- Industry Trends
Hekuma GmbH, a member of the elexis group of companies, is a global market leader in the production of automation systems for injection moulding machines. The company‘s headquarters are situated in Eching near Munich, Germany. Hekuma supplies its customers with tailor-made solutions and has developed standard systems in many different industries (e.g. medical technology, pharmaceutics, electrical engineering, automotive, packaging and consumer goods) that satisfy the most stringent of requirements.
Hekuma is one of the first companies in Germany to produce machine-specific spare parts catalogs with integrated 3D illustrations for its service technicians and customers. The catalogues are generated directly from the company’s own CAD system, Inventor, and transferred to CD. A web-based solution is also in the pipeline.
Having spent several months evaluating the various software solutions on the market for electronic spare parts catalogs with 3D integration, Hekuma opted for PARTS-PUBLISHER of Docware. The main factors that swung the decision in favour of PARTS-PUBLISHER were the optimised workflow in the generation of catalogs and the impressive 3D functionality of the catalog viewer.
PARTS-PUBLISHER is a standard software package that can be used to automatically create spare parts catalogs for print, CD or Internet publishing in a single-source process. For the graphical representation of modules, 2D data can be shown as, for example, SVG, CGM or TIFF files. To display 3D data the catalog software includes XVL Viewer from Lattice Technology et al.
All the data provided in Hekuma’s machinespecific spare parts catalogs, both drawings and parts list data, is generated directly from Inventor and then imported into PARTS-PUBLISHER’s catalog database for automatic production of the catalogs. At the touch of a button, parts lists can be extracted from the original 3D design data, exported as Excel files and then imported into the catalog database. 3D drawings are imported into the PARTS-PUBLISHER database in the new 3D format XVL.
The 3D data generated with Inventor is converted into XVL format using a XVL Converter plug-in (Lattice Technology) at the Inventor workstation. This process allows the user to generate XVL models at the touch of a button even without specialist knowledge. XVL Converters are available for all standard CAD systems and also for neutral formats such as IGES, VRML and ParaSolid.
The advantage of XVL is that it enables 3D models to be compressed to less than 1% of their original size with virtually no loss of data. For example, a 3D model generated with Inventor with an original size of 18 MB is converted into an XVL file of just 317 KB within just 54 seconds.
3D representations and animations can be generated with the XVL editing tool XVL Studio (Lattice Technology). This tool allows you to edit object structures, move elements, rotate and resize, modify characteristics such as material, colour and pattern, and change the angle of viewing or lighting. You can also make cuts, enter dimensions or add comments. As well as static representations, there is also an interactive tool for creating animations.
With just a few clicks, PARTS-PUBLISHER Workbench automatically links the drawings and parts lists in the catalog database and prepares them for cross media publishing on CD, internet or paper.
Docware GmbH has fully integrated the XVL Viewer from Lattice Technology into the PARTS-PUBLISHER catalog software. This free 3D viewer is supplied along with every 3D catalog CD generated with PARTS-PUBLISHER, allowing the end user to view a catalog’s XVL data (including animations) on any PC with a Windows operating system. The viewer offers many different display functions enabling a wide range of interactive options.
The 3D technology used in the spare parts catalogs also benefits Hekuma’s service technicians and customers. The 3D models clearly illustrate the structure, position and exact appearance of Hekuma machines, individual assemblies and parts. The models and their components can be pivoted, rotated and viewed from different angles. The zoom function allows you to zoom in and out on models or assemblies. Selected parts can be displayed in an additional detail window. Even here the view on the selected part can be changed interactively. Transparent mode gives you the option of viewing the internal workings of the machine or assembly. Other controls are also available for making components and display elements visible. These controls can be used to select various colour mapping views and a variety of shading styles, including wireframe, hidden line, shaded and textured.
Hekuma received a lot of positive feedback on its 3D spare parts catalogs. Catalog users praise the fact that the CD version is easy to use and requires no installation. The optimised presentation of the contents, the interactive features and the option of ordering spare parts direct from the CD catalog are also highly rated.
Using conventional methods, 3D CAD data needs to be converted into perspective illustrations in what is a time-consuming process, but with PARTS-PUBLISHER and XVL technology it can be imported straight into the catalog. The integrated 3D illustrations improve the quality, clarity and information content of spare parts catalogs.