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Online catalogue that provides designers with a time-saving tool kit
Published:  12 July, 2021

Festo has developed an award-winning online catalogue that provides designers with a time-saving tool kit and prepares the way for the creation of an Asset Administration Shell, or Digital Twin, for their machines.

Preparing technical data for incorporation into Asset Administration Shells will become increasingly important for designers in the future, but the ability to collate complex data quickly and accurately also has relevance today in responding to the pressures and constraints of working under lockdown and recovery conditions.

Festo has been building on its digital product catalogue using eCATALOGsolutions technology from CADENAS for many years. Its achievements were recently recognised when Festo was awarded the CADENAS Golden Catalogue Seal for its comprehensive digital 3D CAD product catalogue. The Golden Catalogue Seal has been awarded to only 24 out of more than 800 catalogues in the Strategic Parts Management PARTsolutions as well as the 3D CAD download portal PARTcommunity.

"Thanks to CADENAS' technology, we can offer our customers CAD data in multiple file formats for more than 33,000 products in several hundred thousand variants," says Jürgen Herr, Head of Customer CAD and Digital Media at Festo. "In addition to pure CAD geometry, we place great emphasis on kinematics functions, discontinuation information, eCLASS classifications, product-specific links to our product catalogue, and seamless integration into product configurators during the creation process. As a result, we support our customers with consistent and high-quality CAD data even in the early stages of product selection and design."

Error-free product selection

The Festo online catalogue integrates a product configurator, automatic 2D dimensioning for CAD components, and product data in at least three languages. These features are independently checked by the CADENAS quality assurance department. Intuitive configurators facilitate product selection in addition to providing intelligent 3D CAD models as digital twins in over 150 common native and neutral CAD formats.

 Engineers and designers can select their Festo components easily and quickly, while the software copes with the immense number of variants to combine them. For example, the Festo 3D Design Tool supports the assembly of sub-systems such as actuator + mountings + sensors + flow controls quickly and reliably with no chance of errors.

For standard part number components this eases a repetitive, time consuming task.  For complex configurable assemblies it is all too easy to make mistakes that historically required correction in multiple locations e.g. CAD drawings, fluid-power circuit diagrams, general assembly drawings etc. The catalogue software supports systems such as customised air preparation systems, multi-module electro-pneumatic valve terminals and complete 3-axis cartesian handling systems. 

Compiling technical documentation files is equally simple and error-free, whether the design involves off-the-shelf standard components or complex configurable sub-systems. This saves many hours or even days of time by bringing all the required data together in a digital, error-free format. Providing digital data in a standard semantic format lays the foundation for incorporation into an Asset Administration Shell the kernel of a Digital Twin.