glückauf: Has production changed as time went on?
Kocur: Yes, definitely. Tolerances have become even tighter, surface finishes even better, and the hardness of the materials used has risen. Tiny defects which used to be acceptable are now a no-no! And this, of course, naturally affects our work, for people and for machines.
Drechsler: Take a look, firstly, at the machines: their accuracy is nowadays much better. The shafts reach the workplace with a maximum out-of-roundness of only two hundredths of a millimetre. Bearing alignment is also extremely good. This makes life easier for our employees, and we have become significantly faster.
Kocur: In production, for example, we sometimes work in pairs. The two employees must be the right ones, though, they have to complement each other. Our top-teams are receptive to the new and they know how they can optimise their work. "We've always done it like that" just isn't an option any more.
glückauf: What happens if there are minor inaccuracies?
Drechsler: If we make a mistake, the result is usually that the crankshaft can no longer be used. There are practically no chances of repairing it. Whether we're talking about insignificant, minimal errors or even just "cosmetic defects" – the customer will refuse to accept it.
Drechsler: Because then the end customer for the engine might have so many claims for spare parts or extended warranties that the expense could exceed the costs of the crankshaft. Everyone who works here knows that. And everyone knows how much these shafts are worth. Our colleagues and employees have respect for this and they work with great care on these shafts. Despite all the care applied, we still have technological target times for machining. And these times must be met, in fact, we need to be even faster. This, of course, also causes a lot of pressure.