Industry 4.0: Online configuration and ordering of precast products

Monolithic manholes made from acid-resistant, self-compacting high-performance concrete

The digital transformation brings about a wide range of challenges and raises questions we would never have asked in the first place. For instance, even nowadays, employees in various departments of the producing company handle the standard ordering process of customized precast elements and the associated processes pertaining to planning and design, production, delivery, and invoicing. Moreover, highly customized specifications and a large number of different designs require staff members to acquire and possess comprehensive expert knowledge.

We developed the online ordering system in order to revolutionize our processes. Customers can configure their manholes in accordance with their specific requirements and order them online. All subsequent processes are triggered fully automatically after confirmation of the order, and the manhole is delivered to the construction site on the date specified by the customer.

Various computer systems made it possible to modify the above processes. In this context, we were also facing the challenge of having to alter our production workflows. The conventional process of “in-mold” curing had already been replaced with the PECO system several years ago. This system involves milling of the specified geometry from a negative and its insertion into the mold, resulting in a monolithic manhole base that meets all product requirements after a single work step.

Another challenge was to not only develop the stormwater system but also a system for draining domestic wastewater that was to replace the conventional brick-lined manhole. This goal was achieved by launching the “red sewer manhole”. In addition, this product was tested and certified by the German Institute for Underground Infrastructure. Our customers very much welcome the ordering system, and we constantly add new features to it.

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