A quarter-century innovative engineering
5. Mai 2017
2018 BINZ3 celebrates its 25th anniversary. In this quarter of the century, the engineering service provider has won a number of loyal customers among well-known manufacturing companies from various industries. The change in the focus of his activities also shows how industrial engineering has changed during this time under the influence of digitalization.
When Fabian Binz (photo Sendler) made the leap into independence at Gaggenau near Karlsruhe in 1993, his competitive advantage was the ability to work with highly professional 3D modeling. Everywhere, the industry gradually moved from drawing and 2D CAD to the volume model. At Binz - since 1999 BINZ3 GmbH - the companies were able to buy the competence project by project, which they had not yet. CATIA from Dassault Systèmes was considered one of the most advanced systems at this time. BINZ3 was a reference user of the vendor.
When looking back today, however, it was from the outset not just the technique of 3D CAD design, the creation of modern and comprehensible models that appealed to him. "In fact, we were always concerned about how to create completely new products with the latest technology and modern processes, and in this respect nothing has changed. But the focus has shifted from 3D modeling to product development and concept solution finding", he reveals with a self-confident smile. 3D modeling is now standard in almost every company. However, the specialists in South West Germany are by no means missing the orders. On the contrary, the 16-headed team around Fabian Binz is looking for new comrades for new tasks. Thereby it is self-evident that a whole range of hardware and software is available in the house. For CAD CATIAV5, Siemens NX, SolidWorks and Inventor, for simulation Siemens NX advanced simulation, CATIAFEM, CATIA kinematics, as databases Smarteam, Teamcenter and Vault.
Whether endoscopic surgery equipment or completely new elevators - the industry is also on the threshold to the internet of things dependent on small, flexible companies, which are technologically state-of-the-art and have no inhibitions against radically new ideas. A good example of this is the revolutionary elevator technology MULTI®, which thyssenkrupp will present in the new test tower in Rottweil later this year.
Revolution in the elevator
For 160 years, the elevator system has been based on the use of cable hoists, which hold, move and brake a cabin in a shaft. The rope is so massive that its own weight is already a critical size at a length of more than 500 meters. Not to mention the weight of the cabin to be added. This system is currently a clear frontier for construction, while material and architecture are now moving closer to the construction of higher towers. Today's technology also generally requires the planning of a lot of valuable space for the elevator shafts, and yet the waiting times before an elevator are usually longer than desired.
The new MULTI elevator system. A thyssenkrupp illustration.
A new idea was born at thyssenkrupp a few years ago, and BINZ3 played a decisive role in the predevelopment with solution concepts (8 patent applications). The MULTI lift does without any rope and works with linear motors, the technology of which thyssenkrupp has got the house into with the takeover of Transrapid. Independent of each other the cabins have their own drive.
A so-called Exchanger (the picture shows the function principle, picture thyssenkrupp) ensures that the cabin can also move laterally and reach another shaft. It is mounted on the rear wall of the cabin and allows the motor to rotate 90 degrees by means of an additional motor, drive and running rails.
In this way, more cabins can be accommodated in fewer shafts. The space requirements are reduced by up to 50%, the delivery rate increases by 50%, and the waiting time is a maximum of 15 to 30 seconds. There are new times. After successful and at the same time fast pre-development work, BINZ3 was also entrusted with the execution of some of the heart of the new system. This includes the Exchanger, and the engine for its rotation is based on the original concept from Gaggenau.
After the principle has changed fundamentally, similar to an electric car opposite one with an internal combustion engine, quite different priorities can now come to the fore. The weight is no longer required for safe friction, it should be avoided as far as possible. Lightweight construction is called for, because it promotes the performance of the new elevator. And the minimum size of the components and assemblies, as more space can be gained in the building this way.
Such challenges are the right thing for BINZ3. Fabian Binz: "Our specialists have already developed door-closing mechanisms with fiber composites in which the shaft doors can be moved simultaneously with the cabin doors with almost wafer-thin plates, and the engine designed to rotate the Exchangers need not even the depth of ten centimeters."
But with that we are still in pure engineering, and that is only part of the offered service. The "3" in the name stands not only for the third dimension, but also for the three disciplines, which must be reconciled in the course of a successful and efficient project at the same time: engineering, project management and communication.
Agile project management
Only if a development project is operated in such a way that the optimal result is achieved quickly and transparently for all participants, it is a successful project in the eyes of Fabian Binz. In this respect, he and his team have developed their own method, which has now become popular among its customers and has already changed a lot.
The web-based software used allows the roll-based access of all employees, but also especially of the customer, to the project data. It has been configured at BINZ3 in such a way that the standard ticket system now fits exactly for its services. The system certainly substitutes for what is otherwise regulated (usually to the annoyance of the participants) over the still common load and duty issues. The ticket includes the task including a description, the workspaces and the persons responsible.
From the responsibility of the designer to the content of each partial task, up to the approval by the project manager at BINZ3 or the customer, there is no hidden activity in the case of highly complex projects, which leads to an unexpected delay or increase in price.
Dr. Thomas Kuczera, in the new development team of thyssenkrupp manager of the mechanics development for the MULTI product line, calls this kind of project management at BINZ3, the communication via the internet, as a particularly attractive point of cooperation. By the way, the delivery note incurred after completion of the task is also omitted.
Project life cycle and documentation
However, the service provider is not limited to this web-based project management. Each participant has access to a further system, which also documents all the important steps, ideas and stages of a project and its subprojects. This means that every employee, as well as the customer, has access to sketches, Images and descriptions of problems and their solutions. This allows them, for example, to be used for communication with other parties or suppliers, since all information is stored and documented centrally in one system. Information can flow.
Out of the project documentation: sketches of types of drive (picture BINZ3)
This creates something that Fabian Binz describes as a project life cycle. From the initial idea or inquiry to the acceptance of a solution, everything is documented in such a way that even after years, nothing is lost, even if at a certain point for good reasons it had to go into the background or even was not validated as a possible solution.
The network behind the specialists
Communication is, of course, also a key element in this type of project organization. But there is much more for Fabian Binz. His specialists are never on their own.
Martin Krieg (left) and Sebastian Griesardt in the MULTI project (photo Binz)
At regular intervals, they sit at Gaggenau at the conference table, some others connected via web conference. Then all find out what has just been achieved in which project or where it gets stuck. And more importantly, the respective internal project manager is always ready to connect an employee with questions or for new or new ideas with the right person. Fabian Binz: "Ideas are getting bigger when you share them, so I see our mission mainly in providing and maintaining this network, and when customers see our dedicated staff, they must always have in their mind that this important network is behind them ."
Obviously, the "Binz principle", as the managing director expresses the operation of his company with good pride, works very well. The employees appreciate the freedom they enjoy here, coupled with a network that combines the latest methods and versatile expertise.