Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
db technologies BV designs, manufactures and supplies installations for the recovery of re-usable materials from waste, the increase of the value of waste material through optimal sorting and the production of fuel derived from dry waste. Its products include sorting screens, conveyors, air conveying systems, glass breakers, stars and discs.
db technologies specializes in developing equipment that extracts usable materials from waste, including sieves, conveyors and presses. This requires creative solutions, which the company advances in response to client requests and market opportunities. Most of its clients are governments located throughout the world.
One example of db technologies’ innovations is removing moisture from household waste. The moisture can be fermented into bio-gas and the remainder of the waste separated into a dry sediment, which can be incinerated. The dry portion has an electrical yield higher than unseparated waste. Any materials that can be recycled are separated, and the more precisely waste is separated, the more profitable it becomes.
A new process is now being developed to transform synthetic waste products into oil. The waste offered for such processing must be meticulously separated. Together with BASF, db technologies is also working on the industrialization of a process that changes shredded vulcanized rubber into a thermoplastic rubber composite.
“We are constantly working to achieve better results,” says Jan Oude Grote Bevelsborg, technical director and co-owner of db technologies. “We supply our customers with everything from conveyor belts to complete waste processing installations. While some production is outsourced to local partners, in most cases we are responsible for constructing and getting installations operational.”
Keeping costs under control is vital, as is providing product information for suppliers that is clear and error-free. The use of Solid Edge® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens Digital Industries Software is helping db technologies meet these objectives.
“The great thing about using Solid Edge is that we can be sure our designs will really work,” says Bevelsborg. “In our design philosophy, there should only be one way to put a product together. Welders shouldn’t have to deal with confusing instructions. There should be no need to fix things after the installation. Only then can we make a decent margin on fast-moving projects. Over the course of a project, such savings can really add up. During a recent project in Latvia, we managed to complete all assembly work in three weeks. This is just a quarter of the time normally needed.
“We use Solid Edge to help calculate the effects of movement, applied forces, bending and vibration. Sometimes we take the reverse approach. For example, when ten tons of force is needed in a shredder, the design is changed to accommodate that amount exactly. This helps us be certain the end product will work as planned. In the past, we used to outsource a great deal of the calculation work. Thanks to the use of Solid Edge, we now handle this work in-house and can now be certain that our designs will work.”
In 2012, the company began using Solid Edge software with the Insight™ design data management solution. “We discovered that old errors resurfaced whenever we re-used older project designs,” explains Heleen Muntinga, director of finance and marketing at db technologies. “Now, it is easier to achieve product standardization. Changes made during production are communicated back to the engineers, who update the relevant standards. Repeating previous mistakes is impossible.”
Insight is used to help the company manage and release Solid Edge files. A key application is managing delivered installations. “Delivering spare parts and replacing worn parts, such as motors and star sieves, is good business for us,” says Muntinga. “However, this also means that information streams must be well-organized. Insight suited our needs perfectly. The software is proving its worth by enabling multiple engineers to work simultaneously on the same installation. Now, several people working on different sections can be kept up-to-speed about changes made by their colleagues. Accidentally overwriting someone else’s specifications is no longer a risk. This saves time and avoids quality problems.”
Information entered using Solid Edge is also instantly accessible. Engineers can find designs faster, and mechanical and maintenance staff can easily see models using the Solid Edge viewer. Clicking on parts brings up additional information, including article number and supplier.
Bevelsborg appreciates being able to use Solid Edge to generate composite drawings for construction purposes. “Using other applications, it is extraordinarily difficult to create good overview documentation, but with Solid Edge, it is easy,” he says.
For db technologies, Solid Edge has become a mission-critical system. “We can safely say that we couldn’t carry out the business we are doing today, in terms of technology and volume, without the capabilities provided by Solid Edge,” says Bevelsborg. “The software provides the perfect applications for a fast-growing organization.”