CAQ-Software at Henkell: Raise Your Glass to Quality
Whether New Year’s Eve, birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries: whenever there’s something to celebrate, the products of Henkell & Co. come into play. In order to ensure that all the bottles pop during these special moments, the long-established company from Wiesbaden utilizes cutting edge CAQ.Net quality management solutions to adhere to strict quality standards.
The Brand Leader from Wiesbaden
Not least due to Henkell & Co. group’s high standards that it sets itself and its products, the 2000 employee strong company was able to establish itself as one of the leading producers of champagne, wine, and spirits in Europe. Founded in Mainz in 1832, the now Wiesbaden-based winery stands for one of the most popular brands in the international champagne-market – Henkell Trocken. As producer of Germany’s most exported brand of champagne, Henkell & Co. has subsidiaries in 20 countries and exports its products to more than 100 countries around the globe. The company is the market leader for champagne and prosecco in ten countries and market leader for wine in three. Henkell & Co is also a market leader in the spirits-business: number one for vodka in Germany, gin in Poland, and brandy in Slowakia.
Strongly Aware of Tradition, Yet Highly Innovative
One of the strengths of Henkell & Co. is its ability to combine tradition and modernity when it comes to its products and production facilities. Hence the company brings together age-old French Cuvée techniques and traditional German winemaker skills which it then combines with high-tech production facilities and cutting edge quality assurance methods. In order to improve the previously paper-based quality assurance processes in the production environment, the company decided to implement a state-of-the-art CAQ software solution in the year 2011.
Software Beats Paper
The so-called worker self-inspections serve the purpose of securing the quality of the products, ensuring safe work methods, and meeting the requirements of standards, rules, and regulations throughout the production procedure. During the worker self-inspection, workers at the machines check the quality of the products and materials as well as the serviceability of the machines and inspection equipment in fixed time intervals. There were several reasons why Henkell & Co. decided to implement a software solution for the worker self-inspections. For example, the inspection lists that had been implemented in 2001 were outdated and the usage of software facilitated faster and more secure fault analyses. Also, using the software meant that no handwriting needed to be interpreted and no unclear fault-descriptions could cause misunderstandings.
Along with the precise and personalized inspection data acquisition, the software also brought with it some other very simple improvements to the workplace. It got rid of the paper stacks and folders and replaced them with secure and a space-saving IT-server structure. Environmental aspects were also improved, as the previous 30 pages per shift equated to 13000 per production month, and a total of 15600 pages per year.
During the step away from a paper-based system, Henkell & Co. decided to go the extra mile and take advantage of the benefits of modern wireless technology as well. First of all, the complex positioning of the WiFi antennae in the production facility need to be calculated. If one considers the sheer size of the halls and that massive bottling plants are not exactly permeable for WiFi-waves, it is understandable that it was quite a feat to ensure full WiFi-coverage. In the next step, both fixed and portable terminal devices were introduced throughout the production facility from the filling plant to the palletizing centre. The increased mobility brought about by the mobile tablet PCs meant that the workers could now perform their quality inspections right onsite where they were required.
All in One
In order to replace the paper-based quality assurance system with software, the Compact.Net module of CAQ AG Factory Systems was implemented. This software-module offered everything from inspection planning, inspection order processing, and statistical process control (SPC) to incoming/outgoing goods inspections and thus satisfied all the requirements of Henkell & Co. On top of that, the CAQ Enhanced Mobility Concept and intuitive user-guidance model meant that the software was perfectly suited for usage on mobile devices. A final aspect was that Henkell & Co. was already actively using the document management module of CAQ AG, which it had introduced in the year 2005.
Fast, Up-to-Date, and Secure
Ever since the software Compact.Net was introduced at Henkell & Co., the worker self-inspections are performed as follows: the inspection plans are subdivided into production areas, process-accompanying areas, and articles. Communication with the production data acquisition system is facilitated via the interface module Connect.Net. The inspection characteristics contain information regarding the weightings as well as model packaging and the inspection orders are prompted either automatically or manually. The subsequent inspection data acquisition process is performed via tablet PCs directly onsite at the product.
The data that is gathered is used to create statistics which in turn are used to create order and fault reports. These reports are sorted according to order number, article, and production date, or according to inspection site and inspector. This permits seamless quality monitoring as well as fast, up-to-date, and secure quality assurance. Henkell & Co. is currently in the process of implementing additional CAQ.Net®-solutions in the process management sector and increasing the usage of the CAQ.Net® Web-applications.
Cheers to That
Quality is when the customer comes back, not the product. This statement underlines the sheer economic necessity of a well-functioning quality management system for a company. The foodstuffs industry serves as a prime example for this aspect, as the consumers need to be convinced of purchasing their products over and over again. Apart from the price and the image, it is primarily the quality of the product that motivates consumers to repurchase it. In order to be able to produce the required level of quality, companies must consistently and comprehensively focus on all quality-related aspects of the production process. The application of innovative Quality Management Software solutions today enables Henkell & Co.to do just that and put this focus on quality into practice in order to improve, document, and uphold the quality of their products. Thanks to this strong focus on quality, it is more than likely that Henkell & Co. will be able to defend its top position in the champagne and spirits market for the next 185 years as well.
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