Claudius Peters was awarded Innovator of the Year in the Design & Manufacturing category at the prestigious Autodesk event at Autodesk University (AU) Las Vegas in November 2018, the participants included General Motors and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA). AU connects 10000 professionals from construction, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and media creation during four days of learning, networking, and knowledge sharing in advance practice.
The award came through a complete rethink of Claudius Peters’ engineering and business processes, which led in turn to a “generative design” approach to some of its largest manufactured components, including its clinker cooler.
A drive to reduce lead times, increase turnover, and raise customer satisfaction brought the decision to remove the departmental barriers which divided engineering and manufacturing teams and replace them with “scrums” in which teams of five to nine people completed prioritised product-backlog items, in iterations known as sprints.
Explaining the initial breakthrough which led to the new design approach, Thomas Nagel, Chief Digital Officer at Claudius Peters in Germany said: “Our project team included young people who embraced this new concept and understood that the electric light didn’t come from the continuous improvement of candles. It needed a complete change. That’s how we came to try generative design. By inputting the project parameters, computers can do the heavy lifting, freeing up our engineers to innovate.”
The result for Claudius Peters has been a design process which went beyond the limits of human creativity and bias, and components which are lighter, stronger than could have been previously imagined