Speed up the measuring process with optical sensors from ZEISS

Quality assurance standards in the automotive industry continues to rise year after year. This, in turn, means that performing measurements requires more time and effort, including at the German automotive supplier Peter Wahl Metall- und Kunststofftechnik. In order to accommodate their growing quality assurance workload, the company acquired a ZEISS ACCURA multisensor measuring machine, which enabled them to significantly speed up the entire measuring process.

Thorsten Bundschuh, a metrology engineer, prepares to measure a tension lever for a convertible roof.

Thorsten Bundschuh, a metrology engineer, prepares to measure a tension lever for a convertible roof.

The challenge: an increasing number of measuring jobs

"Measurements require more and more time," says Peter Kerber, Managing Director of Peter Wahl GmbH & Co. KG. The period when automobile manufacturers approved components for several years following successful initial sample testing are now a thing of the past. Now, as a part of requalification inspections, suppliers like Wahl often need to provide proof annually that each individual component meets the customer's requirements. As a consequence, more time and effort is invested on top of the initial and random sampling inspections. And it all adds up: approximately 5,000 hours are spent on measuring jobs at Wahl every year.

Within just 20 minutes, all required drawing dimensions as well as shape and position tolerances for the compound part are available, enabling the company Wahl to cut the measuring time in half.

Within just 20 minutes, all required drawing dimensions as well as shape and position tolerances for the compound part are available, enabling the company Wahl to cut the measuring time in half.

The solution: more optical measurements

It quickly became clear to company management that they needed more employees and an additional measuring machine. After a demo featuring the ACCURA multisensor measuring machine at ZEISS, Quality Manager Willi Sauer had already made up his mind: the ZEISS system would offer the company the flexibility it needed. The reason: in addition to the contact probes, the machine was designed for use with the LineScan optical sensor. At the time, however, the measuring machine and the sensor were still in the development phase, which is how this mid-sized company became a pilot customer. "We never second-guessed our decision for an instant," explains the Quality Manager two years later. "Thanks to this measuring machine, we can now tackle measuring tasks we could not have handled previously."

The benefit: faster quality assurance

Contact and optical measuring technology complement each other, making it possible to perform the individual measurements at Wahl more quickly. For example: the contact sensor used to require 45 minutes to capture all the necessary dimensions of a tension lever for the roof of a convertible. Now only certain features are captured using contact measurements, whereas the rest are acquired using optical measuring technology. The result: all required drawing dimensions as well as all other shape and position tolerances of the metal-plastic compound component are captured in just 20 minutes. Using the LineScan sensor has paid off for the company in another way: "We can't always reach the necessary areas using a contact measuring system," explains Kerber. In these cases, useful information on the component geometry can only be achieved by capturing entire surfaces – and the ZEISS LineScan makes this possible.

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