We are pleased to welcome our new employee Dipl.-Ing. Achim Merzbach at Quality Automation GmbH. With his many years of professional experience in industrial production and automation he will support us in the functions of Senior-Consultant.
Achim Merzbach can look back on an exciting professional career to date. In 1990, he started as a PLC engineer in mechanical engineering at Philips in Aachen. In 1993 he changed to the halogen lamp production at Philips Licht as project manager in the field of industrial automation technology. In this position he worked for several years. From 1995 he took over the complete Factory Engineering and from 1997 also the production management of the halogen lamp manufacturing and packaging.
From 2000 he was responsible for the development, industrialization and automation of the coating department as main project manager and later additionally as department manager.
In 2010 he again took over the management of Factory Engineering to support the implementation of LEAN management. Here the focus was on TPM (optimization of plants, processes and maintenance). Another focus was the development of the energy management system.
In 2018, Achim Merzbach took over site management at a software and IT service provider with a focus on marketing, customer support and acquisition and professional networking. The previous knowledge of his previous managerial positions and his technical knowledge are a great advantage when interacting with customers.
The way to QA
As early as 1990, our managing director Michael Fritz, then also working for Philips, and Achim Merzbach got to know each other. Since the foundation of QA, there have always been long-standing business connections and a great mutual trust.
With all his many years of experience, Achim Merzbach will now support Quality Automation GmbH as a Senior-Consultant with a main focus on sales. His responsibilities will include supporting and advising the executive board, the management and the project managers in both external and internal projects. Furthermore, he will be increasingly involved in the acquisition of new customers and the support of existing customers. In other words, he will be your direct contact for all questions regarding our services, products or ongoing projects.
The added value for the customer
Through this personnel expansion, it is now possible for us as Quality Automation GmbH to maintain an even closer business relationship with our customers and to support you with advice at any time. You have an experienced and competent contact person who will take care of your concerns and also provide you with helpful and knowledgeable information with his expertise in the emerging topics of digitalization, Industry 4.0, IoT and Smart Factory.
https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/20210608_quality-automation-achim-merzbach-senior-consultant-42.jpg19201920dfrz_adminhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgdfrz_admin2021-06-10 06:00:362021-06-10 07:51:27Competent reinforcement in the sales department
Even in these difficult times, we are of course on the road for our customers at home and abroad. Depending on the destination, this requires good planning and compliance with various requirements. However, the health of our employees is always our top priority during these assignments. In this article, we report on a foreign assignment in Croatia as a representative of our business trips.
Before the trip started, some organizational points were clarified the week before. The documents required for entry included the A1 certificate on social security legislation, a travel notification for entry into the Republic of Croatia and a certificate issued by QA on the absolute necessity of a business trip. Furthermore, proof of a negative test for infection with the coronavirus must be carried when entering Croatia and re-entering Germany. In cooperation with the customer in Croatia, an appointment for an on-site PRC test was already organized before the start of the trip.
With the QA company car and equipped with a supply of FFP2 masks, we set off from Stolberg in the direction of southern Germany. First stopover: Frankfurt am Main. Here a PRC express test was carried out. Thanks to good organization on site and prior booking of an appointment, the test was completed in the shortest possible time and the journey could be continued quickly. The test result arrived by email after only about 30 minutes. The destination for the first day was the city of Passau in Bavaria. Due to the long total distance of 1200km, a stopover was necessary. We deliberately decided against an overnight stay in Austria, as this would have resulted in a 10-day quarantine obligation.
Equipped with vignettes for Austria and Slovenia, we continued the next day to the vicinity of the Croatian capital Zagreb. On arrival at the customer’s site, work on the plant was started immediately and continued successfully over the next few days.
In order to have a proof of a negative PRC-Corona test for the return journey to Germany, this was already carried out one day before departure at the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb. Our employee was accompanied by the customer, as he is familiar with the local conditions and organizational structures. The results were available in time for the departure and so we returned to Stolberg with an overnight stay in Germany.
https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/qa_news_auslandseinsatz-in-covid-zeiten.jpg7201280Ulli Mayrhuberhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgUlli Mayrhuber2021-05-20 07:00:382021-05-27 17:31:24Foreign deployment in times of the COVID 19 pandemic
Since a few days Quality Automation GmbH is now a licensed Certified Excellence Solution Partner of Bosch Rexroth. This means that we belong to a selected network of sales and service partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Together with around 60 Excellence (CE) partners, we have a high level of performance and solution expertise for automation, drive and control technology
We have been an official Bosch Rexroth system integrator since 2009 and are pleased to take the next step after these successful years of cooperation. The multi-stage structured certification process, in which we have proven our competence and performance in all relevant disciplines, makes us a CE Solution Partner.
