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15/06/2020

Boosting value creation via digital product data

A connector needs a digital twin, too
Timo Poggemöller
Timo Poggemöller
Teamleader Digital Product Service, HARTING Electric

HARTING provides customers with application-related data packages for its products that can be integrated into mechanical or electrical design software. The packages are tailored to the needs of customers. By using the manufacturer’s data, they can free highly qualified employees from performing routine tasks such as preparing parts lists or creating master data.

In order to advance the digitisation of their development processes, for example, mechanical engineers require the data for the components they use. This enables them to build digital twins for their machines. Digital twins are virtual images that accompany the product from development through production to commissioning and condition monitoring. Building such images requires the data that completely and correctly describes the components that are used and that comply with industry-standard formats and standards.

HARTING provides precisely such data packages for its connectors. The packages are prepared for design practice and can be seamlessly integrated into the customer's development systems. Users can use them to create digital twins of industrial connectors which then become an active component in the engineering of the overall product.

Interfaces on a E3 surface
Interfaces on a E3 surface

The virtual image offers mechanical engineers considerable advantages, since the functionality and effectiveness of new developments can be simulated in advance. Users can save time and money on complex test series. Digital twins are also helpful following commissioning and in the subsequent life cycle of machines. When compared with real process data and sensor data, they make it possible to record and evaluate actual operating states, e.g. in order to plan service calls.

Creating a digital twin requires a good foundation of master data and development data. This is where the component manufacturers come into play since they can provide the data for each individual component of a machine – and thus provide the basis for building higher-level virtual systems.

Seamlessly transfer interface data to your own development environment.

The digitisation of information is a means to an end here. It helps the component manufacturer and customer efficiently organise cooperation across the product life cycle of a machine. HARTING’s goal is to optimally support its customers right from the development process onwards. As a result, it provides its data consolidated in the formats that are processed by common development systems. These formats can be read directly into your own development environment including e.g. MCAD (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design) or ECAD (Electronic Computer-Aided Design) software, with no conversion required.

In addition to accuracy and readability, good data quality requires that the content can be found by the system in the right place and be used in the right moment in the production process. Thus, the Configurator is the central HARTING instrument for generating and making available data sets for industrial interfaces. The user can design the right connector for his application in the system - and then download a complete data package for integration into higher-level systems.

By automatically providing the design data of used components with this tool, mechanical engineering development departments can increase their efficiency by eliminating the need for time-consuming collection or manual creation of product data. Highly qualified employees gain time to concentrate on value-adding development activities.

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