VDMA Variant Management Conference 2021

Achieving Greater Customer Satisfaction with Holistic Configuration Management

Anja Walthart, Manager for Parametric Design at Dürr Systems AG, will speak about the Lino® 3D Configuration Solution at the 10th VDMA Variant Management Conference on September 14, 2021

A large amount of data is collected at different points in the company throughout the entire Product Life Cycle. In order to be able to improve all product variants in the portfolio, this data must first be brought together and analyzed (Internet of Production, IoP). The IoP is an overarching framework for the holistic use of data across the different areas of a company, with most data being collected in development and production. Companies must first create the prerequisites for such overarching variant management, which pays off in the long run. This is because it allows product variants to be optimized in line with customer requirements and processes to be made more efficient.

The focus is on the following questions: Which product variants are needed and how can they be developed on the basis of data? Which product variants are manufactured and how can production be optimized to meet efficiency targets? Which data from the development and production phases are relevant for the customer, how can a reciprocal relationship between company (service) and customer be established? The design of interfaces between the phases that enables data sharing will be addressed. In addition, smart applications that support “Configuration Lifecycle Management” will be highlighted, as well as the improvement of service processes through the use of a Digital Twin.

These aspects will be addressed at the VDMA Variant Management Conference on September 14, 2021. Their successful implementation will be presented in practical presentations.


09:00 – 09:10
Welcome – Thomas Riegler, Software and Digitalization Association, VDMA, Frankfurt am Main
09:10 – 09:20
Introduction and moderation – Prof. Volker Stich, Managing Director, Research Institute for Rationalization e.V. (FIR) at RWTH Aachen University and Director, RWTH Aachen Campus Cluster Smart Logistics
09:20 – 09:40
Increasing customer value through data-based variant management – Maximilian Kuhn, Senior Engineer – Head of Department Innovation Management, Machine Tool Laboratory WZL of RWTH Aachen University: changed understanding of users and use through digital products and business models; development of a benefit-oriented variety of services; holistic analysis and use of data along the value chain for variant management
09:40 – 10:15
Maintaining control worldwide – Anja Walthart, Manager Parametric Design, Dürr Systems AG, Bietigheim-Bissingen: automated engineering and manufacturing processes in an SAP-driven, heterogeneous system landscape: product configuration and CAD automation in plant engineering; interface between CAD and PLM/ERP system; data processing for automated manufacturing
10:15 – 10:20
Transition coffee break
10:20 – 10:40
Coffee break
10:40 – 11:15
Automated material variant creation – efficiency increase in master data management – Sarah Fischer, Product Manager, Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH, Steinenbronn: lead time reduction of material master creation; automatic variant generation in quotation/customer order; automatic generation of material short texts
11:15 – 11:50
Sailing trip with individually configured yacht – Stefan Rixecker, Order Management and Marcus Schlichting, Marketing & PR, Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH, Giebelstadt: Product configurator for end customers and dealers on a uniform knowledge base; configuration of sailing yachts for worldwide sales; Configure Price Quote (CPQ) provides visually high-quality configuration and offers
11:50 – 12:25
Optimize product variants according to customer requirements and make processes more efficient – Dr. Jochen Antes, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Product Management, HBCradiomatic GmbH, Crailsheim: holistic use of data across the various divisions of a company; gaining a better understanding of characteristics in the product portfolio for individual markets and market segments; using data as a basis for decision-making in order to respond to changes at an early stage
12:25 – 12:30
Transition lunch break
12:30 – 13:15
Lunch break
13:15 – 13:50
With network analyses to better decisions in the configurable product portfolio – Michael Siebert, Process Consultant PLM/ Continuous Improvement & Technology, Sartorius AG, Goettingen: challenges of an inorganically grown product portfolio; 360° analysis of historical variants down to feature level; data-driven optimization decisions
13:50 – 14:25
10 to the power of 28 variants in the interaction between manufacturer, OEM and end customer – Uwe Zurth, Head of Customer Benefits, SEW EURODRIVE GmbH & Co KG, Bruchsal: support for end customers in selecting a homogeneous product structure; support for configuration by means of an SEW internal product catalog; challenges in managing variants in the triad of manufacturer, OEM and end customer
14:25 – 14:45
Summary and closing remarks – Prof. Volker Stich and Thomas Riegler
Estimated end

* all dates are in CET

Target Group

Management as well as responsible persons from the areas of development and design, production, sales, product management, purchasing and IT