Real Time Individualisation

Automated production of individual designs

The configurator provides HARTING customers with a selection tool within a modular portfolio. It supports users in bringing together and coordinating the individual components so as to ensure that they are functionally and technically aligned and viable.

For designers, the customisation of a product by the supplier frequently entails higher process and product costs. In order to avoid time-consuming coordination, they fall back on catalogue products instead of customised components - and accept compromises in the process. Thanks to its consistent focus on digital product mapping, the configurator has become a self-service tool that addresses and solves precisely this challenge on the customer side.

At this point, customers take over the design of their connectors themselves, directly in the configurator – moving elements, making changes to the product independently and receiving visual feedback as to whether the changes made are technically/functionally viable. This extends well beyond simply compiling individual components. Users have the option of making design changes online, such as by adding new threaded holes, and ordering this new item as a standard product.

All this is possible due to the fact that HARTING has equipped this system with certain intelligence capabilities based on the digital twin. This means that product information is available to answer important questions in advance: What is the product and what is it capable of? What relationships does it have and where are the boundaries set for the product? The tasks of the supplier are to create high data quality as a foundation and to determine, beyond the object dependencies, which variations of the product are permissible within the engineering scope. Once the customer's selection process has been successfully completed, the article creation process is initiated following the order placement, including the generation of digital accompanying documents. This is performed fully automatically and based on the logic of the digital twin: the order is transmitted directly through to the machine that produces the article in the desired variant. Finally, in the background of this process, the corresponding manufacturer cost calculation and the algorithm relating to pricing are running.

In this case, the logic of the digital twin or the information of the data model is used for steering and controlling production, as well as for sales work and customer care. Automation eliminates the need for manual - and therefore time-consuming and inflexible - checking.

In order to provide customers with this digital product knowledge for their own development process and to render it usable outside of HARTING systems such as the configurator, HARTING is engaging in the IDTA (Industrial Digital Twin Association. The key goal: to make digital twins operational and usable across systems.

Thanks to the experience gained and the focus on product data quality, HARTING is able to set up more than 1000 products in the “AAS” IDTA format (Asset Administration Shell) and make them available to customers as downloads.