TRW Automotive are replacing gages/gauges and testing equipment in quality assurance with DuraMax, the compact scanning measuring machine, available from Carl Zeiss . Gages/gauges and testing equipment are expensive, and the modifications are difficult. DuraMax, the compact scanning measuring machine, is suitable for use in production. At automotive supplier TRW Automotive in Alfdorf, Germany, DuraMax has recently begun simplifying the quality assurance process of components for vehicle safety.
At TRW Automotive, DuraMax is positioned directly next to an 800 tonne press without air conditioning where pins for safety belts are punched from steel sheets. Despite the skepticism of the technicians who doubted that DuraMax would be unaffected by the vibrations of the press, the compact scanning CMM passed the test.
The vibrations had no negative influence on the capabilities of Duramax. Robert Bühner, Measuring Technician, TRW Automotive, the measurements with DuraMax are reliable. Carl Zeiss verified this in the measuring lab with another coordinate measuring machine from Carl Zeiss, a CONTURA G2. Now, around 20 production employees without a metrology specific background work with DuraMax.
The automation interface of CALYPSO measuring software enables easy selection of the part to be measured based on pictures and the given part number. The measurement is performed in one CNC run and a reliable measuring log of the workpiece is generate and printed. The data can be automatically entered into the process server for evaluation.
The benefits of a measuring machine integrated into production become clear during the inspections that accompany the production run in the past TRW Automotive needed 20 minutes for a workpiece using inspection equipment, DuraMax delivers a measuring log with valuable information in only 4 minutes.
The punching and bending process can be set and optimised quickly for approximately 10,000 pins that are churned out in 20 minutes. Scrap is reduced. There are no travel or downtime costs resulting from measurements in a measuring lab. The time for the overall process is also lower.
As a result of the variety and the exponentially more involved testing, Helmut Seibert, Steel Production Manager at TRW, was faced with difficulties that could not be overcome with gages/gauges and equipment. The repeatedly occurring process of building the corresponding equipment for new parts and verifying their capability was becoming more and more involved.
Now, TRW Automotive have integrated many special measuring programs into the autorun interface of CALYPSO CAD-based measuring software from Carl Zeiss. For TRW, the purchase of a CMM for production to replace gages/gauges and other equipment was a good investment.