, filing a patent application related to 3D printing has therefore been an incredible marketing investment for Thürmer Tools.
As the fourth generation of Thürmer leadership, Erick Thürmer is ready to take on the fourth industrial revolution.
In 2013 Thürmer Tools started a project in collaboration with Danish Technological Institute and FORCE Technology aimed at the creation of the next generation of machine taps produced by the latest additive manufacturing technology. The technical break-through is in the innovative 3D-printed cooling and lubricating features which are not possible using conventional subtractive production methods.
The innovative cooling and lubrication features are the internal channels and the micro nozzles that deliver the cutting fluid closest to the cutting edge. Unlike the channels on existing taps, the 3D-printed channels and nozzles can align the cutting fluid precisely to the tool-chip contact areas, where the cutting fluid is crucially needed. The new machine taps are believed to have prolonged tool-life, increased cutting speed, and low cutting liquid consumption.
Thürmer Tools are still in a development phase of the machine taps and are doing research projects in collaboration with DTU, Danish Technological Institute and FORCE Technology.