Rodenberg: Design Automation for one-off fabrications

Rodenberg door panels have an unparalleled reputation. One reason for this is that customers can select their own personal door from an enormous and highly customizable product array. This market leader is now deploying Tacton Design Automation for automated, rule-based handling of the complex design modifications – with the aid of Tacton Design Automation and the experts from Lino GmbH.

Rodenberg Türsysteme AG , based in Porta Westfalica, Germany, specializes in highly customized door panels that precisely reflect the individual houses and personal styles of their residents. These Westphalian door panels are customizable to the point of uniqueness. Customers can choose from an array of ornaments, glass elements and other decorative elements, even futuristic designs by Luigi Colani, to create their individual ideal door.

As Rodenberg customers can specify the door dimensions to the tenth of a millimeter, the range of variants over all sizes, materials and ornamentation is virtually unlimited. However, the designs present special problems. For example, a circular window with a diameter of 30 centimeters has an entirely different impact on a narrow door than it does on a wide door. The key challenge here is thus to adapt the designs that the customer selects according to aesthetic, functional,and fabrication-related aspects to specific dimensions.

Previously, Rodenberg handled this problem by means of a lot of manual CAD work in Solidworks®. But more complex designs required 15 minutes or more for customizing, which was becoming ever more difficult to handle with steadily increasing orders. Additionally, the more complex the design and the greater the time pressure, the more often human errors crept in, which were often not detected until they reached the shop floor. Unplanned new production orders and time delays were the result.

The way forward: an integrated automation solution to take over time-consuming routine tasks and relieve overworked employees. With Tacton Design Automation (TDA), they quickly found the right solution – and with Lino GmbH the right partner for the path to production use. The decision in favor of TDA required that the solution be completely integrated in Solidworks® and offer users rule-based decision support. The software utilizes key relation information to calculate the optimum designs for each set of dimensions.

This proved a blessing for Rodenberg: custom door models can now be generated dynamically in just seconds. Particularly for the complex and high-value products products, the time savings come to around 90 percent. Additionally, the high level of automation ensures that Tacton Design Automation processes numerous orders completely independently – and can also process new models overnight. The CAD data generated in this process can also be processed directly as CNC data for machining.

The overall significantly reduced throughput times are a valuable edge for this door specialist. Additionally, manual errors no longer cause problems, as the TDA rule system effectively precludes incorrect entries. Bottom line: Rodenberg’s investment in Tacton and in Lino’s expertise paid for itself after only a year.

Learn more about the Rodenberg project in the detailed case study.