As a CE Solution Partner, we offer intelligent, safe and efficient solutions from Bosch Rexroth. Our specially trained and qualified personnel have extensive expertise to support our customers in the design, optimization and commissioning of their automation projects. As a Certified Excellence Solution Partner, we are always available to provide expert advice and purchasing support.
Dennis Paustenbach is 31 years old and has been working for Quality Automation GmbH since April 2016. More than two years ago, he decided to take a part-time distance learning course and is now about to write his master’s thesis. We asked Dennis some interesting and personal questions about this, which he was happy to answer. In the following, you can read about his motivations, daily study routine and private plans after completing his studies. Of course, you will also learn something about the framework and content of the study and not least personal tips from Dennis to those readers who are currently thinking about starting a distance learning program themselves.
Let’s first look back a few years. After Dennis completed his apprenticeship as an electronics technician with distinction in 2010 as one of the best in his class, he first worked in his profession for a year until he decided to start certified technician program at night school at the Berufskolleg für Gestaltung und Technik in Aachen. Already here he experienced what it was like to have to study and take exams while working. This went so well that Dennis caught up on his technical high school diploma at the same time, and so by the end of 2015 he had his technical high school diploma and was a state-certified technician.
Why study? At the beginning of 2016, his professional path led to the electrical design department of QA. After a little over a year in his new job, he decided to pursue the part-time distance learning Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Automation Engineering at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Department of EIT.
When asked why he chose this course of study, Dennis has several immediate answers: “Because of my training as a state-certified technician for automation technology and because of my work up to that point as an electronics technician in the field of automation, it made sense for me to also complete my further education in the subject area. I also found that electrical engineering suits me and that I enjoy it a lot.” Furthermore, he sees the field of automation technology as very future-oriented and growing strongly in the coming years. “I think that tasks that will have to be solved in the industry in the future require a good basic education. I want to be prepared for this not only practically, through my job, but also theoretically through my studies. I want to gain a deeper insight into the theory behind the things I apply and use in my daily professional life.”
The study The distance learning program at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences consists of 7 semesters of standard study time, with the 1st semester being a preparatory semester, due to the lateral entry from technician to master.
“Only when you have successfully passed the exams of the preparatory semester, you are allowed to start with the actual studies”, Dennis reports. He remembers the time well: “Getting admitted to the program at all is a challenge. In addition to an application with a resume, a letter of motivation and a letter of recommendation, you also need a good technical degree to be invited to the entrance exam. If you pass the entrance exam and the exams at the end of the preparatory semester, the actual studies begin. From originally more than 40 lateral entrants interested in studying in the admission process, only 4 people actually started the studies.”
The contents Classroom lectures are held four times a month, usually on Fridays and Saturdays, but sometimes also on Sundays. The exams at the end of a semester are divided over two weekends. Most of the knowledge has to be acquired in self-study after work or on the weekends off. “This already requires a high degree of self-discipline and motivation, especially after a long day at work,” Dennis tells us. Due to the Corona pandemic, there are currently no face-to-face events. This saves traveling to the university, but makes personal interaction and knowledge exchange with fellow students and professors more difficult.
In the first part of the program, students are taught in-depth fundamentals of electrical engineering. Topics such as system theory and signal processing are on the program. In the second semester, students choose a specialization. Special methods of control engineering, learning controls, robotics and electromobility are just a few of the subjects. Interdisciplinary subjects such as communication technology, employee management and labor law are taught regardless of the specialization. The program concludes with a master’s thesis and the academic degree of Master of Science.
The master thesis at QA? Dennis is currently in his 4th semester and his master’s thesis is due in the coming summer semester. Here, of course, our first question was whether he would like to write it at QA or gain new experience in other companies. “I would like to do my master’s thesis at QA, this has already been clarified and I am very happy about it. Only the topic still needs to be clarified,” Dennis tells us. Here at QA, he has many opportunities to directly put into practice what he has learned and is also supported in many ways. “I’m very glad that QA has my back here, whether it’s from spontaneous vacations to study just before exams to my professional career after graduation.”
What’s next after graduation? Dennis sees his future continuing at QA, after graduation he would like to stay with us, but orient himself more in the direction of software development. There are already internal agreements on this, he tells us. In his private life, too, things will change after graduation: “I am confident that I will have more time for my family and friends again. After graduation, a new phase of life begins and topics such as family planning and building or buying a house will also be on the agenda in the next few years.”
We would like to take this opportunity to wish Dennis every success in his further studies, his professional career and, of course, that he achieves all his goals and wishes in his private life.
