To combine the automatic generation of drawings and mechanical calculations in one system and thus accelerate the handling processes. To automatically provide customer documentation, production drawings, parts lists and calculation logs directly after configuration. To have interfaces to external calculation programs and ERP and continue to use the existing sales configurator.
customX complements the existing configurator by using numerous data from the first sales phase to automatically perform calculations or have them performed by other programs and exchange data with the ERP system. The result is an individually adapted fan with complete documentation, ready for manufacturing.
Through the introduction of customX, comprehensive process improvements and significant qualitative improvements of the documents for sales and production could be realized. As customX works in the background, the sales staff did not have to get used to a new system.
- The main advantage of implementing customX is the extensive process improvement, especially in the internal order processing.
Turbine fast configuration
TLT-Turbo GmbH, located in Zweibrücken, Germany, has dealt with ventilation technology for more than 175 years and is one of the world’s market leaders for technology-driven industrial fans. The principle is very simple – air or other gases have to be moved from one place to another. But the possible applications and the detailed requirements are extremely diverse. This results in countless variation possibilities and an immense engineering effort, which is today automated by the configuration software customX for product variants.
Highly Complex Products
TLT develops, produces and sells high-performance radial and axial fans for diverse application areas such as power plants, the steel industry or the chemical industry. The range of variants is wide – therefore TLT uses configuration software for the selection of the fans, which is handled by the Sales Department as well as distribution partners worldwide. In the industrial field, where nearly every fan differs from the others, many comprehensive calculations are necessary. TLT was therefore looking for a tool which would combine the automatic generation of drawings with the mechanical calculations. They found an innovative and process-oriented solution right back in 2003. With customX it was also possible to continue to use the sales configurator that had been implemented earlier. customX runs in the background so that the salesmen can always work on the same surface. TLT uses customX for radial fans in the industrial field.
At TLT, a typical project starts with a customer’s requirements – the customer specifies the required volume and the pressure rise that has to be attained, as well as further limiting conditions such as gas temperature, dust exposure and operation site. In principle, these demands can be met by many machines, but because of the complexity, the ideal fan cannot be calculated in advance. So the salesman collects the data and types the details into the product configuration software. It does the aerodynamic configuration, where wheel and housing combinations are defined which meet the requirements according to characteristic curves. The salesman then chooses one of these combinations.
All the processes so far run in the long-established product configuration system. But now customX starts working: the configuration system transfers about 120 variables to customX, which then defines all the components of the machine. customX automatically varies values such as materials, blades, hub, cover plate, and thickness of the sheets until a machine is formed that fulfills the requirements – checked by an automatic test calculation. At the end, form and dimension of the fan, the materials and a rough calculation have been determined. If this machine is too expensive, the process is started again with another of the preselected machines. The whole process for defining the complete fan with all its components only lasts a few minutes.
Generation of documents
At the push of a button, customX now automatically generates all the necessary documents such as production drawings of the rotating parts, parts lists, calculation reports for wheel and mounting, critical speed, etc.
customX works completely in the background. It is the ideal solution for TLT as it runs without its own surface and has interfaces to the ERP-system and numerous calculation programmes.
Important for TLT concerning the introduction of customX were its numerous features. It is the market leader with respect to generating drawings and optimally completing the existing configuration software. In the previous programme the extensive construction rules could only be recorded using individual programming.
Due to the complex product portfolio of TLT, customX is constantly developed further. This leads to an intense and very positive cooperation between TLT and customX.
"The main advantage of implementing customX is the extensive process improvement, especially in the internal order processing. In Sales we clearly notice the improvement in the quality of the documents – they are much more detailed and contain noticeably more information. We get a very good dimensional drawing in this early phase and later absolutely correct production drawings." (Hartmut Brandau, CEO of TLT Turbo)