HEGGEMANN autosport GmbH relied on FARO from the start. With full order books, the company discovered a more efficient production organisation, thanks to additional portable FARO measuring systems.This has paid off.
“Absolute precision” – this is the focal point of everything that gets done at HEGGEMANN autosport. This is why, since its spin-off from the HEGGEMANN Group in 2006, the company, which is devoted to motor sports to around 80 percent, has been working with FARO measuring technology. At the beginning, the initial two systems were operated almost exclusively in stationary mode and for quality assurance purposes. At this time, there were no plans for the mobile use of FARO products, despite this being very easy. However, the HEGGEMANN technicians were forced to learn quickly that they had “cheated themselves” as Steffen Zacharias, the technical manager at HEGGEMANN autosport, puts it. “We had a system that could do a lot more than we generally asked it to, but sad to say, we hardly ever exploited these advantages.”
After the design and production process, it costs a lot of time and effort to get components or the chassis to quality assurance, which in addition was often overtaxed.
Until at last, the famous “Eureka!” moment arrived. The HEGGEMANN managers recognised that when building vehicle prototypes as well as components, tremendous flexibility was required in every department. As a result, the top priority was initially to relieve the quality assurance, since in the end this was where bottlenecks occurred. Step-by-step, more portable FARO measurement technology was introduced in other company departments, the aim being to eliminate the backlog in quality assurance. “For us, this is the biggest return on investment. Given the size of our company, we would really have to have at least twice as many employees in the quality assurance department to carry out the quality assurance of our products bit by bit. Instead, we found it made better business sense to invest more in FARO products,” says Zacharias.
Now, the FARO systems are in use in all the technical departments, excluding mechanical processing and the production processes can be carried out without interruption. The previous iteration loops in component processing have been practically eliminated. All the checks that need to be made during the creation of a component or chassis now occur in advance. “Today, quality assurance for us begins at the workplace,” Steffen Zacharias emphasises. For example, welding distortions can be detected immediately during the production process, thanks to fast, direct measurement. As a result, the corrections needed can be made on the spot instead of the inaccuracy only being discovered later during quality assurance. In the meantime, quality assurance is above all occupied with final checks of the finished product and has in effect been transformed into being more of a quality documentation department.
“Our work style has now definitely changed. Of course, we did work with FARO from the start, but it’s only recently that we’ve integrated the measuring instruments into our processes much better,” according to Steffen Zacharias. He is especially pleased that acceptance of the FARO tools by the staff was achieved very quickly. The measuring technology and accompanying software can be learnt in no time at all as it is so easy to operate. “All in all, work gets done faster and the workers’ motivation has greatly increased as they can recognise their own mistakes much better, react to them and finally deliver far more zero-fault parts. All of this can only be of benefit to the quality of the chassis or components. As a ROI it’s priceless,” emphasises the HEGGEMANN CTO.
Minimising of Q loops if operator checks parts: Average savings per system of approx. €15,000 per year
Optimising of set-up time by measuring on the machine/fixture: Average savings per system of approx. €5,000 per year
The company group HEGGEMANN consists of the two companies, HEGGEMANN AG and HEGGEMANN autosport GmbH and has about 250 employees. HEGGEMANN AG is specialised in the development and manufacture of high quality components and assemblies for the business fields aerospace (air and space travel), automotive technology and motor sports.
In 2006, HEGGEMANN autosport GmbH was spun off to cope better with the high demand for motor sports. The company from Büren (Germany), based at the Paderborn-Lippstadt airport, cooperates with a design firm in Wolnzach in Upper Bavaria. Its customers include renowned companies like Airbus, Boeing, EON, Porsche and Volkswagen.
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