In order to fully realize your data’s potential in the pursuit of increased productivity and efficiency, three factors in particular are crucial: companies need to collect the right data and ensure a seamless transfer of information across the entire value creation chain so that ultimately this can be properly correlated and analyzed. Christoph Grieser, Head of BU Software & Quality Intelligence Industrial Quality Solutions at ZEISS explains in this interview how ZEISS companies are supporting this endeavor.
Q: Networking is the Major Challenge in Manufacturing
Thanks to our experience with quality assurance, we are very familiar with the automotive, aerospace and medical technology industries. We know what companies need in order to operate efficiently – beyond metrology as well. The “Quality Intelligence” solutions that we’ve developed are therefore easy to use, provide maximum benefits for users and are easy to find – e.g. via the ZEISS Portal. Long-term it’ll be the central touchpoint from which all important information can be retrieved. This gives the customer an overview of machines, software and history, and we’re able to respond faster as in an ideal situation, we can view all relevant data.
Q: “Quality Intelligence” ‘ What do you mean by this term?
As experts in metrology and quality assurance, the first thing we see of course is measurement data. To prevent quality problems, however, the entire value chain must be considered. Our objective, therefore, is to link the quality data to all the relevant manufacturing data. “Quality Intelligence” means allowing data to flow seamlessly and to be analyzed logically. The test plan dynamization example demonstrates the specific benefits that this entails. Here you can determine using statistical calculations which inspection characteristics are actually critical or relevant for a component and require closer monitoring than others. This knowledge allows us to dynamize the sample size and saves companies unnecessary measurement efforts going forward.
Q: What Solutions are Part of “Quality Intelligence” Portfolio?
The central “Quality Intelligence” solutions are ZEISS PiWeb, ZEISS GUARDUS and the ZEISS Smart Service Suite. ZEISS PiWeb – I call it the “PowerPoint of Metrology” – visualizes quality in production clearly and concisely. Within the past year we’ve also launched the ZEISS PiWeb App so that users can check their measurement data at any time from their mobile device. New to the market is the ZEISS PiWeb cloud solution, the first subscription-based solution in this field. It saves IT resources in the company and also enables supplier data to be fed into the system. In this way you know the quality of the delivery from the outset, which allows the customer to take countermeasures if necessary.
The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) ZEISS GUARDUS brings all production data and systems together on one platform and creates the necessary transparency to identify critical factors in production, ideally before they have a chance to develop. And since service makes the difference, the ZEISS Smart Service Suite is also part of the Quality Intelligence portfolio. It is still in development at the moment, but customers have been making the most of our ZEISS Smart Services Starter Kit since last year. This allows data from connected measuring machines to be transferred and viewed on mobile devices, service tickets to be processed and/or remote service technicians to be requested 24/7. In addition to the CMM data, we also expect to be able to collect application data this year.
Q: How do the various ZEISS systems connect to each other and how do you create a bridge to the other manufacturing systems?
Our hardware systems and software solutions are configured to work together seamlessly so that our users can make the best use of their quality data and convert this information into productivity. The measurement data therefore flows from the machine via the application software ZEISS CALYPSO into ZEISS PiWeb. The reports generated not only provide individual values, they also shed light on the level of quality in the individual production lines. Measurement data is saved centrally in the cloud via ZEISS Smart Services’ connectivity solution, enabling targeted use in the event of maintenance work or disruptions. ZEISS GUARDUS meanwhile operates at a higher level. Here we bring the quality data into the context of the entire manufacturing process by correlating this information with data from each individual link in the value chain. Only then can companies make the right decisions in order to accelerate processes and reduce costs.
Q: How do you further advance the topic of “Quality Intelligence”?
We already offer some sophisticated solutions. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to push innovation and aim to react flexibly to customer requirements, so that we can rapidly develop further high-performance solutions in the future, too. Because the customer and their success is central to everything we do, our future solutions will also be accessible, highly-customized and easy to integrate in accordance with customer needs.