Walter Franz, head of development at GAUDLITZ:

»Without high-precision measuring machines, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our customers’ requirements.«

Pioneer in Metrology

Plastics processing company launches new ZEISS machines for the first time in the industry

Coburg-based plastics processing company GAUDLITZ attaches key importance to leading-edge measuring technology in order to guarantee the quality of its medical technology products. As a pilot customer of ZEISS, the mid-sized company has introduced the very latest measuring procedures and machines on several occasions.

"Without high-precision measuring machines, we wouldn't be able to fulfill our customers' requirements," says Walter Franz, Head of Development at GAUDLITZ. The plastics processing company has repeatedly updated its measuring technology during the course of its history.

Changing challenges

In the 1980s GAUDLITZ started to make increasing use of materials containing glass fiber. However, such workpieces display distortion in all directions when they cool in the injection mold. To ensure that they nevertheless maintained their desired shape, GAUDLITZ had to be able to predict this distortion and measure the reference workpieces precisely. This required a highly accurate measuring machine. In the 1990s the mid-sized company was faced with the next challenge: due to the increase in production volume the measuring technology threatened to become a real bottleneck.
In the following years a number of innovations in plastics processing also changed the demands being made on measuring technology. For example, part shapes were becoming increasingly complex, and measuring technicians were advancing deeper and deeper into the interior of the parts in order to detect defects. For the measurement, they cast the workpieces in resin and then sawed them apart. The problem: this was very time-consuming, and the cutting and casting processes could lead to distortion of the workpiece.

Solutions: from the ZEISS UMC 850 coordinate measuring machine to the computer tomograph

In 1988, GAUDLITZ decided to purchase a ZEISS UMC 850 coordinate measuring machine. This machine was considerably more accurate than its predecessors. It scanned the workpiece surface continuously instead of deriving the form and location from the mean values of point-by-point measurements.

In 1995 GAUDLITZ responded to the need for faster measurements by purchasing a ZEISS machine. As a pilot customer, the company introduced the ZEISS PRISMO VAST bridge-type measuring machine to the plastics processing industry for the first time – a new development that combined measuring speed and precision.

In 2007 GAUDLITZ then became a pilot customer of ZEISS for the second time: the ZEISS METROTOM 1500 computer tomograph enabled the destruction-free measurement of workpieces from the outside and inside.

Benefit: precision increased, measuring time reduced

The consistent use of leading-edge measuring technology allowed GAUDLITZ not only to guarantee the high quality of its products. The company also successfully reduced its measuring times by up to 75 percent and also achieved a huge decrease in its outlay on tool development. And last but certainly not least, the measuring machines enabled the company to develop totally new products.