200 centimetres deep, 120 centimetres wide and exactly one metre high is the gateway to the world of engines at DEUTZ AG in Cologne: defined by the X, Y and Z axes of the new portal measuring machine in the goods receiving area.
All vendor parts have to pass through this eye of the needle, which is closely guarded by the quality guards, during initial sampling. And only flawless components are granted access. For a few months now, the inspection has been even closer, but nevertheless "processed" more quickly.
The German manufacturer of diesel, gas and electrified engines was founded in 1864. Every 90 seconds, a new DEUTZ engine leaves the Cologne-Porz plant for use in construction and agricultural machinery, material handling applications, stationary equipment, and commercial and rail vehicles. As the headquarters of DEUTZ AG, Cologne-Porz is also the central research and development location for all DEUTZ engines. Since 2017, it has also been home to the centre of excellence for rotating parts, i.e. crankshaft and camshaft production.
"We get practically every component of the engines on the table," explains Thomas Kersting, head of incoming goods inspection and quality management employee in the purchasing department. And we're not talking about series testing or testing during production. "Our task is primarily the initial sampling, the 'go' or 'no' for our parts suppliers," Kersting specifies. This means that incoming goods inspection is the central gatekeeper responsibility at the gateway to DEUTZ engine production. If the wheat were not separated from the chaff quickly and at an early stage, this would have far-reaching consequences in all subsequent process steps.
"Our existing gantry measuring machines, which are at the heart of our testing equipment, were still running smoothly. Nevertheless, we would probably not have been optimally prepared for the new, growing challenges with them," explains Kersting. For example, the installation of a new version of the measuring software would have required the installation of a new machine control system at the same time. "Which would then have been about as expensive as a new small measuring machine," Kersting surmises. In search of a coherent overall strategy for the coming challenges, Thomas Kersting gathered information at CONTROL, among other things. "I could have had plenty of suitable measuring machines", he recalls of the subsequent selection process, "but many suppliers failed to look at the big picture. And to tailor an overall concept for our very specific conditions and processes".
Experienced in separating the wheat from the chaff, Kersting and his fellow decision-makers finally awarded the contract to the Klostermann Engineering Office und Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH from Remscheid, the agency for WENZEL in North Rhine-Westphalia.
"At the heart of the overall concept at Deutz is the LH 1210 3D coordinate measuring machine from WENZEL", explains Klostermann. "A CNC gantry measuring machine for triggering, measuring and optical as well as indexed touch probes. A dynamic and highly precise machine." With measuring ranges of 2,000 millimeters in the X-axis, 1,200 millimeters in the Y-axis and 1,000 millimeters in the Z-axis, as well as a load capacity of 2,300 kilograms, it effortlessly accommodates even entire engine blocks. In addition to these dimensions selected for DEUTZ AG, the WENZEL LH 1210 is also available with measuring ranges of up to 8,000 millimeters in the Y axis and load capacities of up to 3,250 kilograms. "With the WENZEL LH 1210, DEUTZ achieves a length measurement deviation of MPEe = 2.2 μm," Klostermann specifies. "It is equipped with a PH10M rotary/swivel head and SP25 probe from Renishaw - and also with the SHAPETRACER optical 3-D line scanner from WENZEL." "The new possibilities offered by the rotary/swivel head and, above all, by the line scanner, naturally catapult us into completely different spheres," says Kersting happily. For example, thanks to the movable head, complex test sequences with measuring points in different positions can now be completed quickly without fear of collisions. "We easily save 20 to 30 percent of the time here for certain components," Kersting is certain. And: "Thanks to the 3-D line scanner, we can now also digitize the component geometry over a wide area and evaluate it incredibly quickly. With the previous, solely tactile equipment, this was not possible at all or only with exorbitant effort. It's a quantum leap for us."
A whole new world opens up to engine builders, however, above all thanks to the new measurement software installed by Klostermann. "With WM | Quartis from WENZEL , DEUTZ now has what is undoubtedly the best measurement software on the market," Klostermann is certain. And indeed: Based on the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, WM | Quartis impresses with its enormously intuitive operation and extremely simple measurement program execution and evaluation. For example, a quick selection panel for triggering stored measuring programs allows even less experienced users to carry out the test. Different hierarchy levels allow graduated, deep intervention in the operation - from the modification of a few parameters to full access to the measuring program. "This means that practically all ten employees in the incoming goods department can now work with the system, regardless of their metrological qualification level," says Thomas Kersting enthusiastically. "With several thousand measurement programs stored, this is a real blessing. And an enormous productivity boost." "I can really say that Klostermann listened very carefully when we expressed our wishes. And then they even fulfilled the ones we didn't even know we had," says Thomas Kersting, summing up the cooperation with the engineering office and metrology service provider from Berg.
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