From Excel Spreadsheet to "Tailor-Made Data Suit" - Smart Factory at Zetec Zerspanungstechnik

Dominik Doubek

07/27/2021 09:34 AM

5 Questions for Patric Hell, Managing Director, Zetec Zerspanungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Gosheim

Zetec Zerspanungstechnik is a machining specialist for precision turned and precision milled parts, which are particularly in demand in the areas of electrical, mechanical engineering and medical technology. Managing Director Patric Hell reports on his experiences with the implementation of Sonic Technology's Smart Factory software.

1. What expectations did you have of the smart factory software?

The central objective was to optimize the flow of information in the factory. We wanted to create the option of being able to quickly and simply review the current state of production with the new software. We attach great importance to a combination of machine data acquisition and the manual input of additional information by employees in order to generate the maximum amount of reliable data. The software was to become the control system for our workers and technicians. Furthermore, it was vital that the software is independent of end devices and can be used flexibly on existing units in the production halls. This also offers the possibility of visualizing information decentralized on screens.

2. How has everyday work changed?

Day-to-day business has become significantly more transparent. Important to me is that this transparency exists across departments throughout the entire value stream. In the event of problems, we can react more quickly and in some cases even intervene proactively. The clearest effect we have seen was in the reduction of quick fixes and "firefighting". The shortened response time ensures that parts can be reworked quickly before causing problems in later production steps. Daily work has also been improved for the employees. The simple operation and well-visualized key figures ensure enthusiasm and a high level of acceptance among the workers.

3. What advantages does the solution offer compared to the old machine and production data acquisition system (MDE/BDE)?

The biggest advantage is that colleagues can interact with the software. With the simple target/actual comparison, the workers see the current status and can trigger an escalation directly to the shift supervisor in the event of deviation issues. In addition, drawings and documents can be accessed directly for the respective job. We use tablet computers, which also allow us to zoom in on those or other Q notes.

4. What was the decisive reason for a new system?

In addition to purely technical reasons, such as a modern user interface, it was certainly also the flexible expandability into other areas, such as maintenance or work preparation. It was also important to us to abolish manually maintained Excel lists and instead create an up-to-date database that was customized exactly to our specifications. I like to compare this with a "tailor-made data suit" that fits.

5. How is the solution received by employees and support departments?

Acceptance is very high regardless of the employee's area of responsibility. The software is the central communication tool. Due to the early involvement of the employees during the development phase, specific problems of the daily business could be addressed and taken into account in the solution. The manual entries and the maintenance effort are kept as low as possible. The colleagues hardly have any additional work, which is offset by a very high benefit, as data can now be better analyzed. The employees are very satisfied with the use of the software in day-to-day business and always have ideas for further adjustments or functions.

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