At the end of November Nuremberg again played host to the annual industrial automation fair, now in its 28th year. The exhibition, which attracted more than 70,000 showgoers, was the largest SPS IPC Drives to date. It was also a significant event for Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik, as the Beckum-based automation specialists were teaming up with SMS digital GmbH, the SMS group GmbH and case-team GmbH to present the CADUNITY cooperation project to the public for the very first time. CADUNITY has been developed as an online marketplace for standardised electronic product data. From early 2018, engineers and designers will be able to trade, buy or sell high-grade, field-tested ECAD data on technical components via a virtual sharing platform.
What sets this system apart is that all construction data handled by CADUNITY have a uniform, superordinated design standard and a guaranteed high data quality. One of the key features is that the data can be processed directly by any ECAD software without undergoing any further adaptation. For electrotechnical designers, such as switchgear manufacturers, this is a crucial prerequisite when it comes to digitising their value-creation chain right down the line – from basic engineering (configuring) and detail engineering (generating and designing) through to production and after-sales service.
Thomas Hagemann, head of innovation process management at Blumenbecker Automatisierungstechnik, is certain of one thing: 'Thanks to CADUNITY the communication and interface problems that still often bedevil suppliers, manufacturers and customers will soon be a thing of the past'. The aim is to expand the sharing platform into a large, living digital community. And in that respect the very encouraging response obtained at SPS IPC Drives 2017 can be seen as an important first step in this direction.