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Low Inspection Costs, High Production Performance

The new quality matrix of ZEISS GUARDUS configures and controls the type and logic of the entire inspection process

Press Release

Control 2019 –Stuttgart Trade Fair – 7 – 10 May – Halle 4, Stand 4201/4301

Ulm/Oberkochen, 8 March 2019 – The new function “Quality Matrix” of ZEISS GUARDUS answers the question that preoccupies many industrial companies: How can I centrally configure and dynamically adapt the type and logic of my inspection process at any time? The objective of the new module of Carl Zeiss MES Solutions GmbH located in Ulm is to reduce the costs consistently and, at the same time, to increase production performance, namely the number of manufactured pieces per time unit. After all, in the international productivity competition, time saving is as decisive as cost reduction. The new configuration matrix of the MES specialist covers all the quality relevant influencing factors in the production, such as “product”, “inspection location”, “process”, “work progress”, “machinery”, “tool”, “material” and “operator”. “Many industrial companies invest millions for the optimisation of the performance in their production line. The way is clear: Increasing yield by decreasing the time load. This has been opposed by the philosophy of many colleagues in the quality department according to which it is better to check once more than once too few. Nobody wants to have to answer critical questions in an audit. ZEISS GUARDUS solved this controversy by bundling all the relevant elements of the inspection dynamisation and making them controllable. The applied principle is: As much as necessary, as little as possible.”, says Simone Cronjäger, CEO of Carl Zeiss MES Solutions GmbH.

The Mode of Action of ZEISS GUARDUS’ Quality Matrix
All the quality relevant influencing factors can be individually adjusted through the intuitive interfaces of the quality matrix. Thus, the user can first define the interplay between the manufacturing situation and process assurance in a flexible and especially holistic way. The result is a dynamic, self-regulating balance between the production performance and the inspection efforts. “The new function Quality Matrix that we have developed represents a tool that efficiently supports the sustainable trend towards automation and flexibilisation of production lines. The responsible person in the quality department and production will find a common basis on which the quality of the component harmonises with the output quantity while the quality inspections will not unnecessarily slow down the production”, says Cronjäger.

The parameter “product”, with its specifications for the production and the inspection plan which results from it, is always at the beginning of the planning phase. The factor “inspection location” refines the configuration of the inspection process with important influencing factors regarding each site such as assembly workplaces with in-process controls or offline laboratory tests.

The “production process” itself also represents an adjusting element of the matrix because the first piece inspection of a pilot series or pre-series compels other processes than the series inspections or last piece inspections. Moreover, the control of the inspection volume via the last piece offers interesting insights for the tool construction: The quality parameters of the last piece are those which show the current quality of the tool used. Thus, the planner can establish the next maintenance and rework cycle of the production means in a targeted way. The factor “work progress” decides on dependencies regarding the time and quantities in the inspection operations.  Another parameter is the “machinery”, that is, the production facilities. A strong interrelationship with the performance indicator monitor “Production Cockpit” and the KPI “Overall Equipment Effectiveness” (OEE) contained in it allows for the exact adjustment of this factor to the necessary inspection situation. Moreover, the machine status, such as “Out of order”, “Set-up” or “Production” is also taken into consideration. Based on this, the factor “tool” takes into account the complexity of the used tool as well as the modifications in the inspection processes related to it, for example, in case of a production means with many nests or the simultaneous production of several parts. The used “material” also forms part of the new ZEISS GUARDUS function Quality Matrix and it can be activated as a relevant parameter. Last but not least, the “production employee” also represents an import factor which influences the necessary type and logic of the inspection.

“However complex the prioritisation and interrelationship of variables may sound to you, the automated control of these interrelationships represents considerable added value for our customers”, says Cronjäger. Thus, in daily production, the screen of the users starts to light in yellow at the right time and right place, requiring a quality inspection.