AQIs as a central testing and quality assurance system at Linde
Linde Material Handling GmbH, a company of the KION Group AG, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of forklifts and warehousing equipment.
Linde MH has been a customer of IGH Automation since 2010 and uses the computer-controlled testing and quality assurance system AQIs from IGH. All test stands are networked via the Advanced Quality Inspection system (AQIs). AQIs takes the job data from SAP, tests in accordance with the job and automatically receives the test values (setpoint values and tolerances) from the Development Department. These are also taken into account during the test.
Benefit to Linde
- Testing in accordance with the job
- Improving the quality of the processes and products
- Digital product files
- Automatic consideration of the technical specifications from the Development Department
"Besides increasing efficiency in our testing processes and the associated optimisation of our testing and throughput times, we were above all able to achieve a further quality improvement in our processes and products.
A job-related test specification stipulates for the operator his precise testing job with all the related setpoint values, shown "clearly and unmistakably" on the screen display.
In the test planning, we succeeded in adapting the test plan flexibly in the case of COs (customer options), i.e. when the customer has special wishes. This provides greater flexibility in our processes - something that is increasingly in demand.
We have also been able to further expand and improve the documentation of production and test data, something which is being focussed on increasingly and which has become far more important not only as a result of the last Machinery Directive revision.
Today we have all the relevant test data available in electronic form, in relation to both a production job and in a database. This gives us the basis for all types of statistical evaluations and provides a foundation for our ongoing process improvement."
The company is utilising the advantages of AQIs, namely the fully modular set-up, and is introducing the test system in stages. 2010 saw the commissioning of the AQIs infrastructure and the test track for checking the quality of the driving and braking functions of fork-lift reach trucks. This test track created a reproducible and objective evaluation of the driving and braking properties.
A dynamometer for electric forklift trucks went into operation the following year. IGH Automation has integrated this test stand into the AQIs system. This makes the test performed on this test stand parameterisable, and the test results obtained here, acquired measured data and errors are also added to the central AQIs database. A test report is automatically compiled, which goes into the virtual vehicle file.
On the cabs assembly line, Linde MH produces drivers' cabs for forklifts that feature a wide variety of equipment. To guarantee that the cabs are fault-free even before they are installed in the forklifts, in the same year it was planned to install a test system that tests this subassembly early in the production. AQIs tests the subassembly by simulating the rest of the system, and realises both fixed test sequences and equipment-specific test sequences. This now enables faults in the cab to be detected early and diagnosed quickly, thereby allowing economical repairs. IGH Automation supplied a mobile test stand that was also integrated into the AQIs system and its database.
A lift mast test stand was realised when a new assembly line was introduced. Here too, IGH Automation supplied AQIs for a test tower for checking the quality of the forklifts' mast functions. The test results obtained here also go into the central database of AQIs, and thereby into the digital product file of every forklift.