ABUS Kransysteme GmbH is one of the leading European overhead crane manufacturers with worldwide sales and service. The family-owned company, based in Gummersbach (Germany), has more than 850 employees. ABUS exports 50% of its products, which are manufactured at four domestic locations and are thus „Made in Germany“. The product range includes overhead cranes and hoisting equipment with a load capacity from 80kg to 120 tonnes as well as related services.
In 1986, ABUS had already attached importance to maximum flexibility, major openness and easy adjustments for engineering and opted for the then new AUCOTEC system ELCAD. By changing to Engineering Base (EB), the crane manufacturer now relies on continuity and on the latest developments to meet the vastly increased requirements of the product portfolio and need for standardisation at ABUS.
Database-driven variant handling saves time and errors
The series production with its high number of variants had so far meant that many of the standardised circuit diagrams as well as follow-up documents had to be manually updated or created in a very time-consuming manner. Additional sheets for optional crane functions also resulted sometimes in very confusing documentation.
With the configurator developed by ABUS, customised crane assemblies can be realised directly in production-adapted components and parts lists. „The database-driven aspect of EB eliminates the time-consuming manual editing of changes as well as additional plans for options“, explains Mike Ebert, project manager at ABUS, their decision in favour of EB. The platform automatically includes changes, which minimises errors.
„Full automation with EB was particularly convincing for us“, says the development engineer, who is also responsible for the company-wide introduction and support of software. „The individual adaptability due to VBA also makes the work very convenient and fast“, he says and emphasises that EB is also significantly easier to learn and manage.
In addition, EB is connected to the database-driven terminology management. As a result, the circuit diagrams speak the same language as all other technical texts and the parts master of the ABUS ERP system. „We can see a number of other options with EB“, adds Mike Ebert, who has already formulated his hopes in this respect. „I‘m sure that we can achieve even more in the future“, is his conclusion.