Product Safety and Product Development

At ZEISS, creating safe products goes without saying. In order to be and remain a recognized partner in every market, ZEISS verifiably implements all applicable laws governing product safety in use and disposal.

Furthermore, during product development and production, ZEISS ensures within the scope of a comprehensive risk analysis that all necessary measures are initiated before launching a new product to make the use and disposal of the product safe for customers and third parties.

In this context, training seminars help users utilize ZEISS devices safely and successfully. In addition, potential vulnerabilities are reviewed within the scope of continuous market surveillance. As a result, ZEISS always has the ability to react to such areas of potential improvement and, if necessary, rapidly implement corrective action.

Guidelines, structures, and processes

The ZEISS Group’s Code of Conduct clearly outlines the topic of product safety and its importance to the company’s success. Product development, design, and sales activities are conducted in accordance with all applicable national laws, standards, and guidelines. Employees from ZEISS are actively involved in their continued development through European and international committees or standardization bodies and, as a result, also bring fresh ideas to product development at ZEISS.

Within the ZEISS Group, adherence to standards and rules is ensured through the use of guidelines and compliance monitoring. Responsibility for the safety of our products lies with the Executive Boards and/or the Managing Directors of the individual companies, as well as with the safety officers with product responsibility they employ. They must make the structures, resources, and necessary skills available to properly implement all mandatory legal requirements. The following principles apply worldwide:

  • Product safety requirements must be observed during every stage of the product life cycle.
  • Customer feedback must be used as the basis for product improvements.
  • Ongoing market surveillance is utilized to ensure that products continue to meet the highest safety requirements.
  • The safety of certain products must be verified by independent organizations.

The “Product and Solution Generation” process is of fundamental importance. The purpose of this guideline is to both define the minimum requirements a modern development process must meet for the ZEISS Group and specify mandatory minimum content, which is outlined in the form of a checklist in the appendix. The goal of this systematic focus of the development process is to give customers the right products and solutions with respect to their customer expectations, customer benefits, quality, time, and costs in order to achieve a significant competitive edge. ZEISS only releases products after successfully addressing the aforementioned areas and the corresponding requirements. In addition, ZEISS continuously strives to reduce environmental impact within the product life cycle. The mandatory checklists contain two related categories that must be taken into account during development: the environmental performance of the products and sustainability over the products’ entire life cycle. Based on the Group’s environmental principles, the approach to this production-integrated environmental protection is an obligation to adhere to strict process management. This is how the company ensures that all ZEISS products meet the applicable environmental regulations and guidelines. In particular, ZEISS ensures that:

  • Raw materials are used that are harmless to human health and the environment.
  • The manufacture and use of products generates the lowest level of effluent, waste, and emissions as possible.

Objectives and results

ZEISS ensures that all mandatory legal requirements are fulfilled and risk analyses are conducted in accordance with internal guidelines in order to receive product approval. Updated minimum rules governing the further integration of sustainability aspects into the product development process will become binding for the development of all ZEISS products by the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year.

Many of the ZEISS business groups have switched from disposable to recyclable packaging for their products in recent years. Recyclable packaging is most often used for products delivered to customers within Europe from the Industrial Metrology, Microscopy, and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business groups.