Spotlight on digital integration

The importance of the digital twin for sales

When it comes to the sales activities of HARTING, the various perspectives mentioned at the beginning of this issue are particularly valid: in this subdomain of ​value creation, we are users, producers and enablers of the digital twin.

On the one hand, we use the digital twin of our own products: to support the customer in the selection and configuration process, we store the digital twin in configurators and other digital tools. We also consider visual feedback to ensure that they make the right choice in this process; a complete interface is, after all, assembled from individual components. As there could be restrictions on the technical side – components may not fit together – we guarantee correct configuration via the object dependencies in this context.

On the other hand, we are also producers of digital twins: in the context of Product Lifecycle Management, we establish certain processes from defined data sources that represent the complete scope and all the object dependencies in a way that is ideally fully automated. We then make this data available to our customer.

Finally, we are also “enablers” when it comes to the digital twin: as a provider of digital twins for our customers in aspects associated with the purchasing process. The customer receives our data packages right at the beginning of the selection process or they are made available for downloading. This provides customers with significant advantages in their own development and follow-up processes. We enable our customers to complete their projects faster, to make decisions more rapidly and to continue working seamlessly on their processes.

With regard to the actual provision of the digital twin, it is also important for us as a provider to ensure access to the digital twin via various sources. In concrete terms, what this means is that if the customer has decided to move forward with product selection of a HARTING product – be it via an online configurator or via external providers and partners such as Cadenas, Zuken, Eplan, etc. – then as the provider, we must ensure that the digital twin can also be accessed in its customary data quality. For this reason, we are working on building interfaces with external databases and on harmonising publication processes.

From a sales perspective, one thing is clear: as a provider and enabler of digital twins, we have to deliver for the customer when and where our expertise is required in the development process. This means providing customers with all the data they need to eliminate as many obstacles as possible from an early stage.