Nearly 5 million people live in and around Pune, India. Known as the Detroit of India, the western Indian industrial city is famous for a dense concentration of automotive manufacturers and suppliers. One of those is TRIA Industries LLP, a small company meeting customer demand for quality assurance requirements using the Zeiss O-Inspect multisensor measuring machine.
Active on the Indian market since 1995 (originally called Ishan Industries until a 2014 merger), TRIA works primarily in development and production. It has gradually shifted into the international market in the past years, supplying a variety of precision components for the Indian and international automotive industry. With three facilities in Pune with 150 employees, the company can offer 24/7 operation for manufacturing for breaks and engines. Their customers’ top priority is uncompromising quality, and TRIA has no problem meeting these demanding standards.
However, Lokesh Pihulkar, plant head and quality manager, says it wasn’t always like that. Customer requirements have increased over the past years, with narrow tolerances of 3µm to 4 µm becoming standard.
“We reached the point where we could no longer always guarantee this level of precision with the tools at our disposal and were unable to accurately measure all the parameters of our components,” Pihulkar says.
This became even more challenging when producing flanges, where each detail matters to ensure everything runs smoothly in the powertrain. Visual checks using gages used to be the best way to check precision, and the number of rejects identified during inspection was growing thanks to the increased requirements. Pihulkar says he knew something had to change.
The company’s close connections to their largest customer, German Tier 1 automotive technology supplier, Continental, helped Pihulkar and TRIA find a solution.
“Together, we discussed the problem and how to solve it,” Pihulkar recalls. “Our customer gave us some valuable tips.”
A valuable tip
After Zeiss was suggested as a potential solutions provider for TRIA’s metrology quality requirements, Pihulkar says everything happened quickly. At the 2015 IMTEC trade fair in India, Pihulkar and director of operations Kedar Gowande contacted Zeiss directly and decided to purchase a Zeiss O-Inspect multisensor measuring machine the same day. The machine allows TRIA employees to perform contact and optical measurements.
TRIA employees produces 10 to 15 different flanges, and on average measures approximately 15 features per part. The Zeiss O-Inspect enables ultraprecise probing thanks to probing forces in the mN range. True 3D measurement provides clear information about form and location tolerances, allowing measuring engineers at TRIA to meet customer standards.
“The system accommodates our needs perfectly,” Gowande says. “We are proud to have a Zeiss O-Inspect in our measuring lab. Of course we checked out the competitors’ machines before making our purchase, but opting for Zeiss was ultimately an easy decision.”
He also explains there were only three decisive reasons why the company decided to purchase the Zeiss machine: an excellent reputation of the company and brand; a professional reporting feature; and the recommendation from their customer who uses the same measuring machine.
After purchasing the Zeiss O-Inspect, the efficiency of the production process’ at TRIA has become significantly more efficient, and customers have stopped turning down components. The rejection rate has been drastically reduced: out of approximately 10,000 parts, around 2% are identified as rejects.
“We do not have any problems with the machine, everything is going great and our customers are pleased,” Pihulkar says.
Four measuring engineers can currently operate the Zeiss O-Inspect. Zeiss specialists in India instructed them how to use the system and the Zeiss Calypso software.
A bright future ahead
The team at TRIA is impressed with the machine and the entire package-system, software, and service. Gowande points out that. Zeiss has helped TRIA to meet potential new customers.
TRIA is already looking ahead to the future. It is expanding this year, and it plans to construct a larger production hall to consolidate its existing three operations under one roof. TRIA’s goal is to become an even more efficient, one-stop shop to offer customers optimum quality.
Since the requirements in the automotive industry will likely keep increasing in the coming years, Pihulkar and Gowande are already thinking about the next step in quality assurance.
“We have already considered 100% inspection and have our eye on another Zeiss product: the Zeiss O-Select digital measuring projector,” Gowande says.