ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions has many projects that contribute to sustainability. The ecological balance sheet is impressive: many machines can usually be produced at different locations and consequently manufactured directly on site, keeping long transport routes to a minimum. For the delivery of bulky products, air freight is usually avoided in favor of more sustainable transport by sea or truck.
Products from ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions are also designed to last for decades. In many cases, existing systems can be retrofitted with the latest technologies – rebuilding reduces the ecological footprint of a device, as the raw materials and energy required for producing the system are used over a longer period of time. Products are also optimized on a regular basis. One example is the ZEISS AirSaver, a patented module that has been reducing compressed air consumption in coordinate measuring machines for years. This not only saves ZEISS customers money, but also enables more ecologically friendly production as generating compressed air requires a lot of energy. The latest generation of controllers for measuring machines has not only greatly reduced the number of variants and therefore the costs – thanks to modern engineering, the new controllers also require around 50 percent less power.
A lot is being done simultaneously to improve sustainability. “Individual measures may seem minor at first glance, but overall, they have substantial impact,” says Marko Miladinovic, who is responsible for global logistics at ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions. He also believes that an important step towards more sustainable logistics is the introduction of various digital tools, all of which have one thing in common: they not only ensure more efficient working methods, but also reduce paper consumption and conserve raw materials. The area currently saves at least two tons of paper per year through digitalization projects.
Communication with suppliers, for example, is gradually being transferred to a central Group-wide portal called JAGGAER. It is used to digitally exchange documents that were previously sent in paper form or manually scanned. Various processes for incoming goods and warehouses at ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions in Germany, the USA, India and China now also run via SAP Fiori Apps, which were implemented with the support of Corporate IT. “Previously, if an order had to be commissioned internally, colleagues would have a multi-page printout with a list of the individual parts they had to put together,” Miladinovic recalls. Today, everything can be accessed via the SAP Fiori Apps MM Mobile, which can be used across all segments. The area also benefits from a digital solution for product assembly: the globally implemented ProBoard tool from ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions. This enables, among other things, digital feedback on assembly steps at the workstation, including information on the order and assembly instructions – saving time and paper.
In Germany, CO2 emissions were also reduced by lowering the number of warehouse locations and optimizing transport. “Thanks to a better transport organization and with the help of a new transport service provider, we can bundle inbound transports. Single trips from or to local suppliers are minimized with a round trip, and stations are added or omitted as required,” says Miladinovic. Another step towards climate-neutral transport is the eTruck, which has been on the road for ZEISS as part of the Schwarz Logistik GmbH vehicle fleet since October 2020. It is one hundred percent emissions-free, and the electricity required is largely generated by solar panels on the logistics center. With this pilot project, ZEISS is testing the suitability of the electric commercial vehicle for corporate logistics.
Miladinovic points out: “Not only do our customers rate ZEISS on the basis of sustainability, we also take this aspect into account when selecting our partners.” The new shipping partner with a more sustainable vehicle fleet and better transport organization has saved at least 86 tons of CO2 per year since October 2019.