Further tips for our readers If interest in studying or other further education and training has now been aroused, Dennis has a few more tips: “First of all, you should be aware that studying while working is very time-consuming. Friends and family often take a back seat, especially shortly before exams. In general, you should be very self-motivated and have the will to follow through with your studies. Good support from your employer is also very important. In addition, you should have the prospect of a position in your own company or in another company that fits in with your further education, so that you can apply what you’ve learned directly after your studies.”
https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/qa_news_dennis-paustenbach-interview-fernstudium.jpg14891920Ulli Mayrhuberhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgUlli Mayrhuber2021-02-12 07:00:372021-02-09 15:43:31With a distance learning program to a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering — An Interview
This year, we are once again a scholarship provider and are supporting Robin Feistel, a master’s student of electrical engineering with a focus on automation technology at the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, with a one-year scholarship. We are very pleased that Mr. Feistel has informed us that in particular the receipt of the scholarship has also moved him to the decision to pursue a Master’s degree after the successful completion of the Bachelor’s program. This is really a great affirmation and shows that the scholarships are effective in helping students to be able to achieve their desired degrees.
Mr. Feistel’s goal is to later find a varied and challenging job in the field of automation technology, where he can continue to develop and expand his knowledge. He is particularly interested in mastering challenges in automation from a combination of design, pneumatic and electrical solutions. In other words, a real all-rounder.
Unfortunately, we were not yet able to meet Mr. Feistel during the scholarship award ceremony. Due to Corona restrictions, there was of course no face-to-face event in Aachen’s town hall with personal presentation of the scholarships. Instead, the FH Aachen came up with something great! Please have a look at the FH Aachen website for more information: Scholarship Award 2020
We are looking forward to welcoming Mr. Feistel as soon as the Corona situation allows for a personal meeting and a presentation of the company. Until then, we wish him all the best and much success in his further studies!
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https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/quality-automation-aachen-historie110.jpg8471920Barbara Görnerhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgBarbara Görner2021-02-03 10:45:432021-02-03 12:27:40Support for young academics with the FH annual scholarship 2020/2021
With effect from 11.01.2021, Andreas and Christian Fritz will take over the management of Quality Automation GmbH as successors Heinz Monnartz and will manage the company together as Managing Directors with their father Michael Fritz and the Directors Friedhelm Steffens and Christian Franssen in the future.
Heinz Monnartz founded Quality Automation GmbH in 2000 together with Michael Fritz and worked for the company until 2018. In the last two years, he continued to be available to us as Managing Director and important contact person, but without actively participating in the business. Now, however, it was time for him to dedicate himself to a well-deserved retirement and “make room for youth”. Heinz, we wish you and your wife Wilma all the best, good health and continued fun and exciting experiences on your travels!
The successors, Andreas and Christian Fritz, have of course known QA through their father since its founding and have both been employed by the company for several years. Andreas Fritz has been working in the field of software development for almost 10 years and has been Director since 2016. Christian Fritz has been employed in application development for more than 3 years, most recently in a managerial role.
The employees trust in the abilities of the new managing directors and wish them much success and energy for their important new function in the interest of a sustainable further development of the company.
As a customer, you can continue to rely on continuity in our core values of innovative strength, high quality and fair pricing. We sincerely thank you for your previous trust and look forward to continuing a reliable and stable partnership.
All around on the fir tops, I saw golden lights sitting…
2020 was a special year, a year marked by ups and downs, hope and lockdowns. We look back on times of hardship and uncertainty.
The Corona pandemic was a great challenge for all of us — both professionally and privately. Once again, it has become clear how important the topic of digitalisation is. Be it for home schooling or home office — none of this would have worked without a reliable internet connection and functioning software. And, of course, we have also become aware of a great potential for expansion. We are glad that we as a company were very well prepared for this. Since almost every employee has his or her own laptop and has the appropriate tools for remote work via Microsoft Teams, we were able to quickly switch to the home or flex office and thus significantly reduce the risk of contagion in the office. In addition, we were able to create the possibility for employees with children to reconcile home schooling and work. One had to get used to seeing children doing their homework in the background of meetings. Did it harm the work activity? We don’t think so! Our employees even say that they were able to concentrate better on complex tasks at home and worked more efficiently. Definitely a reason for us to continue offering the flex office option next year.
The general uncertainty in the industry over the past year has also had an impact on our company — projects are being postponed, enquiries withdrawn, many customers are restless and unsettled. Assignments are becoming more short-term. The flexibility and agility of the QA team is in demand. No problem for us. Many thanks to our team for this willingness!
But cautious optimism is spreading towards the end of the year. Business is picking up again, budgets, projects and enquiries for the coming year are increasing. We are very happy about this, because it means we can look forward to the next year with confidence. And in general, at the end of the year, there is light at the end of the tunnel — the vaccine is ready for use and will ensure that the burden on the health system is reduced and the risk groups are protected!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and flexibility. Without your support, understanding and resourcefulness, we would not be doing as well as we are today. This cannot be taken for granted and we are really proud to be able to lead such a great team.
