Bühler AG: Deploys Innovative Equipment Configurator

San Jose / CA. (dpi) Design Power Inc., a company dedicated to bringing to a larger audience the power of knowledge-based engineering, announced that it has entered into a multi-year Design++ license and maintenance agreement with Swiss Bühler AG to facilitate Bühler’s world-wide deployment of its Equipment Configurator.

Buhler AG, a leading industrial process and technologies provider for the food and feed manufacturing industries, contributes significantly to feeding the world’s population with a focus on food security and safety. Global producers and processors of wheat, corn, rice, pasta, cereals, cocoa, and coffee rely heavily on Bühler. In 2017, Bühler’s 11’000 employees in over 140 countries generated a turnover of CHF 2.7 billion. As a globally active Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is particularly committed to sustainability.

The breadth and depth of Bühler’s technology has produced hundreds of machine types that can be delivered to meet the needs of Bühler customers. Each machine type has many inter-dependent options that need to be represented both in a logical configuration and as a set of 3D design elements in CAD to produce a design for a customer.

Bühler saw a way to create efficiencies that would have significant customer impact and selected Design Power’s Design++ technology to take machine standardization beyond paper questionnaires and 2D drawings to an integrated configuration system that would speed design creation and improve accuracy. The resulting Bühler Equipment Configurator provides consistent value by

  • codifying standardization,
  • accelerating design,
  • minimizing mistakes, and
  • reducing data re-entry.

Equipment Configurator

Bühler Equipment Configurator provides industry-specific expertise with assemble-to-order machines. It interfaces directly with Bühler’s ERP system for automatic ordering. The result is greater efficiencies and time savings for Bühler. Mitja Sostaric, Head of Engineering Tools and Data Management Group, has observed that «With the introduction of Equipment Configurator, the standardization of the machines has been advanced and the whole process from configuration to ordering has been significantly improved. Another positive effect is that users are guided by the tool, which has massively improved both speed and quality».

Dr. H. Craig Howard is the software architect for Equipment Configurator. Dr. Howard observes that «Design++» provides flexible change management that enables dynamic machine and system configuration. Even the interactive creation of the rule bases is managed dynamically, providing for rapid development of new machines and easy extension of existing machines».

Design++ provides a robust foundation for Equipment Configurator, supporting tens of thousands of machine and system rules. Also, Design++ has a very open architecture, supporting Equipment Configurator in communications with AutoCAD, databases, .NET user interfaces, and other custom applications.

Tapio Karras, Design Power President + CEO, points out that «Bühler Equipment Configurator is a perfect example of an application benefiting from Design++ and its support of configuration, engineering calculations, change management, and 3D geometry for large-scale systems. Bühler and its users are now reaping the rewards from the resulting application».

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