FiMAB GmbH & CO. KG is specialised in mechanical engineering and sheet metal production and won the Digitaler Mittelstands-Award (DIMA) in the category “Customer experience” for their ARMARiO switchgear cabinet designer. While the ordering of customised units can normally take up to three days, FiMAB GmbH shortens this process with their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution down to just a few minutes.
In an interview with owner Markus Fiedler, he explains how the designer works, why his customised switchgear cabinets are not more expensive than standard models, and what he hopes to gain from winning the award.
Mr Markus Fiedler, what did companies in need of customised switchgear cabinets do before you invented your desginer?
These companies ordered switchgear cabinets that were as close as possible to what they needed and then manually modified them afterwards. This costed time and money.
With our online solution, they can design these control boxes in advance, down to the millimetre. The material, the required holes, additional modules and colour can also be individually selected. The ordering process is as easy as the design of a shelving system or other consumer goods and completed with just a few clicks.
Thanks to the use of intelligent programming, the information is not only continually reviewed for its plausibility, it is also graphically illustrated using a 3D image. The desired customised cabinet is then at the customer within ten days.
Customised products are normally costly though ...
This is true for a surprisingly high number of products, but with the ARMARiO switchgear cabinet designer, we can manufacture switchgear cabinets without charging any extra fees and according to each customer’s needs. The individual data is simply transferred to a standardised production process. This is also what I understand Industry 4.0 to be.
owner of FiMAB GmbH , Markus Fiedler
Did you have a light-bulb moment that inspired you to develop this configurator?
In the earlier part of my career, I was an electrician myself and set up switchgear cabinets. This is when the issue with fitting cabinets first became clear to me. Afterwards, I learnt sheet metal production in my father’s company, and this laid the foundation for being able to build such housings in a better way. Following this, I studied, and the realisation of my idea began within the scope of my bachelor’s degree thesis. In 2016, we created the concept for the first designer. The greatest challenge was finalising this SaaS solution in such a way that it works for every customer. But today, digitalisation has come a long way, and complex 3D animations are no longer a problem.
The DIMA honours these innovative ideas. Do you also hope to experience a positive effect from receiving this award?
Specifically, I hope we gain more visibility on the market through Visable. Because many companies don’t even know that there is this alternative and a switchgear cabinet designer. The companies that already know us are amazed by it. Which is why we’re planning to significantly expand our production too.