Uniform knowledge ensures quality worldwide

Festo relies globally on training from and with ZEISS in measuring and testing technology

In Esslingen, Baden-Württemberg, Festo AG & Co KG develops automation technology that is in demand worldwide. However, Festo's technology is not the only technology used by manufacturing companies around the globe. Festo therefore knows how best to communicate skills and sets high standards in the development and further training of its own employees. Festo and ZEISS have been jointly developing global training standards for uniform measurement technology know-how for more than three decades. These are incorporated into the training portfolio of the ZEISS Academy.

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"Festo is a company built on learning," emphasizes Horst Lang, Head of Global Operative Production Quality at Festo. "Because we can only maintain our high innovation speed with people who are curious and who enjoy learning new things all the time". In Mr. Lang’s field of business worldwide standards for measuring and testing technology are developed, and a qualification matrix provides the framework for what employees should know and be able to do and what they still have to learn. The goal: a balanced level of knowledge with regard to measurement technology. "All over the world, our customers have the same expectations of the quality of our products," Mr. Lang knows. To ensure that this is right, measuring and testing technology must go hand in hand with production, as is the case at the plants in Germany, Hungary, China and the other global plants. However, it is not enough to have a perfect command of the measuring equipment and software. "My people must be able to communicate with the production employees of our plants at eye level. If there are discrepancies in knowledge here, it costs a lot of money."

Comprehensive training increases competence

Almost all ZEISS measuring solutions are in use at Festo: the future-proof computed tomography system ZEISS METROTOM 1500 or high-end machines like the ZEISS XENOS. Festo has relied on ZEISS for more than 30 years, both in terms of technology and training, worldwide. Like Festo, ZEISS is also internationally positioned - an important prerequisite for meeting Festo's training requirements. The topics of the measurement technology training courses are wide-ranging: from basics, application and software updates to special topics such as geometric product specifications. This is also confirmed by András Kunt, Head of Quality & EHS+Facility at the Hungarian plant: "It is particularly effective that the training courses not only cover the programming of the machines, but also include all elements of measurement technology. I am not only proud that we work with the best systems in quality assurance, but also that we can benefit from a high and uniform training standard".
Festo also attaches great importance to training in the respective national language. "Experience shows that learning success is 30 to 50 percent higher if people can learn in their own language," says Lang. "And to my knowledge, only ZEISS can reflect this diversity."

Individual learning paths to success

The approximately 60 measuring technicians and 20 programmers from the international quality areas have to go through the device-independent training courses AUKOM I, II and III on the basics of coordinate measuring technology and technology related trainings from ZEISS follow an individual learning path, depending on their level of training and knowledge. The training courses, which last several days, take place at the nearest ZEISS Quality Excellence Center. ZEISS trainers, on the other hand, come to the Festo factories for the device- and software-specific training courses. Here, they practice directly on Festo components.


András Kunt Head of Quality & EHS+Facility Hungary

I am not only proud that we work with the best systems in quality assurance, but also that we can benefit from a high and uniform training standard.


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Employees have to look beyond the horizon

Horst Lang knows from decades of experience how important the role of measuring and testing technology is for production and process optimization - and how important their smooth interaction and communication is. This starts in his own department. Because not only measurement technicians and programmers are employed here, but also engineers and data specialists. This is where many people with very different training and tasks come together. One of them is Juliane Westermann, a project engineer responsible for quality software and statistical calculations and analyses. "When I evaluate the results from measurement technology, I know where the problems lie in quality assurance," says Westermann. "In order to be able to discuss and solve them, it is important that I can communicate with the measurement engineers and programmers at eye level". The AUKOM training is therefore not only relevant for measurement technicians and quality managers. "With the basic knowledge, I can much better understand the requirements of measurement technology and the daily challenges of my colleagues from the operative area."

This is exactly what Lang attaches great importance to: "Employees have to look beyond their own point of view in order to see the big picture and be able to do their part. The task of companies is to enable their employees to master challenges - technology alone cannot do this. ZEISS is an important partner for us in order to be able to meet this requirement.


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