TRW Automotive measures steering wheel components with sub-micrometer accuracy

Steering Right

Reliable measuring results around the clock – this is how TRW Automotive ensures the quality of its steering wheel components at its site in Poland. The automotive supplier's demands on the coordinate and surface measuring systems in steering system production are accordingly high.

Challenge: monitor production quality down to the last detail

"People's lives depend on our products. For this reason, quality is our top priority," says Jarosław Muchajer As a quality manager at TRW Automotive, he is responsible at the company's Bielsko-Biała site in Poland for the most complex and expensive component of a vehicle after the engine: the steering system. The manufacture of the individual components is therefore monitored down to the last detail. If the measurement results exceed the narrow tolerances of down to just 0.1 micrometer, production must stop. This safety measure can quickly result in exorbitant costs. This led the company to look for precise measuring equipment and 24-hour support from the manufacturer.

Solution: ZEISS coordinate and surface measuring systems

When the Bielsko-Biała factory opened in 2012, plant managers drew on their own experience when it came time to select the coordinate and surface measuring systems. In 2001, the company introduced a ZEISS PRISMO ultra coordinate measuring machine at its site in nearby Czechowice-Dziedzice. Word of the high precision and reliability of this system quickly spread throughout the company. Another advantage of the ZEISS PRISMO, DURAMAX and ACCURA II: the contact sensor scans and quickly captures the entire geometry of the part. Since the introduction of the SURFCOM 5000 surface measuring instrument a few months ago, the company has been able to measure roughness of less than 0.1 micrometer. If any problems occur, the measuring technicians can contact ZEISS service staff in Poland around the clock, who are just 50 kilometers away.

Benefit: Reliable measurement results 24 hours a day

Thanks to the accurate and reliable measuring systems and the 24-hour service from ZEISS, quality assurance at TRW runs smoothly around the clock. As a result of this good experience, the company recently ordered another ZEISS PRISMO ultra coordinate measuring machine. "Our measuring process is part of the production process," explains Tomasz Wadon who is in charge of the measuring lab in Bielsko-Biała. "Therefore, the reliability of the measuring machines is vital."

About the company

TRW Automotive manufactures braking, steering and suspension systems, as well as occupant protection systems and vehicle electronics. As one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, the company provides parts for around 250 different vehicle models and more than 40 car makers. 5,000 of the company's 65,000 employees work in Poland. 1,000 of them produce steering systems in Bielsko-Biała and Czechowice-Dziedzice.