Müller Präzisionsteile GmbH takes quality very seriously, which is why the company puts its trust in ZEISS coordinate measuring machines. A maintenance agreement ensures maximum reliability.
The most interesting stories happen by chance. Here's an example: at the beginning of February 2018, ZEISS employees arrived at the factory gates of Müller Präzisionsteile. They were there to conduct a customer interview. Christoph Discher, Head of Technical Service in Germany at ZEISS Industrial Metrology, was part of the group. He wanted to use this opportunity to visit the company's premises located near the city of Nuremberg, as Müller Präzisionsteile had been one of his customers for many years. These specialists for metal components used in racecar engines and nuclear power plants operate five coordinate measuring machines on site. On this particular day, Discher wanted to speak with company management to find out how happy they were with the service they had received and if anything could be improved.
Yet just as everyone was saying their hellos, Günter Eckstein, Head of Quality Management, broke the news to the visitors: "The PRISMO is broken." The largest coordinate measuring machine in the quality management department had been down since the previous evening. Discher was slightly annoyed: "Of all the times for one of our machines to stop working!" Over the next three hours, however, he saw for himself how quickly and precisely his service engineers can provide a solution in a difficult situation. Müller Präzisionsteile had concluded a master maintenance agreement for its five coordinate measuring machines to prevent machine downtime. As part of the agreement, each machine undergoes extensive maintenance every two years. The ZEISS service engineers take the machine apart, exchange the worn parts and then perform a thorough calibration. The entire procedure takes a week. To avoid any bottlenecks in quality management, an annual schedule had been created for machine maintenance. The next machine was scheduled to be inspected in April, another in November. Around half of the 30,000 coordinate measuring machines from ZEISS in use globally have a maintenance agreement that ensures continuity and additional cost savings.
For the CEO of Müller Präzisionsteile, Stephan Müller, regular maintenance for his machines is a matter of course. The "precision parts" in the company's name means they have extremely strict maintenance and calibration requirements. The same holds true for their many customers, such as those companies producing components for nuclear power plants. Without comprehensive certification and documentation on the reliability of their measuring equipment, Müller Präzisionsteile simply would not receive any orders. And what happens if a machine still malfunctions? Even ZEISS measuring machines, known for their robustness, can break down every now and again. Should this happen, the customer calls the ZEISS Hotline. Arrangements are then made for a service engineer to head to the company. "Half of all repairs are made the very next day," explains Discher. "While this isn't always possible, we nevertheless find a solution for any really pressing problems." This was true on the day of his visit to Müller Präzisionsteile. While Müller and Eckstein discussed their experiences and shared some kind words with Discher, Michael Naumann, a Service Engineer, had entered the measuring lab and was getting down to work. He got the call at 8:00 that morning and left directly from his previous service call in Jena to head towards Nuremberg. It was just 11:30 am when Naumann opened up his toolbox.
I've been working together with ZEISS for 25 years – they've always taken great care of me."Günter Eckstein, Head of Quality Assurance
Naumann's toolbox contains almost everything that frequently breaks on a coordinate measuring machine. Just a quick look at the PRISMO was enough for a diagnosis: "It's the probe." Even though it shouldn't move an inch, the probe wiggled. It took just half an hour to find the cause and replace the probe. "The probe's interior suspension was broken," explains Naumann. Problem solved. Christoph Discher was relieved and shared how ZEISS will further improve its service in the coming months. In the future, the company will be able to collect the operating data from all its machines. This will enable it to calculate prognoses to predict when a certain part in a particular machine will fail. Predictive maintenance will prove one of the major benefits of Smart Production. Moreover, there will be an app that accesses machine data in the event of a malfunction. This will enable both customers and ZEISS Service to better plan any necessary maintenance. Michael Naumann snaps his toolbox shut. Günter Eckstein thanks the ZEISS team: "I've been working together with ZEISS for 25 years – they've always taken great care of me."
Müller Präzisionsteile GmbH is headquartered in Pyrbaum, near the city of Nuremberg, and manufactures high-precision parts in small lot sizes for motor racing, nuclear power plants and the aerospace industry. The predecessor company was founded by Georg Müller in 1965. The company began performing contract manufacturing in 1977, and one year later it acquired its first CNC machine – a true innovation at that time. Müller Präzisionsteile GmbH was founded in 1978. Today, the company and its 130 employees cover the entire metalwork process chain, including lathing, milling, grinding and erosion in addition to comprehensive quality assurance.