Pro-sort GmbH: quality assurance with testing technology by Kistler

Pro-sort deploys cutting-edge optoelectronic methods to test its series parts. The goals: guaranteed product quality and improved processes for customers. pro-sort achieves these objectives thanks to automated testing and sorting equipment from Vester – a Kistler Group company. Day after day, millions of parts are accurately measured and sorted on Vester systems.

For a very long time, the task of assessing whether a manufactured part met the quality standards was carried out exclusively by human beings. But many typical mass-produced parts have dimensions of only a few centimeters or even millimeters. This is why such a repetitive task is increasingly performed by automatic testing machines, with high-performance camera systems to deliver results that are reliable and – most importantly – reproducible.

Jürgen Schwarz is the founder and CEO of pro-sort GmbH, based at Keltern-Dietlingen in Baden (Germany). Virtually from day one, he has played a key role in developing the company's technology:

When I saw the first industrial image processing systems reaching the market in the 1990s, I realized that this was clearly a technology of the future. So I drew up a plan to establish my own business, with the focus on complex testing tasks."

Jürgen Schwarz, founder and CEO of pro-sort GmbH,Baden (Germany)

 

Pro-sort now has a 14-strong team of employees, and work on an extension to the company's building is set to start by the end of this year. "At present, we certainly can't complain that our capacity is under-utilized. Quality standards have risen in recent years, and suppliers have to do more to protect themselves against complaints that lead to claims. When production problems are getting too big to handle – that's when people come to pro-sort," Jürgen Schwarz explains.

Pro-sort's services include measurement, sorting, documentation and packaging of screws, bolts, pins and formed or punched parts for customers from all over Europe, ranging from automotive suppliers to electronics manufacturers and medical technology companies. "We're even testing products from China nowadays! But the critical factors are always the same: gaining the customers' trust, and – above all – never disappointing them. Each and every step is accurately documented. And with 380 to 400 million parts per year, that means over one million parts every day," Schwarz points out. One look at the hall where the machines are housed shows how this huge output is achieved: everything looks very clean and tidy. The layout creates a very clear visual impression, and this is what ensures a reliable material flow. This isn't just a matter of in-house requirements, as Schwarz explains: "Quite a few customers insist on the possibility of regular on-site audits before they will work with us." 

Feed, measurement and sorting: all fully automated

To handle such huge quantities efficiently and without errors, pro-sort opts for fully automated test cells from Vester Elektronik GmbH, a member of the Kistler Group since 2017. pro-sort's machine hall currently contains 16 Vester test systems of various designs. They meet customers' differing requirements for end-of-line testing of their series parts, which include turned, punched, pressed and plastic components. Alongside dimensional inspections, the Vester machines carry out structural testing as well as crack and surface tests. Depending on the type of part and the assignment, the testing procedures can include appropriate feed systems, sorters of various types for good and bad parts, and special camera processes.

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