Hartmann Develops and Manufactures Its Products with CAQ AG
Hartmann Codier GmbH, founded over forty years ago in the Franconian city of Baiersdorf, is today part of the Swiss corporation Phoenix Mecano. Hartmann started out producing counters and developing thumbwheel code switches, also called dual push button code switches. Approximately 100 employees-strong, the company specializes in the production of electronic-mechanical components for a national and international market.
Hartmann sets as its goal the presentation of continually innovative and custom solutions for its diverse customer base. To achieve this goal it constantly monitors and researches the electronic-mechanical market. Drawing on the company experts’ knowledge in their respective fields, Hartmann frequently develops and produces individualized products for its customers. The company possesses a 3D CAD system and an engineering and tool manufacturing department excelling at highly precise tasks. This combination represents an ideal point of departure for realizing components that satisfy customer desires.
In the precision injection molding department, with a partial fully automated assembly, customers’ ideas are brought to fruition. Hartmann is able to show off a performance portfolio which, in addition to standard production items such as PCB code switches, dual push button code switches, micro and slide switches, fixed PCB terminal blocks, pluggable PCB t-blocks and headers, or miniature keyboards, consists of custom products manufactured according to customer requests.
The latest South-German product hitting the market is known by the acronym THR which stands for through hole reflow. Here again, the Franconian production crew proves its savvy and creativity, as well as the striving to achieve constant optimization of performance and quality. With the special through hole reflow procedure it is possible to reduce dramatically the high expenditure of work involved in mixed mounting of THT-components and SMT-types. With THR it is now feasible to mount and solder pieces in a single operation and still reach optimal adherence. Before THR, it was necessary to solder two-fold and therefore incur more costly mounting and soldering processes. Special products, manufactured through such a production process are naturally part of Hartmann’s specialties.
Looking towards the Future and Building on Experience
Individualized and, at the same time, innovative developments create the basis for Hartmann Codier GmbH & Co. KG’s forty years of success. It is therefore not surprising that Hartmann expects its own suppliers to value and provide similar assets in business arrangements. Hartmann did not have to look very long to find an appropriate software system for quality assurance that would satisfy its expectations. After comparing similar software systems by several providers, Hartmann decided on employing Compact.Net.
“The possibility of a cooperative relationship with CAQ AG convinced us”, explains Wendelin Geißler, supervisor of quality assurance. “Just like Hartmann, CAQ AG is very receptive towards customer wishes. Their willingness to program additional features into its program impressed me in particular. Whenever we made suggestions for improvement or changes in specific parts of the software, CAQ AG Factory Systems determined that they would be of value to all users, and therefore it did not charge us anything extra for modifications in some of the cases.” In order to make such individualization feasible the software company relies on an open database structure.
“With the help of Connect.Net users can access practically all data easily and modify the database with information from other systems, manually or, in some cases, even automatically. And the same goes for the vice-versa operation of exporting data into other systems!”, explains Wendelin Geißler. “This represented a determining decision criterion for our cooperation.”
Hartmann clearly trusts its software in operation. This is evident in the continuing development of its system for quality assurance. The first software module was installed in polymer injection molding to supervise production. Today, an expansive server-based SQL system is in place, relying on Compact.Net and supplementary modules of rejection management, form generator, Connect.Net, as well as the automatic event mailing system.
The SQL server solution is an important element for Hartmann since the software system is used in the entire company by more than fifty employees and quality supervisor Geißler sees it as a “keystone to continually improve quality”. To achieve this, every department has special CAQ workstations whose results flow directly into the system and are available for overview purposes right after data acquisition.
Hartmann is already planning an expansion of its system on the basis of a terminal server connection. Hartmann plans to have its Eckersdorf subsidiary hooked up to the CAQ system by the end of 2004 in order to ensure that the quality supervisor can monitor the high quality standards of this company, located 100 km away from the headquarters, continuously and in real time. The CAQ AG software module Audit Management will also be employed presently in the existing ISO 9000 management system as well as for the upcoming environmental certification according to DIN EN ISO 14001.