Coming Full Circle

Digital transformation poses a challenge to many companies. Production processes are closely connected, large amounts of data are created, the desire for high-quality products continues to grow and good cooperations with business partners are gaining in importance. Without adequate tools, it might be easy to lose track in the modern world of quality. A globally active group based in northern Germany aims at digitalizing their quality management using Babtec software – throughout the entire supply chain.

An all-round solution is the key to success

At the turn of the millennium, the Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH implemented Babtec’s modular CAQ software in their company. At the time, this was the preferred solution for purely pragmatical reasons. Now, it has become an integral part of the company’s processes. In the headquarters at Neuenhaus, today the software accompanies 80 to 85 percent of manufacturing procedures. Thanks to its high usability, various employees efficiently work with the solution, in various quality fields. The Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH uses almost all of the features in Babtec’s software and is committed to digitalizing their cross-company quality processes using the cloud-based Babtec Qube platform. Against this background, connecting with business partners and the innovative way of publishing supplier assessments is just as important as collaborating to process complaints.

As a rule, the company attaches high priority to the guiding principles of digitalization and Industry 4.0: The headquarters of this internationally active group is steadily modernizing machines and avoids using paper for internal processes wherever possible. Additionally, production at individual subsidiaries is increasingly turning to AI (artificial intelligence) and robot-based production. Thanks to BabtecQ, the processes within quality management have also largely been digitalized. In this context, Neuenhauser especially benefits from the integration of all modules into one software solution. This allows its users to supervise the entire production cycle: From planning and manufacturing to outgoing goods – every facet of quality management is effectively covered.

And, in line with the PDCA cycle, this software supports the company in their continuous improvement process. This begins in the planning phase, with the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) module, which in turn forms the foundation for creating control plans. From these, employees derive inspection plans and instructions for operative inspection processes in incoming goods and manufacture. As Neuenhauser GmbH also offers contract production of machines, in many cases the company also receives pre-defined inspection plans from their customers. If defects or errors occur despite all planning efforts, BabtecQ subsequently analyzes and eliminates error causes and ensures that these modifications are considered in the next planning phase. During production, responsible employees also ensure that products are manufactured flawlessly, by carrying out in-production inspections including lot inspections. Monitoring the entire production cycle ensures that defects are always found and removed when and where they occur.

Digitalized and automated quality processes free employees of monotonous and industrious work, enabling them to concentrate on more pressing matters. If the software discovers an error in the process, for example, employees can trigger a complaint at the touch of a button. This is one more example of how the Babtec Qube platform simplifies and promotes collaborations with business partners: In the wink of an eye, the complaint is sent to the supplier via the cloud. The supplier can then easily process the complaint on their smartphone or tablet using the 8D report.

The solution is also ideally connected to the production environment. Here, measuring equipment transmits data directly to BabtecQ via radio. This saves employees valuable time, as they no longer need to capture the data manually. The measuring equipment is inspected for capability before and during use with the aid of gage management and gage capability tests. In addition, necessary maintenance and repair work on the machines are planned using preventive maintenance.

Neuenhauser strongly believes that innovation and high product quality are not only created by communicating closely with customers, but by collaborating well with business partners and their own subsidiaries as well. Even though the individual plants act independently within their areas of expertise, they are still a well-connected network. Which is comparable to Babtec’s modular CAQ software. This also benefits from the connection of individual software modules. Only completely integrating them into one all-round solution allows all quality fields and topics to be captured. In addition, the company is connected to suppliers via the Babtec Qube in order to continuously improve cooperation and the resulting product quality.

The User

Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH (founded in 1955) is the parent company of the Neuenhauser Group. Taking over the Meyer Werft shipyard’s compressor manufacture and founding the company Neuenhauser Kompressorenbau GmbH in 1986 initiated a successful expansion policy, which turned the small company into a globally active corporate group. The Neuenhauser Group currently has more than 2,800 employees in 22 companies.

The Author

Carsten Voet

Deputy Head of
Quality Management / Quality Assurance.
Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH

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