Interview with Wolfgang Bonatz, Managing Director and CEO
Three questions about current trends in quality assurance
What trends do you currently see in quality assurance?
There are some noticeable trends in quality assurance. It is clear that digitalisation is driving the development of measuring systems.
The quality process is increasingly being adapted to the digital environment in terms of automated, data-based and cross-process quality assurance.
The added value of quality measuring instruments is growing, not only in the measuring room but above all directly in production.
The ever greater quality requirements and the ever smaller dimensional and form tolerances also influence the further development of measuring instruments.
Measuring systems are becoming more complex in sensor technology and more extensive in automation, while, at the same time, increasing demands are being placed on measuring accuracy. The task of the software no longer only relates to evaluating the measuring parameters but also to visualising the data.
Another trend is moving towards ‘worker self-testing’. It requires the measuring systems to be even easier to use.
Quality assurance is increasingly migrating to or into production. What consequences does this have for QA solutions?
This development is obvious. From our point of view, however, it does not mean that the measuring room and the measuring instruments specialist become superfluous.
The relocation into production requires the automation of the measuring systems and the interaction of several factors, such as assembly system, measurement procedures, evaluation and further processing of the acquired data.
Another major factor that influences the measurement results in production is the ambient conditions. These must be absorbed by a measuring system, for example by specially developed vibration tables and a high degree of rigidity in the measuring system. As an example, I refer here to our surface measuring system SURFCOM C5, which we are exhibiting at Control.
When we talk about the consequences of relocating from the measuring room to production, we must not ignore one important point: while a service response time of 1-2 days was usually sufficient for the measuring room in the past, this is no longer possible when using production-integrated measuring systems. An immediate response is required. Measuring instruments companies must also be prepared for these considerably faster service response times.
Which highlight is your company presenting at this year’s trade fair?
With our systems, we cover a wide range of modern measuring instruments and present, among other things, devices for production-related and production-integrated measuring tasks.
Starting with our new portable roughness measuring device HANDYSURF+, which is especially used in production, through to the fully automated SURFCOM NEX series with robot assembly.
The highlight in the field of form measuring systems is the new RONDCOM CREST, which measures shape and roughness as well as diameter with unparalleled precision. With the new Opt-Scope R, we have taken the next step towards automation in optical measuring instruments. Our product range is rounded off by inline measuring products, which have been used for many years to monitor the production process. Not only do we monitor quality and measuring parameters here but our ATC system also enables us to check the concentricity of the tools in machine centres before machining errors occur.