ZEISS Software as the Key to Success An automotive supplier was so impressed by ZEISS NEO software that they decided to purchase a ZEISS CT scanner.

Parts manufactured by ODW-ELEKTRIK are installed in vehicles around the world. For decades, the company has placed its trust in ZEISS to ensure the quality and reliability of its components. Recently, this automotive supplier added a ZEISS METROTOM 800 computer tomograph to its existing ZEISS fleet, which already included multiple ZEISS O-SELECT systems and the software solutions ZEISS NEO select, ZEISS NEO insights and ZEISS PiWeb. The Head of Quality Management reports "that the software was a key reason why we opted for the ZEISS METROTOM CT scanner."

The Deciding Factor: Software

The challenge: A zero-defects strategy

ODW-ELEKTRIK is a development partner and supplier for high-quality cable products, solenoids and mechatronic systems. The company supplies most of its products to Bosch, Autoliv, Brose, VW and ZF. "OEMs have to meet ever-stricter quality requirements," says Martin Ehret, who heads the company. At the same time, the built-in electronic components are becoming even smaller and more complex. On top of all this, customers increasingly expect that their suppliers, including ODW-ELEKTRIK, deliver zero-defect components and that these can be installed without additional inspections. "We take on an enormous amount of responsibility," says Ehret. In order to perform 3D, contactless measurements in the future, ODW-ELEKTRIK equipped its measuring lab in the German city of Steinau with a ZEISS METROTOM.

In the measuring lab, an employee inspects the ODW-ELEKTRIK parts with the ZEISS O-SELECT.
In the measuring lab, an employee inspects the ODW-ELEKTRIK parts with the ZEISS O-SELECT. The accompanying software ZEISS NEO select is easy to use.
Going from 2D to 3D: the industrial computer tomograph ZEISS METROTOM offers outstanding features.
Going from 2D to 3D: In order to also be able to perform 3D, contactless measurements in the future, ODW-ELEKTRIK equipped its measuring lab in Steinau with a ZEISS METROTOM.

The solution: A CT scanner to see inside components

According to Thomas Mack, Head of Quality Management, this industrial computer tomograph or CT scanner offers some outstanding features: with conventional measuring technology, inspection is a time-consuming process where the component is destroyed layer-by-layer; but industrial computed tomography makes it easy to visualize and analyze hidden structures in 3D – without destroying the component. Before ODW-ELEKTRIK invested in its own CT scanner, it sent individual parts to the ZEISS Metrology Center in Cologne for X-ray inspection, and then evaluated the point clouds in house using the software ZEISS NEO insights. How important has software become for measuring technology? "These days, achieving faster, more reliable measurement results means having outstanding hardware and software. Ultimately, this helps us better manage our processes and manufacture high-quality products."

The benefit: Faster, comprehensive component inspection

For Mack, the benefit is obvious: "Just one X-ray scan gives us all the data we need to check and measure our components along with the latest innovations. This even includes air pockets that I would just not be able to see with a 3D measurement performed on a CMM." And equally important, creating a measurement plan is substantially faster than with contact measurements. The time required for measurements and analyses when sampling has been reduced by up to 75% as compared to before.
ZEISS NEO insights also enables the operator to work at an offline programming station, including at other company locations or even at a supplier's site, where the employees analyze the point cloud from a CT scan performed in Steinau.

ZEISS NEO insights: Deviations between the volume model and the CAD data for the components are displayed in a convenient false-color comparison.
Bernd Föller, who heads the measuring lab, uses a volume model created with the CT scanner to illustrate how the company meets quality requirements.

Both Thomas Mack and Bernd Föller, who heads the measuring lab, are impressed with the software: "The intuitive user interface shows me which point I am looking at and guides me through the entire measurement run

using a blue thread, a feature I was already familiar with from ZEISS NEO select. Moreover, for many tasks I can work using the mouse directly in the film gate instead of clicking through different menus," says Mack.

Measuring reports are created using additional software already integrated in ZEISS NEO select and ZEISS NEO insights: ZEISS PiWeb. This ensures an optimal display and assessment of the measuring results.

About ODW-ELEKTRIK

ODW-ELEKTRIK is a development partner and supplier for high-quality cable products, solenoids and mechatronic systems. Since its founding at the beginning of the 1970s, this family-owned company has been committed to the ongoing development and expansion of its product portfolio and optimizing production processes. With almost 2,300 employees at four different sites in Europe and one in North America, ODW-ELEKTRIK offers complete solutions for car manufacturers, system providers and their suppliers.