Interview

Quality and measuring solutions to take the front seat

PG-36

Industrial production has to meet the ever-increasing requirements for performance capacity and compliance with standards. Anil Anand, Country Head, Kistler Instruments India Pvt. Ltd. discusses how Kistler’s inspection system play a critical part in product quality, paving the way towards a zero-defect culture.

Please walk us through Kistler journey in India and your contribution to the Indian market?
The wholly owned Indian Subsidiary of Kistler group was established in 2010. Now, we have a specialised team of sales, support & calibration engineers at our Head office in Faridabad and branch offices in Chennai and Pune. The team is working very closely with the automotive, machine building, defense, top technical institutes and highways industries. In a short span, Kistler India has created a customer base of approx. 300 customers. While building our team we have taken special care to reinforce our organisation with the best human skills and establish business practices which can be benchmarked with the best professional and technology norms globally. Our goal is to establish reliability and a track record of delivering hi-tech innovative solutions economically.

What are Kistler’s product range in measuring solutions?
Kistler is the global leader in dynamic measurement technology for measuring pressure, force, torque and acceleration. Cutting-edge technologies provide the basis for Kistler’s modular solutions. Our products can be used to measure processes on the frontiers of physics. Kistler’s solutions facilitate the analysis of physical processes; they control industrial operations and deliver valuable information that is used to optimise product quality. The knowledge gained often prompts customers to develop their own innovations, thereby strengthening their competitive edge. Technological leadership, proximity to the customer and a highly committed workforce has helped Kistler group to grow very successfully and dynamically in recent years. To Kistler, market leadership means both motivation and an obligation to maintain quality leadership and continue optimising our range of products and services.

What kind of inspection and quality control is instilled by Kistler?
Industrial production has to meet the ever-increasing requirements for performance capacity and compliance with standards. So, quality assurance is becoming more important as time goes on. Test and inspection systems from Kistler play a critical part in product quality as well as cost and resource efficiency, paving the way towards a zero-defect culture.

Vester Elektronik GmbH, which has recently joined the Kistler Group features three automatic testing and sorting machines for use in punching and forming processes and also for testing individual series parts. The digital camera technology deployed for this purpose ensures 100 per cent testing of mass-produced parts with very high throughput rates. Thanks to Vester, industrial image processing has now been added to the Kistler Group’s wide-ranging stock of know-how.

Kistler’s mobile inspection systems fulfil the requirements for efficient, standard-compliant quality assurance of threaded joints as well as fastening tools and systems. INSPECTpro, the portable measurement and evaluation instrument, offers a convenient way to test torque and rotation angle on threaded joints. This system provides graphic analyses of assembly processes to ensure that fastener assemblies meet optimum quality standards.

combiTEST is a mobile inspection system that features dual capabilities: it combines calibration of manual torque wrenches with testing of automated fastening systems. The benefits: all the tools on an assembly line can be tested directly in situ – so their process capability is guaranteed.

How will the role of sensors evolve in Industry 4.0 as the number of connected devices increase?
Thanks to their rugged design, piezoelectric sensors from Kistler keep precise track of quasi-static and highly dynamic force processes, even when production conditions are difficult. They offer many advantages over other technologies: proportionality, low measuring deflections and long service lifetimes. Another plus: they can also measure very small forces.

A ground breaking innovation was unveiled in Stuttgart: the world’s first digital charge amplifier. Now, it is possible to connect any desired piezoelectric sensors to the control directly via Ethernet. With analog disturbance variables excluded, users benefit from enhanced data consistency and transparency – in line with the requirements for Industry 4.0. As well as these advantages, the digital charge amplifier offers numerous measuring functions on four individually controllable channels. With up to 10,000 bus cycles per second and 50,000 measured values per channel and second, this innovation is the ideal choice for high-precision, time-critical control applications.

How is Kistler viewing the Smart factory era?
The new Competence centre is set to focus on the digitisation of plastics processing, among other industrial processes. Dozens of Kistler MES systems have been installed for customers in diverse sectors of industry over recent years. They serve numerous purposes – for example, monitoring the production of safety-critical parts in the automotive and consumer goods industries and the medical devices sector. Similar systems are also deployed in the manufacture of other complex, high-specification components where quality and scrap rates must be controlled and optimised.

Kistler provides support for its customers across the entire process chain: from installation of the sensors and processing and analysis of the derived data, all the way through to practical and specific improvements in each step of production. The ultimate result: yesterday’s factories are truly turning into the Smart Factories of tomorrow’s world.

What is your investment in R&D?
The Kistler Group reports new orders totaling around CHF 422 million by the end of year 2017. Year on year this represents growth of 11 per cent or 7 per cent after currency adjustment. This continuous growth is accounted for by the Swiss measurement technology expert’s unswerving focus on the future-oriented trends of digitisation and Industry 4.0. Kistler is underpinning this strategy by earmarking the highest investment budget in the company’s history for research and development.

The success of Kistler Group hinges on the numerous innovations at the heart of all business units and products. Its enforced development work and increased potential for innovation is actually calling for a steep rise in demand for qualified committed employees.

Please tell us a bit more about KiDAQ.
The KiDAQ from Kistler lets users explore new ground in the design of complex measuring chains commonly found in the field of R&D. An initial look at the system and how it can be used for measurements on machine tools was taken by the machine tool laboratory of RWTH Aachen University. KiDAQ takes a lot of effort out of setting up a measuring chain. In view of its modular universal approach and new features, the system is going to be an attractive alternative to current systems not only in the area of measurements on machine tools, but also in many other fields of research. A crucial aspect is the system’s flexibility and interoperability within the context of Industry 4.0.

What’s your vision for your company?
Emerge as technologically advanced preferred partner on the automotive, industrial & sensor technology front while providing ingenious solutions. Meanwhile, digital transformation has top priority for Kistler. All of Kistler’s business areas are touched by this transformative process, and it extends
far beyond the simple implementation of digital technologies.

A ground breaking innovation was unveiled in Stuttgart: the world’s first digital charge amplifier.
Anil Anand, Country Head, Kistler Instruments India Pvt. Ltd.

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