Christoph Zoller, CEO,
E. Zoller GmbH & Co. KG
Alfred Zoller founded the company as mechanical workshop in 1945. His vision was cost-efficient manufacturing in metal-cutting production. Eberhard Zoller developed the company further to become a leader in innovation and quality in the measuring sector – and to become a global player. Today, the 3rd generation continues the ZOLLER success story – worldwide. The ZOLLER company has successfully established subsidiaries in the growth markets USA, China, India and Japan.
With enthusiasm for inspection and measuring technology, ZOLLER near Stuttgart in the South of Germany, have been developing innovative solutions for greater efficiency in manufacturing processes for almost 75 years. More than 38,000 presetting and measuring machines with worldwide unrivalled software solutions have been installed to date.
If we talk about infrastructure, we have manufacturing plant in Pleidelsheim, Germany which is centralized one to maintain the quality aspect. All over the world we have around 50 corporate offices which are always ready to provide the exclusive solutions to our customers. In technical area we have strong alliances and most of all machining service providers with whom we are continuously developing for full proof shop floor solutions.
ZOLLER develops all solutions in-house, software as well as hardware. Tool presetters, measuring machines and smart cabinets are assembled at the German headquarters. Using high-quality components from German suppliers makes all products 100% made in Germany. Our specialists in IT, engineering, and application technology work together every day to create innovative and flexible solutions that take you further. More than 40 software developers and engineers enhance our »pilot« measuring software and the TMS Tool Management Solutions and guarantee an easy operation in today’s complex production process.
We started from Europe but in the last few decades we have increasingly concentrated on Asia. Since the 90’s we have roots here in Asia and we see that the Indian market is one of the most vibrant markets in Asia. As the trends are changing recently regarding the new government policies and the positive environment in the country, which leads the Indian industry towards next level of manufacturing good quality products.
As a key player in tooling with quality products, we would like to use this big aspiration of the Indian market to bring ZOLLER be the first choice to the world as a “Best Product Manufacturer”.
Of course, R&D plays an important role in having success in the market. All measuring machines, software solutions, smart tool cabinets, and automation solutions are developed in-house. Furthermore, we create innovations in cooperation with our customers. Open innovation is a key principle of ZOLLER’s business approach: no matter how global our business is, we always remain close to our customers. This is the only way to adapt highly modern measuring solutions to actual market requirements. Our new developments always come about with our customers’ participations. We consider their needs; this is the only way to become more successful together!
ZOLLER aims to provide premium products and excellent service. Apart from innovation and service, Quality is the basis of our corporate identity. Our awareness for quality and the associated quality and environmental policy is underlined by certifications in accordance with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and VDA 6.4.
The observance of all legal and official requirements is binding for E. Zoller GmbH & Co. KG. These certificates prove the consciousness in realizing the quality concept and our commitment to a continued improvement process with regard to quality and environmental management.
All employees in the single functional areas contribute to the implementation of the quality and environmental policy and work on developing and realizing the best possible solution in each project. The quality standard for our products is extremely high – starting from the development up to the assembly of premium brand name products – and also plays a major role for our service and the processes within our company.
Of course, the industrial development to industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, smart factories has a big effect on the further developments of our solutions. A smart factory takes advantage of the technical possibilities of digitalization for a networked production workflow, which is consistent, transparent and efficient as a result. At ZOLLER, we consider this from the perspective of the variable of the “tool” and create the prerequisites for smart tool management — in relation to actual tools and in relation to the associated tool data. We do this with z.One, which is ZOLLER’s central tool database, TMS Tool Management Solutions software, TMS hardware, ZOLLER automation solutions and, of course, ZOLLER presetting and measuring machines.
The important thing for me is that Industry 4.0 is not just a concern for large companies, but is also an important issue precisely for small and medium-sized companies who want to remain competitive. With ZOLLER, the user has a consistent tool database and can initiate automation processes, which are investments that quickly pay for themselves, including at small companies.
At ZOLLER, we took on the subject of networking very early, and the data consistency of ZOLLER products with third-party systems has a long tradition. This consistent, future-oriented openness to all systems involved in the production process — whether they are machines, inventory or CAM systems — has always characterized ZOLLER solutions.
The future production of course will be an all networked one. The smart factory operates with the data that is available. With respect to tool management, the goal is to have the right tool with the right data, at the right place at the, right time. The aim is to link real and virtual tool data over the entire production process and to allocate it to the physical tool, and to provide this information regardless of location.
The challenges placed on the tool itself are in the direction of intelligent, self-organized tools; “The Smart Tool”. In the recent successfully concluded research project of the Federal Ministry for Research and Development, ZOLLER has collaborated with partner companies in smart tool development.
This tool system of the future not only always knows the location and condition of its tools, but also communicates with the machines and systems that are relevant to the production workflow, exchanging information with those machines and systems about the condition of tools. Smart tools consist of a uniquely identified tool holder with integrated sensor, logic and transmission unit, as well as the tool itself, with a unique, integrated identification. The saved data can be accessed at any time via a database and as a result it allows tool changes to be optimized, setup times shortened and costs saved during the production process.
We already have products in our portfolio, that support smart factory requirements of the future. All of our presetting, measuring and inspection machines are aligned with the requirements of Industry 4.0 and can be integrated in existing production processes and networked with
At the EMO in Hanover, Germany last year, we presented our Smart Cabinets product line for the first time, which are entirely new intelligent tool storage systems with software connections. By connecting the Smart Cabinets to TMS Tool Management Solutions software, storage locations can be graphically displayed in 3D and inventory can be tracked, all at the click of a button.
We not only offer the software, but also the compatible hardware for efficient and reliable tool handling over the entire life span of the tool, from a single source. For customers, this means no more manual data input, no duplicate data maintenance, no more searching for tools — instead, the tool inventory is always at a glance, and the right tools are always on hand at the right location.
Another aspect is automation. Automation over the entire tool handling process is taking on ever greater importance. ZOLLER will continue to lead the way in the future here as well. Today, all ZOLLER products are already network-capable and can be integrated in existing production environments. All devices and systems can also be expanded and upgraded. What certainly sets us apart even further is that no one else in the world has anywhere close to as many networking options with third-party systems, from CAM to nearly every machine control.
ZOLLER Headquarter Pleidelsheim outside view
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