Kolbenstange Stahl Judenburg
Data-based Quality Assurance: Pilot project

Piston rods 4.0

Ultra-high-quality piston and connecting rods are one of Stahl Judenburg’s specialities. In a groundbreaking pilot project, the experts in Austria are, for the first time ever, using flows of digital data for Quality Assurance in the production of piston and connecting rods – another step on the way to the “smart factory”.

In this pilot project, Stahl Judenburg GmbH is focusing on a highly complex, IT-based production process and has taken, simultaneously, a long stride toward the digitalisation of production operations. The long-term aim is production tailored to the “smart factory”, in which large volumes of data (“big data”) are used to assure the ever more efficient and ever more transparent running of plant processes.

The benefits of the "smart factory":

  • Operators are enabled to monitor and continuously optimise processes in real time.
  • Processes are made more measurable, more transparent and thus even more efficient.
  • Steelmaking locations are made more future-safe and employees gain important capabilities for even higher quality and for new processes.

Focus on piston and connecting rods in this pilot project

In Stahl Judenburg GmbH’s pilot project, the interfaces of a camera and a production system have been configured to allow two-way communication between them. The production system, for example, supplies the piston-rod diameter to the camera to permit precise adjustment during the inspection process. And the camera, for its part, signalises defects or chromium-plating flaws back to the production system. The result: ultra-high efficiency with the constant aim of excluding errors and achieving even higher quality in materials and finished components.

Kolbenstange Stahl Judenburg Kontrolle


Once a buzzword – now reality: all production operations at Stahl Judenburg are to be more intensively digitalised in the future.

Greater production efficiency, better ergonomics

The aim of digitalisation of the elements of our processes is the assurance of ultra-high quality and ultra-high precision in our piston and connecting rod products. Defective points on the components can, for example, be immediately marked and sawn off. In the future, the system will automatically eject defective bars, the target here being even further boosting of production efficiency. As this pilot project demonstrates, our piston and connecting rods are now not only more efficiently produced: the potentials offered by digitalised monitoring and control reduce the burdens on our employees, especially those imposed on their eyes and their working posture.

Piston and connecting rods: high-potential production

But “smart” production of piston and connecting rods at Stahl Judenburg also offers completely new benefits, in addition to our experts’ experience and know-how. Comprehensive automated analysis of complete batches forms the basis for yet a further improvement in chromium-plating quality. And that’s not all – data can also be interchanged with VTK Krieglach, another GMH Gruppe company, where the chromium-plating work is done.