Automotive supplier TRW Automotive manufactures braking, steering and suspension systems, as well as occupant protection systems and vehicle electronics. The company supplies parts for around 250 different vehicle models and more than 40 car makers. Around 1,000 of the company’s 65,000 employees produce steering systems in the Polish cities of Bielsko-Biała and Czechowice-Dziedzice.
Jarosław Muchajer, a quality manager at the company, is responsible at the company’s Bielsko-Biała site in Poland for the one of the most complex and expensive component of a vehicle after the engine: the steering system.
The manufacture of the individual components is therefore monitored down to the last detail. If the measurement results exceed the tolerances of just 0.1 micrometre, production has to stop. This safety measure can quickly result in exorbitant costs. This led the company to look for precise measuring equipment and 24-hour support from the manufacturer.
Looking For A Solution
When the Bielsko-Biała factory opened in 2012, plant managers drew on their own experience when the time came to select the coordinate and surface measuring systems.
They selected a surface measuring instrument from Zeiss, called the Surfcom 5000. Using five lasers on its interferometer, the unit was able to measure with accuracy levels of around 0.31 nanometres on average. The unit also has a ratio of the measuring range to resolution of approximately 42 million to one. If there were any problems, service staff was also able to be contacted 24 hours a day.
Part Of The Production Process
“Our measuring process is part of the production process,” explained Tomasz Wadon who is in charge of the measuring lab in Bielsko-Biała. With the measuring units and support, quality assurance at the facility was able to be run around the clock.
APMEN Metrology & Design, July 2017