Key info at a glance

  • Many companies use 3D data in CAD systems for their design work, but not in other departments. Sales and aftersales departments in particular can benefit from the advantages of 3D visualizations.

  • Digital spare parts catalogs with 3D data make it easier for customers and service technicians to identify spare parts, simplifying selection of the correct parts and accelerating the purchasing process.

  • With the right catalog software, 3D CAD data can be automated and used in a 3D spare parts catalog without the use of further systems.

What is a digital 3D spare parts catalog?

A digital spare parts catalog contains the same information as a printed catalog; however, unlike printed information, the digital content never becomes outdated. Digital catalogs also give you the option to display three-dimensional visualizations of spare parts or assemblies, in addition to 2D data.

A 3D catalog allows users to establish more quickly the shape and geometry of components or assemblies through interactions and identify more easily the spare part they need. Read more about the advantages of 3D data in the spare parts catalogue in our expert blog.

3D data is:

  • Informative
     
  • Interactive
     
  • Intuitive

3D data is the future of aftersales – and is not nearly used enough

The multi-dimensional views of spare parts are already available at most machinery and plant manufacturers: 90% of them design machinery, vehicles, appliances, or plant using CAD systems.

Yet very few companies make 3D data available to everyone; internal departments or customers usually do not have access to it. This leads to employees within the same company living in two separate worlds.

3D CAD data

Engineers and designers use 3D data in CAD systems for their day-to-day work, allowing them to coordinate developments more easily and detect installation problems more quickly.

Derived 2D data

Departments without CAD access, such as Technical Documentation, Support, or Aftersales, have to work with derived 2D graphics, which are often difficult for them to understand.

What is the problem with 2D data?

It is true that 2D data is indispensable in mechanical and plant engineering. However, there are disadvantages to its use in departments not so closely associated with design. Even just deriving 3D data costs a lot of time and money.

What’s more, working with 2D data is inefficient for non-engineers and can lead to misunderstandings.

 

Error-prone use of 2D data – an example:

A customer calls the Support team. They have a question about a specific part of a machine. The Support employee has difficulty in deciphering which part the customer is referring to using the 2D data available to them.

It would be much easier if the employee had the same perspective of the machine as the customer. 3D data make this possible, even giving you a look inside an assembly.

Why are 3D spare parts catalogs indispensable in aftersales?

Company-wide use of 3D data offers a multitude of potential for new business models, sales growth, and digitalizing your aftersales services.

Benefits of 3D spare parts catalogs

  • Quick, efficient, and simple use of 3D data in all relevant company departments
  • Intuitive to use for staff in internal departments and customers
  • High level of information content through digital interaction and visualization options
  • Automatically generated exploded diagrams and spare parts diagrams from 3D model data save time and money when creating catalogs and service documentation
  • Savings on additional licenses for CAD systems and training
  • Security mechanisms protect the valuable 3D data from being copied and re-engineered

 

3D spare parts catalogs don’t just bring advantages today. They can also potentially be expanded to form a service information system, which brings together information on parts in machines and plant from various source systems. In this way, 3D data not only makes operation easier, but it is also the key to turning things like predictive maintenance into reality.

How can a company use 3D data?

Employees and customers benefit from 3D data in spare parts catalogs and service information systems in different ways:

 

Technical writers

  • Independently create graphics from different angles
  • Produce animations for repair and installation instructions

     

Support employees

  • Identify parts in the customer’s machine from a 3D model
  • Reduce error rates through more precise identification
  • Increase customer satisfaction
     

Service technicians

  • Access the 3D data in the service information system while on the go to identify spare parts
  • Use interactive repair and installation instructions

Aftersales department

  • Identify the right spare parts quickly and easily
  • Reduce incorrect orders
  • Identify cross-selling and up-selling potential for the customer
  • Increase aftersales turnover

Customer advisers

  • Make machines, devices, and systems understandable and bring them to life using 3D visualizations
  • Facilitate the use of augmented reality and virtual reality

Your Customers

  • Directly access the 3D data relating to the machines and plant they use
  • Quickly and easily identify required spare parts
  • Order spare parts online
     

Other specific examples are described in more detail in our expert blog, for example, what the advantages of 3D data are for your e-commerce plans.

 

How leading machine and plant manufacturers use 3D data

Special machine manufacturer Komptech uses 3D data in its central information and service portal, enabling the company to improve its internal processes in the assembly, production, and service departments.

"CATALOGcreator® is used at Komptech as an information and service portal where we centrally maintain all information about our machines. What was originally intended as a benefit for our customers is now also internally an integral part of our work environment. The software solution is a tool that everybody likes to use. And this constantly improves our processes."

Stefan Gruber-Barowitsch | Head of Technical Documentation

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How does 3D data find its way out of the design department and across the company?

3D data from your CAD systems can be used to create a spare parts catalog in an automated or manual manner. It can also easily be used within the technical documentation department. Software solutions from Quanos offer a variety of solutions for this purpose:

  • Convert your 3D data to a lightweight format so that it can be used in other systems without losing relevant information.

  • The integrated display of 3D or 2D graphics created in an automated way appears in Quanos SIS.one, PARTS-PUBLISHER, or CATALOGcreator®. The visualizations can be used interactively regardless of which browser, platform, or device they are viewed on.

  • Individual components in the 3D illustrations are directly linked with the associated data in the parts list and integrated technical documentation.

This means existing 3D data is ultimately also available to other internal departments, without having to buy additional licenses or provide training on your CAD systems. You can decide what level of detail the 3D data in your spare parts catalog or service information system should have.

Three steps from 3D CAD data to a 3D spare parts catalog

Integrating 3D data into a digital spare parts catalog is easier than you might think. Only three steps are required:

 

1.

Convert the 3D data

2.

Edit the 3D data

3.

Publish the 3D data in the spare parts catalog

There are a variety of different technologies available to help with this process. The right one for you will depend on which CAD system your designers use and what requirements you have when it comes to editing the 3D data.

 

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Increased Revenue by Replacing 2D with 3D Data

Make the most of your 3D data every time - from design to aftersales

 

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Take your 3D data to the next level

Quanos offers tried-and-tested solutions and automated processes for using 3D data from your CAD systems in 3D spare parts catalogs and service information systems. Give your customers and internal departments a future-oriented, digital user experience, while saving yourself time and money.

 

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Consistent use of 3D data right through to aftersales

Trust in the expertise of Quanos to bring you success – find out how you can exploit the potential of your 3D data.

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Quanos is an industry partner for 3D spare parts catalog projects

We use our expertise to guide you through your 3D data project. We are a long-standing technology partner to suppliers of CAD and 3D software – such as Lattice Technology, Kisters, Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, and SolidWorks.

 

With our partners and our extensive set of tools, we have already delivered numerous successful 3D projects.

“Since we started using our 3D design data directly from Inventor to create our catalogs, we save around 280 hours a year, equivalent to one person’s monthly working hours.”

Helmut Schmid | Head of Service Hekuma GmbH

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