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Using variant configuration for customer-specific series production

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When manufacturing complex products such as precision tools, the challenge usually lies in efficiently building up, organising and making the barely manageable dependencies and interactions available. Using the variant configuration in the company document, MAPAL can react quickly to customer requirements and ensure that a tool can be manufactured in the desired manner and at the planned cost.

​​​​​​​"The most important step is to ensure that all the characteristics that such a product can have are unambiguously, uniformly, completely and consistently evaluated", Moritz Mäurer specifies the challenge relating to higher-level master data management.

"In the past, entries had to be made entirely by hand – that was a process that took one to three days."

Efficient customer-specific series production

A variant configuration enables sales staff to specify the MAPAL standard tools in intermediate sizes. This makes it possible to configure variants with a diameter down to a thousandth of a millimetre, for example. There is no need to manually enter individual parameters as all other data can be derived based on rules. "In the past, entries had to be made entirely by hand – that was a process that took one to three days", as the Data Object Analyst remembers. "Today, employees can create their material variant with little effort and then get it back fully classified and configured in 30 seconds with a new material number." A work plan and parts list are automatically created in the background and an XLM file is created, so that the documents are later available in the e-shop, for example. According to Moritz Mäurer, there are also automatically generated 3D envelope contours for some series that customers can use for simulations on the machines. 
In a nutshell: if the automated configuration of fully classified material variants is possible with just a few inputs, then this is nothing less than a game changer. MAPAL thus succeeds in efficiently exploiting the opportunities of customer-specific series production.

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