And of course we would also like to thank our customers and cooperation partners for the trust they have placed in us, the spirit of partnership and exciting joint projects. We are glad that all companies have made it through the crisis largely unscathed so far and are also looking positively towards 2021.
Let us try to bring the year to a calm and peaceful end. We wish our employees, our customers and cooperation partners as well as their families a blessed Christmas, relaxing days and a happy new year.
“20 years QA, that’s a real success story!” — this is how our managing director Michael Fritz expresses his joy and pride about the company anniversary.
And indeed, the development of Quality Automation GmbH is really impressive. Since its foundation in 2000, the company has continuously expanded and developed its fields of activity. Meanwhile, the portfolio includes not only classic PLC programming but also electrical design and production, image processing, drive technology, robotics, high-level language programming and, as a product, our own ERP system for SMEs. Whether retrofit, conversion or development and production of new systems — as a general contractor or in the function of project management, we have been successfully realising projects for our customers from all over the world and all industries for 20 years now.
“20 years — that makes more than 550 man-years of experience for our staff. We have enormous know-how, a wealth of knowledge that we can draw on and which is constantly growing. Both we and our customers profit from this in equal measure,” says Mr Fritz.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their great commitment over all these years and our customers for the trust and cooperation they have shown us. Unfortunately, the situation this year prevented our open day and a big celebration of our anniversary. However, postponed is not cancelled: we firmly hope to be able to celebrate together with all our employees and customers next year! Until then, Mr Fritz would like to thank you personally with a video message. To the next 20 years! Stay healthy!
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Or how to step up your game and connect your machines as much as your social media.
A Master thesis of Maximilian Aretz
Up to this day many machines and production lines are still not up to date with the newest technologies.
Connecting your machines to IoT Gateways provides a lot of advantages such as more transparency and easier maintenance. For his thesis Maximilian Aretz looks behind the scenes and realizes such a retrofit.
The thesis as a work in progress
Maximilian Aretz is a student at the University of Applied Science in Aachen in the department of Automation and propulsion technology. He works at QA since 2017 and already finished his Bachelor here. Now he started his master’s thesis. His chosen field of topic: the IoT Gateway. Equipped with the hardware and software for an IoT Gateway from Bosch Rexroth he is now testing and visualizing the possibilities and advantages of the Gateway.
In the coming months he will start the process data analysis. This will include preparation and selection of data, the efficiency of the machine including nonoperation periods, production times, maintenance, errors and messages and preventive maintenanceas well as quality management and report generation. Additionally, he will work on messages and warnings via visualization systems, E‑mails and MS-teams.
The IoT Gateway
An IoT Gateway Software offers an efficient solution consisting of controlling hardware and software that provides the connection to the industry 4.0 without messing with the automation logic.For thisSensors must be added to machines to detect data like movements and ambience conditions. The IoT Gateway is used to the collect these data from the sensors. This data can then be evaluated but it must also be protected. The Gateway itself includes a firewall and VPN to provide network protection and secure communication.
New transparency with IoT Gateway Software
IoT Gateway Software allows you to get more transparency about machine and production data. The data can be fetched with real time monitoring of process data like temperature, pressure and vibrations. This data can be used to optimize production processes and helps to keep constant high quality.
Prognostic maintenance and service
Rule-based evaluation of specific information is a big help for predictive maintenance and service on machines and production lines. Additionally, it provides a save solution for remote maintenance while leaving the complete control with the machine operator. This way efforts and costs can be reduced.
https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/quality-automation-Masterarbeit-Maximilian-2.jpg10801080Ulli Mayrhuberhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgUlli Mayrhuber2019-10-02 13:47:232019-11-11 14:39:04With Retrofit to Industry 4.0: Digital modernization of a production line by using IoT Gateway
In September, Kollmorgen hosted a partner event at its Ratingen European headquarters entitled ‘Together we can do more’. The two-day event offered plenty of room for discussions with other contract partners and provided in-depth technical knowledge about today’s automation solutions, as well as the innovations of tomorrow.
https://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/qa_kollmorgen_AKM2G-2.jpg600600Ulli Mayrhuberhttps://quality-automation.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201125_20JahreQA-Final-RGB-min.svgUlli Mayrhuber2018-09-10 11:26:432019-11-05 11:43:47„Together we can do more” – Friedhelm Steffens visiting Kollmorgen Europe
Since its foundation in 2000, the Quality Automation GmbH is regarded as one of the leading providers of production and manufacturing automation.