News | May 10, 2004

Zeiss Holos-Nt Software — 350 Times Under One Roof

Source: Carl Zeiss, Inc., IMT Corp., Industrial Metrology
Daimlerchrysler Ag Has Decided On Universal Use Of Holos-Nt In Car Body Metrology

MAPLE GROVE - The Mercedes Car Group (MCG) and the Commercial Vehicle Division (CVD) at Daimler Chrysler AG are introducing HOLOS-NT measuring software to more and more areas of car body metrology. Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology (IMT) received the orders based on the "Best in class software" principle: it was not just the functionality of the software, but also the support Zeiss provided. Additionally, Zeiss was the only provider prepared to offer the software on a quasi leasing basis with a set annual price. This price includes licensing costs, maintenance, support and upgrades.

MCG and CVD placed high value on the continuity of the data flow. They wanted to avoid entering nominal values manually and copying data using portable data carriers. A process chain was created in which the CAD model (via a CATIA direct interface) and a self-created measuring feature list are transferred to HOLOS-NT. The coordinate measuring machine (CMM) operator enters the appropriate technological parameters – stylus, stylus position, safety levels, travel paths – so that an operational CNC program emerges almost instantly. Initial experiences from lot measurements at the factory in Rastatt.

HOLOS-NT, imported from CATIA

Germany produced time advantages of 75% compared to UMESS programming.

It is important to be able to measure the parts as quickly as possible in the CNC measuring process for vehicle development and pilot production. The individual measuring program must be already available when the part is physically ready for measuring. The program is created offline with HOLOS-NT, the CAD model and the measuring feature list, inspected and prepared using a virtual CMM. When the part becomes available, it can be immediately measured.

Kai Gläsner from the EP/QIC division at DaimlerChrysler is responsible for the company-wide introduction and maintenance of HOLOS-NT in car body metrology. He envisions several significant advantages as a result of the universal use of HOLOS-NT:

  • The extensive process integration needed to achieve an end-to-end process chain is only required once, since everyone works with the same system.
  • Drastic cost reductions as a result of more flexible deployment of employees, joint training and – most important – as a result of optimized logistics
  • Multiple programming of measurement procedures is unnecessary as processes from development or pilot production can be used for mass production.
  • The integration of special solutions into the system and the measurement of crash-test vehicles for example make completely independent solutions and their process integration superfluous.

One department centrally operates the requirement and error management for DaimlerChrysler AG concerning the further development of HOLOS-NT.

"In the future, metrology will be more and more linked to CAD and the set nominal values, geometry and tolerances in particular. The development of HOLOS-NT is headed in the right direction," said Kai Gläsner. The next steps in the further enhancement of the process chain are aimed at expanding the measuring feature list, enabling the transfer of even more information directly from the CAD to the measuring software. We are working closely on this with Audi and with other major European car manufacturers as part of the l++ standardization project.

In the meantime, the contract comprises approximately 350 HOLOS-NT licenses for HOLOS-NT use at DaimlerChrysler AG in Sindelfingen, Untertürkheim, Rastatt, Bremen, Wörth, Düsseldorf (all Germany) and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Furthermore, DaimlerChrysler subsidiaries, such as Smart and Evobus, have also received licenses. The contract covers the entire spectrum – from measuring the data-control models in design to model construction, pre-development, development, construction of a prototype, and pilot production all the way to lot measurement. HOLOS-NT is also used in special applications, measurement of crash-test vehicles, for example. The spectrum of measuring machines that can be connected ranges from simple manual devices with scriber, up to high-end twin-column machines with six-axis control and EagleEye. A noteworthy feature is that HOLOS-NT supports instruments from other manufacturers, as well as optical processes (laser tracker, photogrametry) and mobile metrology (measuring arms) in addition to the manual and CNC machines from Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology. In addition, HOLOS-NT is the first application to implement the manufacturer-independent measuring machine interface I++ DME in car body metrology at DaimlerChrysler AG.

Carl Zeiss is a leading international group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industry. The company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany.

The Carl Zeiss Group offers products and services for the three strategic growth areas of biosciences and health care, consumer goods and systems solutions for industrial markets. The group is structured as six business units that operate with sole responsibility and are generally ranked first or second in their markets.

The company is represented in more than 30 countries and operates production facilities in Europe, North America, Mexico and Asia. In fiscal year 2002/2003 the global workforce of approximately 14,150 employees generated revenue of 2.029 billion euros. Further information is available at