Automating CAD data integration in manufacturing
A configuration solution that Cideon designed for a leading material flow supplier has proved very popular with customers. Why is that?
Lisse: First of all, because it’s very simple and works extremely fast. Customers order roller conveyors via the website. They enter the length, width and height, along with the conveying speed and throughput, and specify angles for changes in direction.
What happens behind the scenes with the data entered?
We use this specification as a basis for the automated generation of CAD data that is used for the quote and the manufacturing process. It takes just five minutes to create the 3D geometry and present it to the customer, who can try out the component’s product twin and determine whether it fits into their scheme. The quote is sent within an hour. The entire process used to take around two weeks or more, so this is a huge advantage in terms of performance.
Figuratively speaking, the finished product twins pour out of the configurator. Why is the process so fast now?
We use a variety of solutions to achieve this – the appropriate CAD system and the associated design guidelines. Obviously, the CAD models need to be specially prepared prior to the configurator’s go-live so they can be automated and restrict the variation pattern to key applications. The data generated is automatically transferred to the logistics systems so it they can be used for the downstream processes.
After the dry-run and the customer is satisfied and places an order. What happens then?
The data can then be passed on directly to manufacturing at the push of a button. After all, complete 3D models are available that can be used as a basis for drawings and the automated generation of CAM data.
What used to be different?
Almost everything. On receiving the request for a quotation, someone or other copied an existing project and worked on the design until it met the customer’s requirements. Quotation drawings were then prepared as a basis for the costings and, ultimately, the quotation itself, which was sent to the customer along with the drawings.
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