To assess measuring results, you have to know how they were acquired. With coordinate measuring technology, a lot of different factors, including the ambient temperature and the measurement plan, affect these. How do you achieve reliable, comparable measuring results? Management from Quality Assurance at ZF Friedrichshafen received answers to these and other questions during their AUKOM Management Training seminar conducted by ZEISS.
Course participants gradually file in and sit down in one of the chairs or benches at the ZEISS Customer Center in Oberkochen. While normally measuring technicians from different companies attend courses held in this space, today the student body is made up of ten managers from ZF Friedrichshafen. They are attending the AUKOM Management course together. The standardized training programs for coordinate measuring technology, known by the abbreviation AUKOM, are normally intended for metrologists. However, the AUKOM Management course is specially designed for managers working with measuring technology, quality assurance supervisors and employees with an interface function, such as in the purchasing department. Klaus Schabel, who heads this two-day course, explains the difference: "The course content is identical with the topics covered in AUKOM 1, 2 and 3, but we treat the subject matter quite differently." While the courses for metrology engineers are focused on "How should I do this?", the management training deals with the question: "Do you trust your measuring results?"
Not enough people are attending AUKOM courses."Karl Schmollinger, Head of Quality Production in the Commercial Vehicle Technology area
During the training, the managers learn how measuring results are acquired. A key component is teaching them about the different factors that can affect these (ambient conditions, measurement object and strategy, operator-influences). Yet the training is hardly a lecture. Instead, the participants work on the results together, such as by creating a customized checklist for process optimization. Karl Schmollinger, Head of Quality Production in the Commercial Vehicle Technology area, attended the course. "We opted for the AUKOM Management training, because we wanted to sensitize our managers to the measuring processes and potential causes of measurement errors." He will apply what he learns in the course directly to his work: "Right now, we're setting up a production area in China. We will take what we discussed here and use it to inform our decisions. For example, we want to integrate the Ishikawa diagram for measuring influences in our LPA (layered process audit)."
Basic and advanced training play a very important role in the Quality Assurance area of ZF Friedrichshafen. Twice a year, Level 1 and Level 2 AUKOM training seminars conducted by a ZEISS instructor are held on site in Friedrichshafen. This leads to standardized measuring processes and thus to comparable measuring results, which, as Schmollinger explains, are quite important. The Quality Assurance Manager is also an auditor for VDA 6.3 and IATF 16949, and he often notices during external audits whether or not the company invests in advanced training for its employees. "You can see it in the quality of the products and people's work. Not enough people are attending AUKOM courses," says Schmollinger.
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company has a global workforce of 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2017, ZF achieved sales of €36.4 billion and as such, is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.