Located in the Bavarian town of Roding, Germany, Stangl & Co. GmbH often only has a few days to manufacturer prototypes and small batches featuring the necessary high-level of precision to fill the orders it receives from around the world. For the past several months, the company has been using the ZEISS XENOS, a high-end measuring machine, to ensure the quality of its products. It is the first company in Europe to do so, joining the laboratories and research institutions that have invested in this coordinate measuring machine launched by ZEISS in 2014.
While the ramp up for mass production allows for multiple adjustment loops so that the machinery accommodates manufacturer requirements, prototypes must be within tolerance right from the get go. "This makes the manufacturing process exciting, like a good mystery," says Andreas Löffler. This industrial engineer at Stangl & Co. GmbH is responsible for quality and process management. If just one characteristic is not within tolerance, then companies are forced to invest a lot of time and effort in finding the cause, e.g. calculating the interactions of individual components or eliminating unwanted effects by performing adjustments in other areas. "This means a lot of work that eats up valuable development time which you simply do not have if you want to compete globally," says Löffler. This explains why the time and resources devoted to measurements during prototype construction has increased tenfold over the past five years. And that is not all. "The requirements for documenting the measuring results have kept pace with the effort needed for the measurements themselves."
To demonstrate to their customers that workpieces had been manufactured to specification, Stangl & Co. GmbH used to commission an external service provider when there were extremely demanding precision requirements. This service provider would then inspect the manufactured prototypes on a ZEISS PRISMO ultra. "The process always went smoothly, but it limited our flexibility," says Löffler. To get results more quickly and outdo the competition when it comes to quality assurance, the mid-sized Stangl & Co. GmbH became the first manufacturing company in Europe to invest in a ZEISS XENOS. "This ensured that we were off to a flying start when it came to precision," explains Stefan Kulzer, one of the company's two Managing Directors.
"El tiempo y los recursos que dedicamos a la medición durante la construcción del prototipo han aumentado sensiblemente en los últimos cinco años. Con ZEISS XENOS estamos perfectamente equipados para las exigencias que estén por venir".Stefan Kulzer, director general
With the ZEISS XENOS, the length error is just 0.3 micrometers with a measuring range of just under one cubic meter. Thanks to this high level of precision, Löffler and his colleagues can, for example, determine if workpiece clamping has caused a roundness error. "This makes troubleshooting a lot faster and ultimately optimizes all our processes," says the Quality Engineer. Another system feature also impressed the company: measurements on the XENOS are performed more quickly thanks to the machine's linear drive. In order to speed up the measuring process even further, ZEISS developed a rotary table for the ZEISS XENOS. This add-on makes the measuring machine in Roding one-of-a-kind, reducing the number of stylus change outs, even when inspecting highly complex components. "We've already noticed how much time we've saved," reports Löffler.
Stangl & Co. GmbH Precision Technology fue fundada en 1988 por Johann Stangl y Stefan Kulzer. La empresa es parte esencial de Stangl & Kulzer Group, grupo empresarial que ofrece soluciones completas en los sectores del mecanizado de metal y plástico y del diseño de peso ligero. La competencia central del consolidado grupo de empresas es la tecnología de precisión. Cerca del 80 % de los 370 empleados del grupo trabaja en Stangl & Co. GmbH Precision Technology, empresa que produce piezas de trabajo únicas y prototipos o series pequeñas para clientes de diversos sectores. Las otras dos empresas del grupo son SK Carbon Roding GmbH, que fabrica y desarrolla estructuras ligeras de alta calidad fabricadas a base de plásticos con fibras reforzadas en un proceso especial, y Roding Automobile GmbH, que se especializa en el desarrollo y construcción de prototipos funcionales y vehículos concepto con un diseño ligero utilizando fibras de carbono y motores eléctricos. La empresa muestra sus conocimientos técnicos con el diseño y construcción de Roding Roadster, un coche deportivo ligero que se fabrica en pequeñas tiradas. En 2016, la facturación del grupo alcanzó un total de 35 millones de euros.