One-time design, many times use
A research establishment with a rich tradition is designing using Engineering Base
The Plastics Center in Leipzig (Kunststoff-Zentrum, KUZ) has been established for over 50 years. Initially founded as the “Zentrallaboratorium für Plastverarbeitung” (“Central Laboratory for Plastics Processing”), today it is a not-for-profit research establishment. The focus of its research has remained the same throughout this time: Plastics processing. This includes both practical research projects and initial and further training for enterprises and universities. Many companies working in the sector base their developments on findings by the teams in Leipzig. These involve innovative and application-ready solutions for process engineering, tool engineering, joint engineering and testing technology.
„The overview has improved significantly with EB, and we can now reuse components that have been devised.“
For a special project looking into the micro-structuring of plastic surfaces, the full project design (including e-design) of an ultra-precise influencing parameter recording device was being handled at the KUZ. However, the available CAD systems were not suitable for e-engineering. In the past, this aspect of the work was solved using simple drawing, or outsourced for more complex projects. But the Leipzig researchers needed greater flexibility for special solutions, particularly with future challenges in mind. The intention is to have devices that have previously been designed comprehensibly available and reusable for upcoming projects.
“Even in the test version, we found it easy to work with Engineering Base (EB) using an intuitive approach," explains Stefan Lehmann, expert in PM & CT engineering at the KUZ. Following a short induction period (MS Visio was already a familiar program), the benefits of EB readily became apparent: These include the open data structure, macros to simplify frequently-repeating work stages, maintaining own shapes or adding new devices straightforwardly to the catalog.
“The overview has improved significantly, and we can now reuse components that have been devised, with total ease,” enthuses Lehmann. “It’s particularly helpful to have the option to arrange files within the object hierarchy of a device. The data sheets can be stored easily and called up at any time," adds the e-CAE expert. He also emphasizes how the many assistants make it simple to use.
When it comes to plans for the future using Engineering Base, Stefan Lehmann comments: “Our next aim is to drive forward the linking with M-CAD and integrating control cabinet construction. EB offers great prospects for that. And the next tooling project is already planned.”