Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH in Oberkochen manufactures ultra-precision measuring equipment, which is used in model and mould construction, in the field of reverse engineering or even in research. Zeiss measuring devices assume an important role in the production, production monitoring and quality assurance of work pieces and in the calibration of test bodies.
Throughout the world, Zeiss Messtechnik employs approximately 350 operational service staff, who carry out on site customer services and maintenance operations on Zeiss measuring equipment for customers.
In the year 2000, Zeiss service staff were still obtaining the information needed for maintenance, repair and installation of Zeiss measuring equipment from wide-ranging, unwieldy and unintuitive files. In order to identify and locate repair instructions, maintenance instructions, installation instructions or compatible spare parts, it was necessary to wade through heavyweight paper files.
To be able to provide its staff throughout the world with up-to-date service information on the whole of the equipment range at any time, Zeiss planned the introduction of an electronic service information system. The new system was to take over from the conventional paper files used and generate its data directly from the company‘s established document management system. Dissemination of the information to the Field Service was to take place using CD-ROM updated several times a year. The online exchange of date over the Zeiss Intranet was to be implemented as a second stage. In addition to service documents, spare part information and user instructions were to be provided to service staff for machinespecific software applications. The CD was to provide an ordering function.
Based on the PARTS-PUBLISHER standard software, Docware implemented a service information system, which obtains its data directly from the Zeiss DMS Document Management System. DMS, also a Docware product, was installed at Zeiss a few years ago. The service documents already available as PDF files in the DMS system are imported into the PARTS-PUBLISHER Workbench using standard interfaces. PARTS-PUBLISHER supports XML data export/import. Following data import, PARTS-PUBLISHER automatically generates an immediate executable CD, which only has to be burnt and reproduced. The table of contents of the individual PDF files is copied into the navigation tree of the service information system. In this way, the individual chapters in documents can be retrieved directly.
The service information system on CD always guarantees all Zeiss service staff rapid access to comprehensive, complex information - specific to the machine system in situ. Password-protected service manuals on devices and control systems, operating instructions, installation guidelines, spare part information and software specifications can be retrieved according to requirements. Entry into the system is generally made from the device or the device components, in relation to which information is required, or by carrying out a full text search. When carrying out a full text search, a hit list of documents is displayed, in which the term being searched for is used. When clicking on the listed documents, the text entry immediately appears together with the term being searched for.
If information on spare parts is needed, then this can simply and quickly be identified by means of an exploded view and associated parts list. Immediate ordering of spare parts is possible.
The Zeiss service information system was further developed at the end of 2001 and was upgraded with the facility to update data over the Internet/Intranet. In addition to this, as part of improved knowledge management in the future socalled public and private notes will also be incorporated into the system. These are comments, which are created, centrally collated and made available by service engineers to all users (public notes) over the company network in the service information system after they have been written. The instructions appears specifically at that point in the information system to which the note in question refers. Future consideration is being given to providing the system not only to staff but also to Zeiss customers. Only information specifically customised for the customer is to be included in the customer version.
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