Heading for Digital Transformation

In the last year, Kistler Group, which produces dynamic measurement technology for measuring pressure, force, torque and acceleration, recorded quite positive results in terms of both turnover and job positions created. This was possible also by relying on cutting-edge products, such as the new sequencer, which makes it possible to program sequence controls in the maXYmos process monitoring system.

di Giorgia Stella

The Kistler Group posted strong growth in 2017, with a growth rate of 18% compared to the previous year and sales revenue growing to approximately 422 million Swiss francs including acquisitions. Worldwide, 123 positions were created. “I am very pleased with business performance”, says Rolf Sonderegger, CEO of the Kistler Group. “Thanks to our acquisitions of the past year, Kistler has gained new technologies which we will continue to develop with focus on the needs of our customers”.

Beyond the implementation of digital technologies
Digital transformation has top priority for Kistler in 2018. All of Kistler’s business areas are touched by this transformative process, and it extends far beyond the simple implementation of digital technologies. “At the moment, we are exploring avenues that are being opened through digitalization for new business models, organization and for our product and system portfolio. With regard to our portfolio, this means, for example, expanding the actual product offerings (hardware) to include both data-based and complementary services as well as software”, says Sonderegger. Internal areas such as production and HR are also directly affected by digital transformation. In spite of proactive involvement as an employer and having once again been awarded Winterthur’s job creation prize, Kistler is faced with the task of filling 201 open positions around the world, 48 of which are in Winterthur. Finally, CEO Rolf Sonderegger anticipates strong growth rates once again in 2018 and expects to achieve sales of approximately 463 million Swiss francs. He sees promising potential for industrial applications from Kistler on the Chinese market, in addition to the development and market launch of numerous new products, as the keys for success in 2018.

Advanced process monitoring
Among the ne newly-developed products is Kistler’s sequencer, which makes it possible to program sequence controls – which actually control the process – in the maXYmos process monitoring system. An independent sequence of steps can be defined for each measuring program. The patterns of measurement curves in Kistler’s maXYmos series can be used to monitor and verify the quality of a single production step, a sub-assembly or an entire product. Now, maXYmos users can also measure multi-stage production processes (i.e. those with consecutive staggered steps): this has been made possible by equipping the maXYmos TL (Top-Level System) and the maXYmos BL (Basic-Level System) with a sequencer mode, in the same way as the successful maXYmos NC. Practical tests have shown the convincing results of this innovation: thanks to the integrated sequence control offered by sequencer mode, complex test processes can be mapped with no need to rely on costly external PLC programming.
The programs can be set up quickly and easily with the help of the intuitive user interface on the touch display. These new refinements to maXYmos now mean that optimal cycle times can also be achieved for multi-stage processes, with maximum repeat accuracy.