In Design and Sales Automation, we use numerous solutions from Lino and Tacton – and plan even more. Therefore, the DSAK is an exciting opportunity for us to learn more about innovations and to exchange ideas with the experts.

Marcel Haas, Project Manager Automated Design / Development Department, GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG, Niedernhall-Waldzimmern, Germany

DSAK 2019 – Experience the Lino® 3D configuration solution live!


Almost 110 users and industry experts were attracted to the Design & Sales Automation Conference on 22 and 23 May at the Dorint Pallas Hotel in Wiesbaden. On both days, the experts exchanged ideas about innovative approaches in Sales, Design and Production Automation and learned news about the Lino® 3D Configuration Solution.

The Design & Sales Automation Conference of Lino GmbH has long been a fixture in the annual calendar of many users. The participants are attracted by the personal and intensive exchange between consultants, developers and users. This year, too, there was plenty of opportunity for informative face-to-face meetings. In addition, the event offered a small anniversary: For the tenth time, the Mainzer software company invited to an international user conference to inform about new and further developments. One focus of DSAK 2019 was the Lino® 3D Configuration Solution for Design and Sales Automation.

From Users – For Users

When experienced practitioners report on their productive use, valuable insights are gained for all participants: alternative use scenarios or problem-solving approaches and inspiration for further optimisation. At DSAK 2019, Matthias Bachmann, Project Manager Product Configuration at Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH, spoke about ways to automate the preparation of quotations. So far, the quotation process for the highly specialized products has only been supported by a rudimentary set of rules in the ERP system and a customer questionnaire. As a result, systems breakages occur and – after a lot of manual work – there are quotation times of two to four weeks.

That’s about to change: In future, Wangen’s sales staff will be able to precisely query the requirements via rule-based interviews and transfer them directly to a suitable configuration. With the combination of Tacton Sales Automation and Design Automation, the finished quotation including drawings, price and delivery time will be available within hours. Wangen Pumpen and Lino are currently in an advanced project phase.

Integration of Product Data Management systems

The lecture by Marcel Haas, the Project Manager for Automated Design at GEMÜ GmbH, addressed another challenge. The manufacturer of valve, measurement and control systems offers standard products made up of modular components as well as customer-specific solutions, which will be supplemented by standard components. GEMÜ uses the configuration tool Tacton Sales Automation to handle the large variety of variants. However, until now there has been no interface that provides a high-performance link to Product Data Management during configuration. With Lino partner keytech Software and Lino® PDM pro, this gap is now closed. The combination ensures a simpler and faster administration, for example by avoiding duplicates, versioning CAD documents and loading standard components directly into the Tacton configuration – all automated.

Tacton models need ” proper ” CAD data

Braunschweigische Maschinenbauanstalt AG has long established its cooperation with Lino and the configuration via Tacton Design Automation and Tacton Sales Automation: The sugar manufacturing experts were able to shorten the bidding process from four weeks to around one day with the help of Solidworks® add-ins. At the DSAK, Christian Wrege, designer and CAD Administrator, reported on his previous experience and the implementation of the software. He recommended, for example, to keep the big goal in mind during the introduction – but to always proceed in small steps on the way there and to select individual, manageable products. It is also important not only to train the employees, but also to ensure that they use the software right from the start. And finally: Only ” proper ” CAD data of the construction form the basis for valuable Tacton models. Sales benefit from meaningful 3D models in discussions with customers and production from secure feasibility.

The future with Lino partners

The experts from the Lino universe occupy a central place at the DSAK: long-standing partner companies as well as their own consultants and developers. Patrik Östberg, Vice President Product Management at Tacton Systems AB, spoke about the possibilities of using Tacton to link previously separate divisions. For Östberg, CRM, ERP and PLM are essential. With the CPQ solution from Tacton, new connections can be realized. For even greater permeability, Tacton CPQ will continue to develop into a cloud solution in the future. One advantage: using APIs for Salesforce or other CRM systems, sales can integrate information from customer relationship management into Tacton CPQ and provide better advice. Ultimately, the focus is on customer orientation. This is because decentralized value chains, in which consistent information is available, facilitate and accelerate individualized products. This is the only way to bring innovations and a high degree of variability to the market quickly.

