Product classification

The road towards configure-to-order



Engineer-to-order (ETO) and design-to-order (DTO) are derived from classic machinery and plant engineering and designate products, their assemblies and components that are largely designed and manufactured in compliance with specific customer orders. Configure-to-order (CTO) automates and accelerates the entire process provided that appropriate product structures and combination rules are in place.

No need to keep reinventing the wheel

Most components of a company take the form of derived variants or adjustments, and rarely involve genuinely new developments. However, lack of appropriate search criteria turns the search for existing identical or similar solutions into a time-consuming process; as a result, companies prefer to repeatedly create new parts and assemblies instead.

Modern parametric CAD systems can rapidly derive variants from a preconfigured CAD model, shortening the time required for mechanical design. However, each new iteration causes the number of variants, volume of master data and number of bills of materials to soar.

Searching for a strategy

A variety of strategies for standardization and multiple use can be employed to build synergies from existing solutions and standards:

  • Classic variant technology, based on parts families, characteristics and features for preferred use.
  • Platform technology, for multiple use of functional groups within a product family.
  • Modular technology, for multiple use of standardized functional groups across product families.

Curbing component proliferation

The art is to establish an efficient parts management system incorporating the mountain of existing data – in other words, to analyse the unchecked proliferation of parts data from past operations, clean up component lists, and improve product data quality by

  • Eliminating redundant data sets
  • Standardizing parts descriptions
  • Normalizing and completing data content

New visualisation and geometrical similarity methods can be used to analyse and compare CAD models. The results they deliver identify exactly what needs to be standardized, and how.

We have the tools and methods to deliver more CTO for your products. Make the most of our know-how to reduce component proliferation and establish an efficient parts management system.

Interested in finding out more?
Contact us!
Tel. +49 7244 947-100

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