Control and drive system specialist
Brunner Elektronik’s day-to-day challenge is to perfectly combine mechanical and electrical components into comprehensive solutions. Its customers’ high design standards challenge the processes used throughout product development, driving Brunner to achieve optimal results in visual design, functionality assessment and thermal simulation. Thanks to Solid Edge® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software, Brunner can develop products quickly and efficiently.
For 47 years, Brunner Elektronik has been producing custom control and drive systems, sophisticated assemblies and complex integrated solutions. Located at Hittnau, near Zürich, Switzerland, the company is renowned for its deep expertise in power electronics and mechatronic systems.
Brunner primarily designs and manufactures to individual specifications, mainly for customers in the machinery, medical and simulation technology industries. To serve these customers, the company runs a complete mechanical production shop with state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) milling and turning machines, as well as everything needed to design, engineer and manufacture mechanical parts.
Using Solid Edge computer-aided design (CAD) software, Brunner engineers can optimize their designs in minute detail prior to production, and perform simulations using digital prototypes. Brunner Elektronik is currently using Solid Edge with the Insight™ design data management solution. “These capabilities enable us to improve product quality and fulfill our customers’ requirements faster,” says Robert Brunner, founder and owner, Brunner Elektronik. The company has been using Solid Edge with great success for 10 years.
Intuitive operation, superior productivity
Brunner is an electronics engineer with passion. He puts all his faith in Solid Edge, having acquainted himself with the software more than 10 years ago, and has used it for increasingly complex customer projects.
His son, Thomas Brunner, is head of the company’s mechanical department. He and his colleagues work with Solid Edge to design housings and printed circuit boards (PCBs). “What I particularly like about Solid Edge is its intuitive usability,” Thomas Brunner says.
“I was able to use the software for production work after a very short time. Having worked with a well-known competing product for testing purposes, I must say that by comparison, Solid Edge has fully convinced me. It has a good, comprehensible structure and design, which is a great plus.”
Accelerated development cycles and fast reaction to changes from customers require Brunner Elektronik to work with great efficiency to reduce costs. By optimizing the implementation of customer requirements within predefined, tight schedules, Brunner and his team can bring new products to market well ahead of competitors. The company can generally act with greater flexibility, which helps it compete in fiercely competitive international markets.
From complex mechatronic assemblies, all the way to documentation
At Brunner Elektronik, Solid Edge is used not only for mechanical design but also for electrical and electronic design tasks.
Mechatronic designs require the integration of electronic components, and limited space frequently poses quite a challenge for the design engineers and in production. The software also includes useful tools for finding optimal, technically mature solutions in heat sink design. “We use Solid Edge for electronic components a lot,” says Thomas Brunner.
“There, multibody simulation capabilities of the software are important to us. Using simulation, we can trace movements to see immediately whether parts collide or get stuck. It takes the most current CAD technology to facilitate virtual design. Solid Edge is perfectly suited for this.”
With the broad range of Solid Edge functions for part modeling, exploded views, photorealistic rendering and frame design, and with add-on capabilities for simulation, cable harness design, injection mold design and additional assembly applications, Brunner Elektronik can quickly produce product videos for customers. Particularly for smaller businesses, this capability opens doors not only across design, engineering and production operations, but also for marketing purposes.
For Thomas Brunner, these are distinct competitive advantages that he had the opportunity to test and fully exploit in completing another recent project: the core component of a flight simulator. He explains, “In the computer simulation, you can see all movements of the entire platform in detail. This is quite a thrill ‒ also, of course, for our customers.
We can also use Solid Edge in the creation of all the documentation. The renderings are so realistic we effectively do not need to have photos made anymore.” Eliminating the need for photographs also means significant cost savings.
The Brunner Elektronik design office is frequently met with requests from domestic and international aerospace customers, for which the motion simulation, collision detection and structural strength calculations of Solid Edge are particularly useful.
For the design department, working with Solid Edge helps realize significant overall design time reduction. The software also serves an important role in fulfilling the rigid traceability requirements for product certifications.
Furthermore, the automatic collision detection and comprehensive integration of interfaces to other processes are vitally important and extremely practical in prototyping. At the touch of a button, all component data is transferred to the central system, where all settings for the milling machine are generated automatically. “By comparison with when we created drawings manually, this alone saves a significant amount of time,” Thomas Brunner says.
He adds, “What I like most about Solid Edge is its superior usability.”
- Develop and produce products more efficiently
- Transition to 3D CAD/CAM system
- Simplify processes, from design to prototyping and production
- Fulfill customer requirements
Keys To Success
- Simulation with digital prototypes
- Design agility and flexibility
- Data consistency and interfaces to CAM
- Collaboration across various development departments
- Significant time savings
- Simplified processes
- Minimized risk
- Cost reduction with good cost-benefit ratio
- Faster time-to-market
- Workload reduction