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Printing Machinery Company Adopts E3.series to Support Modular Product Platforms

Specialist print machinery company Müller Martini is adapting to meet the change in the printing world by helping their customers to deliver flexible products. This is reflected in the way they design new, modular products, partly made possible by flexible software such as E3.series.

In a visit to Müller Martini in Switzerland I had the pleasure of finding out what this all meant for their electrical engineering team.

Rise of customized print products

Mueller MartiniThe books and magazines you read are printed on huge machines, most likely from Swiss machinery specialist  Müller Martini. The rise of e-books and e-mags has forced print volumes to shrink, but the demand for different physical print copy is on the rise, calling for companies like  Müller Martini to be ever adaptable in offering customizable products, which in turn calls for their product design and manufacturing process to be flexible.

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape

Which is exactly what  Müller Martini has done by providing flexible customer specific machinery production solutions. To be flexible and competitive, calls for a company to embrace flexibility at the core of what they do in their design process. Customization often comes in the form of working with a catalogue of different options. And we all know that customization usually comes at a cost.

Modular design – managing options and variants

The ability to manage options and variants effectively, lies at the core of their flexible customised machinery offering. We talk about it a lot a Zuken, whether it’s in electrical or electronics design. We appreciate it’s fundamental to the design process of a vast amount of products, whether it’s machines like  Müller Martini, cars or consumer electronics. Being able to reuse design data in a controlled and tried and tested way, is smart and can be simple, but has the potential to cause a minefield of problems if not managed correctly. With modular design, comes the ability to partition designs and effectively manage options and variants.

Markus Husner, Head of Control Systems Technology

“The most important argument in favour of E3.series is its strength in the area of options and variants. Up to 80% of all our variants can now be represented in the feature tree of one single project.” Markus Husner, Head of Control Systems Technology at  Müller Martini.

Before E3.series the overhead of managing options and variants was high because, they used to copy existing projects, creating a new version for every new machine.

Now they go the opposite way, by filtering schematics from one single project and maintaining a master project, which remains 80% identical most of the time. With 20% implementing variants for different machines.

ECAD/MCAD integration and manufacturing outputs next

This is only part of the story,  Müller Martini are keen to improve their efficiency in other areas of the product development process using E3.series through:

  • Improved collaborative design through ECAD and MCAD integration with E3.series and their MCAD environment.
  • Generation of a wide range of manufacturing data direct from within E3.series
    • Connection to Komax wiring machine
    • Data for NC drilling and machining of panels and cabinets

This is all because  Müller Martini recognises that the increased effort in design enables cheaper and faster production.

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To learn more, you can read a full version of this story at: Müller Martini enhances variant and option handling and reduces manufacturing costs by moving to an object-oriented ECAD environment.

Written by

I have been in the PLM industry for more than 25 years (time flies), in various companies and in a variety of roles and functions - from regional marketing to program marketing; with a stint as a technical journalist and editor in between. At Zuken I’m responsible for marketing programmes and content development.

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