At the DSAK, many participants expect interesting reports on new and further developments from the “Software Made by Lino®” portfolio. Jan Jurjen Zwaard, Solidworks® Expert and Managing Director at Studio Zwaard, fulfilled hopes with a sneak preview of the Lino® Simplifier: “This is a plug-in for Solidworks® that automatically generates simplified CAD models. The benefits are obvious: With the simplification, performance rises sharply – especially in web use and virtual reality. The extremely small files are quick to load and model and contain all relevant information. In addition, the models can be presented to the public or to the customer without revealing critical details. Innovations and intellectual property are thus optimally protected. The Lino® Simplifier is flexible – with a variable degree of simplification and the option of combining simplified and complex parts in a Solidworks® model. The plug-in is currently in the beta phase and is scheduled for release in the course of the year.

The DSAK was a good opportunity to get a personal picture of Lino. As a user of the Tacton Configurator, it is always interesting to see how Lino extends the Tacton capabilities with its own solutions. Especially the Lino® System Configuration can simplify a lot and is very exciting for us.

Peter Meelis, Lead Standardization Engineer, Intralox L.L.C. Europe, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

With Software Made by Lino® a more lively web

The Lino team demonstrated two complementary innovations in the area of web configuration, presentation and quotation creation: The first was Lino® Viewer, the online solution for virtual reality and the product design tool Lino® 3D web. Lino® Viewer can not only control VR glasses fluidly, but also output via a PC screen is now possible – active or in viewer mode. In order to make the VR experience and especially performant and usable, the second innovation works in the background: Lino® MR Exporter, an add-in for Solidworks®. The software prepares Solidworks® data in such a way that – depending on requirements – an optimal ratio between performance and richness of detail is offered. And with Lino® Exporter, configuration changes can also be implemented in real time.

The conference topics received even more news about Lino® 3D web. The recently released version Lino® 3D web 2.5 now also supports the use of Solidworks® Parts; it allows to describe material properties and surfaces more variably or to export and edit information about decals from the Solidworks® model. Behind this is the new ability to perform administrative functions via Tacton Design Automation connections. In the Viewer, users can also use the revised plug-in to take screenshots of the visualization and integrate them into the product documentation.

With the launch of Lino® Extended Pack&Go, DSAK 2019 responded to the challenges of sharing Tacton models. Creating them is a complex process that requires access to numerous references: Solidworks® models, sub-models (includes), exchange models or even external files. With erroneous references or moved or renamed files, it could be complicated or even impossible to collect and share the associated data with the previous means. The new Lino® Extended Pack&Go helps to repair references, collect and organize all required files and thus export independent, functioning models.

Automated in product and plant planning

The Tacton Configurator is a powerful tool for customizing complex products and machines. However, it is not always possible to think ahead and map all possible combinations in the set of rules. In addition, there are often separately defined sets of rules for different assemblies or systems and a distributed dependency on them. The Lino® System Configuration, presented at the DSAK, solves such configuration problems in interdisciplinary product and system planning: individually defined sets of rules can be transferred and controlled into a dynamic overall set of rules via the plug-in. As a result, the user receives an overall model called a joined model, in which the configuration takes place – and with each saving, any states are transferred to the individual models.

Tacton Design Automation provides rule-based automation of design processes in Solidworks®. The add-in is now available in version 4.11 and includes functional and administrative changes: Users can now read in file properties in order to adapt the set of rules via the configuration in the event of user-defined changes. The handling of Included Context has also been optimized by being able to adopt the part tree and mappings. And finally: It is now possible to switch between absolute and relative file paths during mapping.

With Lino® 3D layout, the tool for rule-based 3D layout planning, users can expect a leaner software design in the future that works even better with very complex layouts and offers responsive flexibility on different devices. In addition, an additional layouting client was announced, which maps the digital twin to Solidworks® and is much more powerful than Solidworks®.

Try out and open your eyes for the VR show

DSAK is known for the fact that its participants can not only listen to lectures, presentations and panel discussions, but also try out many solutions themselves. The opportunity was offered by the much-visited hands-on workshops, where the interaction of Solidworks® and Tacton Design Automation could be experienced, or the intuitive and automated project planning of plants with Lino® 3D layout. The VR show certainly provided a special experience: visitors could bring their own CAD model – a real assembly, machine or production line – and view it in virtual, three-dimensional reality. For some visitors, it was a surprising highlight to see the self-created models “in action”.

We would like to thank our speakers, partners and sponsors for their inspiration and support.

Your Lino team

We are currently introducing a rule-based quote configurator – so it was valuable to exchange ideas with other users, learn and broaden our horizons. A workshop in which we set up the servers for Tacton Design Automation and Tacton Sales Automation in a very short time was particularly impressive.

Matthias Bachmann, Design Engineer; Team Leader Order Design & Development Screw Pumps, Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH, Wangen, Germany