Published article in the magazine Uppfinnaren & Konstruktören nr 5/2013

Construction is often creative, but it also requires patience as repetitive tasks are piled up. With a 3D configurator, these can be eliminated so that you can focus on the real problems instead,” says Andreas B. Hallberg.

For a company to survive, its products need to be adapted to customers’ requirements. It is a well-known truth. This is often achieved by varying the design of the product to suit a particular need. It is of course gratifying when more customers come forward with new ideas, but it is not so much fun for the designer who has to work on modifying the same design over and over again. The number of design variants is growing and routine tasks are taking time away from what designers should be doing. Solving a real problem for the customer.

– “Many designers are civil engineers and their skills are at risk of not being fully utilized,” says Andreas B. Hallberg at KonfigDesign in Hudiksvall. They lose motivation if they are given monotonous tasks.

He argues that companies can lose competitiveness by not making use of the resources they actually have.

– They should be given more time for creative work and product development that can take the company forward with new products to maintain its position in today’s tough competition.

Freeing up time for the engineer

How to free the engineer from these monotonous tasks? As in other areas of industry, it is all about automation. Variant construction is suitable for automation and it can lead to a change in the way the company provides information. By connecting a 3D configurator to the CAD model, the work can be simplified, says Andreas. His company KonfigDesign markets RuleDesigner, a configurator from Italy.

The configurator works in such a way that it automatically performs modifications on the CAD model without the involvement of the engineer. By defining a number of conditions, a framework is created that governs the modification of the model. First, you need to decide which parameters to change and automate. If the model is complex with a variety of data, a study is often done to make the automation as efficient as possible.

The result is a web-based configurator that creates variant designs and generates accurate drawings. The engineer can thus devote himself to other much more demanding tasks. The manual handling of the model will be reduced.

RuleDesigner is available in different installations, a more comprehensive one covering a larger information need and a simpler one, RuleDesigner Express.

72 hours were saved

This saves time, says Andreas, telling of one company where printing a drawing took 18 seconds. Hundreds of drawings were printed per day and the seemingly short printing time became high given the large volume. After implementing RuleDesigner and using the configurator, the time to print dropped to two seconds per drawing.

– They saved 72 hours by automating the construction. That’s 72 hours you can spend doing something more productive.

This also eliminates waiting times, which can sometimes be long, so that the data reaches the production department more quickly and production can begin.

The information contained in a CAD model tends to be locked away in the design department and is not accessible to anyone else except as an unalterable pdf. If a seller needs a quotation drawing of a product, the designer must be consulted and the designer must have time to produce the drawing so that the seller can take it with him on the customer visit. If the designer is overloaded with work, the seller has to wait for his turn, which is unfortunate. But by combining the information in RuleDesigner with a business system, the seller can produce the drawing for the quotation himself.

– The seller can produce different quotes and propose several variants to the customer and give more suggestions that may appeal to the customer. Lead time is also shortened here.

Working with the configurator thus facilitates the work not only of the designer but also of the sales staff, who can use the information without mastering the design data. The information in the configurator is disseminated to sales, orders and finance and is no longer a matter for the designer alone but for the whole company.

Love Janson, Comwise

By automating construction, time can be spent on more demanding tasks, says Andreas B Hallberg

This is where the web application created with the RuleDesigner Configurator Editor is run. The result is visible in the background with a 3D model and generated drawing.