In Search of the Perfect Water Spray
In Search of the Perfect Water Spray
Hansgrohe and its employees live and love water - but only if it comes out in the right places. All high-quality shower heads and faucets which leave a Hansgrohe factory are not only tested for leaks. They went through an entire quality inspection process to meet the high-quality standards of the German company and its employees. Many parts are tested with both surface and CT inspection.
How Hansgrohe sets high-quality standards with metrology from ZEISS
A walk through the "Aquademie" in Schiltach, a museum for water, bathroom and design, quickly reveals quality and innovation as traditionally top priorities for the shower and faucet manufacturer. Not many people know that Hansgrohe actually invented the first hand-held shower with multiple spray types and the first wall bar to hold a hand-held shower.
The company from the Black Forest stands for sanitary products of the highest quality. "Quality for Hansgrohe means being above the average in the world," emphasizes Philipp Alender, head of metrology in quality assurance.
To achieve its own quality requirements, Hansgrohe uses optical metrology and application software from ZEISS in their production process. The tools, which are manufactured in-house, the initial samples and the produced parts are inspected, either with optical or tactile metrology. The measurement of parts during production plays a major role in Hansgrohe's quality assurance. For this purpose, an optical fringe projection system is used for 3D scanning. Due to the speed of optical metrology, it is possible to react quickly and efficiently to changes. The single parts of a product, for example a shower head, are individually inspected before assembly. The parts are measured in their raw state or after galvanization.
A part is digitized with the optical metrology system and the resulting point cloud is analyzed using the GOM Inspect Pro evaluation software. A surface comparison is used to check whether the part is distorted and needs to be corrected or has external defects, for example. The parts are evaluated according to the technical drawing to check GD&T, among other things. For example, position checks are used to analyze whether drilled holes are in the correct position, that is, within the tolerance.
After visual inspection and assembly, the assembled hand showers go in the test stand at Hansgrohe to undergo further functionality tests. For example: water spray testing.
If problems continue to arise, for example if the part leaks or the water spray is irregular, Hansgrohe uses a nondestructive testing method to inspect the entire part internally. Computed tomography is used to detect internal defects. Hansgrohe works with a service provider which runs the CT scans and generates the data.
Then, the team of Hansgrohe evaluates the data sets itself in GOM Volume Inspect Pro. This is where the leakproofness, which is so essential, is checked. "After all, the water should not leak out of a place where it does not really belong. Because that could lead to occurring water damage. We want to avoid this at all costs and the CT analysis software GOM Volume Inspect Pro is very well suited for this - precisely for the defect analysis inside the part," says Claudia Belezni from quality management at Hansgrohe. With the help of the software, particular attention is therefore paid to whether the exit sources for the water are completely sprayed out and correctly positioned. The parts can also be checked for blowholes, other internal defects, assembly errors or even material failure.
However, the two software solutions are not only used at Hansgrohe during production, for tool correction and initial sampling, but also in the area of research and development. "We scan parts to see whether, for example, the fibers in glass fiber-reinforced parts are going in the right direction and are present in a uniform manner," says Claudia Belezni. This area of application is still quite new for Hansgrohe's quality team. However, the company already sees a lot of potential in the new possibilities thanks to the CT technology.
When starting to work with GOM Volume Inspect Pro, the Hansgrohe team was glad that they could access numerous eLearnings and training courses. These can be flexibly integrated into their daily work routine. Internal workflows have become even easier because the functions of GOM Inspect Pro and GOM Volume Inspect Pro are very similar. In addition, they now have one touch point for both software solutions and the ZEISS Quality Training Center: the ZEISS Quality Suite.
Founded in 1901 in the Black Forest, the Hansgrohe Group produces high-quality faucets, hand showers and shower systems under the brands AXOR and hansgrohe. The leading company in the bathroom and kitchen industry is known for many innovations, including the first hand-held shower with different spray types and the first pull-out kitchen faucet.