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ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions


High-End Fabricator Uses Fast, Precise 3D Inspection Scanning Technology

Hintsteiner Group brings 3D inspection in-house using Zeiss Comet L3D 3D system

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 12:01

The Hintsteiner Group in Austria inspects its customers’ complex components with the ZEISS COMET L3D. The company enjoys a global reputation, and designs and manufactures niche products for the aerospace, safety technology, automotive, and racing industries. The Hintsteiner Group consists of two companies under one roof: Carbon Solutions offers specialized carbon components; and Tooling Components supplies plastic, foam, and cast parts.

A lot has changed since Martin Hintsteiner took over the businesses from his father more than 10 years ago. The head of the company sums up the atmosphere at the Hintsteiner Group as follows: “The average age here is around 25, and we’re really more of a family than colleagues.”

Touring the production halls where young, enthusiastic, and motivated men and women are busy working at the machines confirms Hintsteiner’s assessment. The positive vibe is tangible the moment you arrive. Maybe that’s why the showroom seemed somewhat more ostentatious than expected; people here are obviously proud of what they do.

“Potential customers who visit are immediately impressed with our portfolio, know-how, and workflow,” says Hintsteiner.

Complex components and demanding quality requirements

The Hintsteiner Group’s customers include Audi, VW, Bugatti, Roche, and Rheinmetall. The more unique the components and the more well known the customer, the greater the quality requirements, and quite often companies require a 3D inspection report of the individual parts.

The measuring jobs used to be performed by a third-party service provider, but the decision was made to start doing them in-house. Thus the Hintsteiner Group began looking for an optical-measuring equipment provider and wanted a system that offered optimum speed, mobility, and precision.

“Our goal was to be a one-stop shop, from the design all the way to the finished component, including the measurement report,” says Hintsteiner. All the company needed was the right all-around package, and that is exactly what it got with ZEISS.

Left: It does not take long until the compact ZEISS COMET L3D sensor is ready for use. Right: Positioning the component on the COMET rotary table.

Markus Reitbauer uses a particular part to illustrate how things have changed at the company. The carbon prototype for an air duct used in motor vehicles is extremely complex and only manufactured in very small quantities. The customer, a large company, wanted a complete initial sample report. The part had to be an exact fit for the narrowly designed space inside the vehicle.

For Reitbauer, there is a clear upshot to all the time and effort spent ensuring the correct dimensions: “We are certain that everything is just as it is should be,” he says.

The compact and mobile COMET L3D 3D sensor can capture data from different parts and components quickly and precisely. The high light intensity and quick cameras make it suitable for a variety of uses. The system delivers precise 3D data and automatically recognizes changes in vibration and exposure, even in difficult ambient conditions. The complete solution uses the latest sensor technology and ZEISS colin3D project-oriented software for data capture and processing to ensure efficient processes.

“Operating the system is really easy, and our employees picked it up in next to no time,” adds Reitbauer.

These days, many customers assume that a company can provide documentation verifying that all tolerance requirements have been met. For example: Carbon Solutions has manufactured components for Audi’s auto racing projects. There are different component categories, and many of these must be measured, including all outer-body shell parts that must meet certain regulations. The measurement report is ultimately required for registration.

3D scanning for flexibility and correct measurement results

The plan is to use the ZEISS COMET L3D in the future to measure tools for 3D printing prototypes.

“That is why the flexibility of the ZEISS system was a deciding factor when making our purchase,” says Reitbauer. “We can just place it in front of the milling machine, unclamp everything, and measure again in 3D.”

Reliable software: ZEISS colin3D ensures easy data capture and processing. On the right is a simple false-color comparison.

The same is true for appointments on a customer’s premises. Often Hintsteiner has to scan 3D data at the customer’s site when designing specific products. The simple onsite calibration of the ZEISS measuring system makes it easy for the metrology engineer to change the measuring field by just swapping out the lens; the system is ready for use in next to no time. “We can impress customers with this convenient service,” says Reitbauer.

Thanks to an integrated process that extends from the design stage all the way to post-processing, both speed and the level of knowhow have increased significantly at the company. And this is not the only instance of networked processes at work. In the future, there will be a quality manager at Hintsteiner who advises this group of companies and contributes to quality assurance with 3D measurements.

The software for the 3D system supports networked collaboration and even enables remote access. The networking potential will also be leveraged internationally, including as part of a joint venture in China.

Being able to change the measuring field quickly and easily is just one of the benefits of the ZEISS COMET L3D.

The Hintsteiner Group has been operating an injection-molding plant in Dongguan, China, since 2010. In 2017, a company for the manufacture of carbon serial parts was established in Dongguan and put into operation.

“We also want to make it possible for our parts to receive ISO 9001 certification in China,” says Pierre Sauer, marketing manager and head of the Chinese site. However, reliable quality assurance is an absolute must for certification. “We are going to train our Chinese employees in-house and sensitize them to quality,” adds Sauer.

Hintsteiner plans to purchase the same ZEISS system currently used in Austria to perform measurements at the production facility in China. “Since both sides are closely networked, we can help out with any problems from Austria without needing to make an additional trip to China,” says Sauer. The system’s ease of use is a key part of why Sauer thinks the team at Hintsteiner learned how to use the system so quickly and can now perform measurements on their own.


About The Author

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions’s picture

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions

Headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany, ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions is a member of the Carl Zeiss Group. It is a global leader in CNC coordinate measuring machines and complete, multidimensional metrology solutions for a wide variety of industrial sectors. Approximately 1,800 employees at three manufacturing locations and more than 100 sales and service centers serve customers around the world.