As a company that prides itself on innovation, Zoller + Fröhlich (Z+F) puts a strong emphasis on close contact to customers, business partners and users to develop solutions that extend possible applications, improve quality and streamline workflows.
“Maintaining a leading position as a medium-sized company internationally is quite a challenging task. But our company offers excellent conditions to meet customer requirements by nurturing innovative developments,” said Christoph Fröhlich, CEO of Z+F.
Feedback and demands from users are often the basis for new developments and are closely linked to the research and development of all products. One such example, for the company’s 3D laser scanning portfolio, is the rollout of Z+F’s unique ‘Blue Workflow’ solution, which was realised through close collaboration with users and real world applications.
Acknowledging that time in the field capturing data could be better utilised, Z+F set about designing a system that would enable users to complete the scan registration process during the scan rather than back in the office afterwards. This approach solved two problems often encountered with laser scanning technology: firstly, making use of the time waiting for the instrument to complete scans; and secondly, reducing the risk of incomplete datasets by analysing the results as the scanner works.
Z+F’s Blue Workflow enables the scanner operator to verify data and target quality, find and fill any gaps with more scans and automatically register each scan before they pack up the laser and head back to the office. With full confidence of returning to his or her desk with a complete dataset, time in the office is also more productive and can be spent on other tasks.
Aside from the software and workflow innovations, Z+F puts a high emphasis on rigorous quality control and instrument testing to offer customers reliable products. Z+F’s state-of-the-art calibration facility for 3D laser scanners ensures high accuracy and precise measurements as a result. Innovations for customers further afield such as the setup of an Australian ‘calibration check’ facility with local distributor Position Partners, ensure exceptional after sales service and a reduction in service turnaround times.
Position Partners employees have completed training in Germany with Z+F engineers and, in what’s believed to be an industry first for the Australasian market, all customers that purchase either a 5010X or 5016 laser scanner will be offered a free ticket to attend product training at Z+F’s headquarters, with flights and accommodation included.
“A company’s success is not defined by the effort of a single person or department. It is rather the collaboration of the entire team with external partners and users, which make innovative solutions possible. We are indeed very fortunate to have a skilled staff along with reliable partners – basically an unbeatable connection,” Mr Fröhlich added.
The latest addition to Z+F’s laser scanning portfolio is the 5016: a scanner with a smaller form factor, longer range and exceptional data clarity. Viewed for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere at the recent Locate17 conference, the new model offers an extended 360-metre range and 360 x 320 degree field of view to enable precision scanning over large areas, whilst minimising the number of required scan positions.
Capturing more than one million points per second, the 5016 offers the same high quality scans and the unique in-field registration capability first introduced with the 5010X model. This ‘Blue Workflow’ involves an optimised surveying and data processing solution that enables users to register, check, edit and evaluate point cloud data in the field, whilst scanning. With automatic registration, this workflow ensures better data and target quality, more comprehensive data sets and more efficient use of field and office time.
Position Partners’ newly appointed Product Manager – Scanning Systems, Paul Malatzky, commented on the new model’s performance. “Z+F enjoys a great reputation for high quality 3D laser scanners for good reason, and the new 5016 model won’t disappoint. It’s small form factor and user-friendly workflow make it enjoyable to use, whilst also delivering tangible benefits in terms of time saving and data set clarity.”
“As you would expect from an industry-leading instrument, it also comes with all the bells and whistles such as built-in GNSS, IMU and HDR camera so that it can handle a wide range of tasks and applications,” he added. “Handy features such as integrated LED spots and rapid picture capturing also save time in the field by eliminating the need for external light sources and reducing a full panoramic image set capture to three and a half minutes – an industry best.”
A history of innovation
In 1963, schoolmates Hans Zoller and Hans Fröhlich started working together and their first project was the conception and successful realisation of individual control systems in a former coal cellar. From the outset, the electrical engineering company has put a strong emphasis on promoting innovation, developing new ideas and pioneering creative solutions. It has always had a straight forward-looking philosophy which is based on a solid educational foundation.
In 1966, the company moved to new offices in Wangen/Allgäu in Germany’s South East, close to the Swiss and Austrian borders. To this day, the building remains Zoller + Fröhlich’s headquarters. In 1969, building switch cabinets led to the company’s invention of insulated wire end ferrules, a technology that is used all over the world for solderless connections in wire housing. The company continues to manufacture and service these products from its Wangen headquarters.
When Mr Christoph Fröhlich joined the company in the 1990s, Z+F’s entry into industrial measurement solutions was born. His PhD thesis was the foundation for developing the company’s first rail and tunnel measurement system and in 1996 the first optical 3D laser measurement system to document as-built conditions was ready for market. In 1998, this laser radar was awarded the innovation prize of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the “Dr.-Rudolf-Eberle-Prize”. Today Zoller + Fröhlich is amongst the leading enterprises in the field of non-contact laser measurement technology. Due to years of research, development and numerous successful projects in a wide variety of applications, Z+F is the forerunner in this field with a high degree of knowledge, experience and success.
Z+F operates globally and cooperates with distributors in more than 40 countries, with all products developed and manufactured exclusively in Germany. There are also permanent subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and the United States. Recently, Z+F announced a distribution agreement with geospatial solutions provider Position Partners for Australia and New Zealand.
“Z+F has a reputation for delivering industry-leading solutions that are innovative, reliable and highly accurate,” said Martin Nix, Position Partners CEO.
“We are delighted to partner with a company that shares our passion for pioneering a better way and we look forward to offering customers the very best when it comes to 3D laser scanning technology that is backed by our extensive technical expertise and local support,” he added.