The German industrial manufacturer Siemens is well equipped with a number of FARO arms to speed quality control and increase production flexibility in the Large Drives Business Unit.
The German-based industrial multinational Siemens needs no introduction as a global leader in drives, automation, transport, building technology, lighting and industrial solutions. Within the Drive Technologies Division, the Large Drives Business Unit makes motors and the associated transformers and control components that are found in railway locomotives. Further products include drive systems for machines used in the textile, packaging and printing industries.
About 210 employees are involved in the unit’s mechanical manufacturing department on Vogelweiherstraße in Nuremberg. Supporting them is a team of 8 metrologists in the quality control / measuring department. In 2005, they acquired their first FaroArm Platinum, to replace a conventional 3D coordinate measuring system and a range of manual methods. Excited by the substantial timesavings, Siemens added another four FARO arms when the Quantum became available.
“We heard about FARO products at an exhibition and then attended an Open House event organized by FARO Europe. Having seen the equipment demonstrated we were no longer surprised by the astonishing time savings that we were able to achieve with FARO arms,” explained Karlheinz Leitner, Head of CNC Programming in the Mechanical Production department. “We estimate that we are now making time savings of 50 – 60% over our previous methods of measurement. Furthermore, using the FARO arms has many wider benefits.”
Parts are made in batches, and every time a new batch is started, the first part needs to be taken to the quality control department and approved before the rest of the batch can be completed. With a FaroArm, the time required for measuring is substantially reduced; so smaller batches have become more economical. This increases production flexibility. Parts can even be measured while still mounted in the manufacturing machine thanks to the portability of the FARO arms.
Normally parts to be measured range between 0.2 and 1.2m in size, but sometimes parts exceed the standard 2.4m volume of the FaroArm Quantum. However Leitner is unperturbed: “Using the leapfrog method with magnetic reference points, the range can be easily extended.”
The Siemens Large Drive Business Unit works with Delcam PowerINSPECT software, which integrates seamlessly with the FaroArm. When a new part is introduced, the quality team creates a measurement program based on the available 3D plans. This defines the required measurements and tolerances. Thereafter, the operator can simply take the measurements and automatically generate a report. “All in all, we are very pleased with the productivity increases that we could achieve thanks to the ease of use of the FARO arms.”
About Siemens AG:
Siemens AG is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. For over 160 years, Siemens has stood for technological excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality. In fiscal 2010, revenue totaled some €76 billion and net income €4.1 billion. At the end of September 2010, Siemens had around 405,000 employees worldwide.