KSB Group and Cobuilder
bring innovation to online product configurators
KSB Group is a leading supplier of pumps, valves, and related services. These are used in a large variety of applications ranging from building services, industry and water transport to wastewater treatment and power plant processes. Founded in Frankenthal, Germany, in 1871, the company has a presence on all continents with its own manufacturing facilities and service operations.
“Cobuilder has a proven track record when it comes to exploiting the potential of product data in construction. With this partnership, we achieve interoperability across multiple software systems and provide our customers with the best possible experience while using our product configurator. “
With the increasing demand for more digital supply chains and especially the product manufacturers within construction are being pushed hard to provide better digital services.
The KSB Group has pioneered the development of tools for the online selection and online marketing of its sophisticated products in the past. However, the continuous improvement of the online configurators and the associated data management are important steps taken by the manufacturer to consolidate its leading role on the market.
To advance KSB online tool into a cutting-edge product configurator based on real-time data, KSB Group concluded a strategic agreement with the Norwegian software company Cobuilder.
Product configuration systems are increasingly being used by manufacturing companies to assist customers in specifying their requirements and finding the best solution based on their preferences. Offering configuration systems, however, creates a need for rigorous technical data quality control and data validation of the customers’ configured solutions.
Like most construction actors, KSB Group has been struggling with poor data quality that leads to delays and inefficiencies. Thus, for their improved online configurator, an innovative approach to data management has been paramount.
As part of the agreement, Cobuilder facilitates the alignment between three different software systems – EasySelect (KSB product configurator), Cobuilder goBIM solution and the 3D CAD objects provider Cadenas. The project aims to structure KSB’s product information and map it to relevant 3D visualisation of the objects.
Through the use of standardised data templates, KSB Group is able to manage a pool of reliable, machine-readable product data within their product configurator.
Step by step implementation
Cobuilder approached the challenge by focusing on the core of the problem – the need for a proper data structure as input for the online configurator.
Cobuilder experts collaborate with KSB to create a logical data model to structure the product data.
Based on a strategy of embedding standards and standardised property sets within KSB’s product database, the data is structured in Cobuilder standard-based Data Templates.
Thus, it is ensured the usage of valuable product information that is based on the industry standards KSB’s products are tested against.
The structured and standardised data is a necessary prerequisite for the ‘interoperability’ of it, allowing the automated flow of information between different software systems.
As a final step, the product data is mapped to relevant 3D objects through an integration with the 3D CAD objects provider CADENAS.
In the end, KSB clients receive a 3D object with structure data via KSB product configurator.
The result is a huge amount of data flowing seamlessly between three different platforms to cover the needs of each specific construction project. All of this is for the benefit of the end-user who is able easily to access both structured product information and 3D visualisation of the pump or valve within a single interface hosted by KSB. End-users can also easily download all relevant information for a pump or valve they have configured.
With this project, KSB Group transformed its product configurator to leading-edge technology, turning KSB into one of the best examples of a consolidated global manufacturer successfully applying innovations in a systematic way through the adoption of standards.
For more information from our partner, you can read KSB Press Release. In case you would like to see the product configurator, please follow the link here.