The Swiss Baumann Federn AG, headquartered in Ermenswil in the canton of Zurich, has been developing, producing and
distributing springs and stamped parts at eleven locations worldwide for more than 125 years. With around 1,400
employees, the company has developed an international market-leading position and a well-known customer base in the
automotive, electronics and medical technology industries.
For the dynamically growing and innovative business area of contact elements, kaliber5 conceived, designed and
developed a B2B configurator application of the highest technical standard. The configurator allows the engineer -
whether on the customer or vendor side - to design an individually designed and manufactured contact element, a special
technical spring, which is usually used for power transmission. The user can intuitively adapt the product to his needs
and adapt it to his specific needs through step-by-step optimization. The product configurator supports him by doing a
lot of calculations in the background. This always ensures that all parameters are within reasonable and producible
limits. In addition, the effects on the corresponding performance values of the component are calculated and displayed
with each change: the maximum power transmission, and the mechanical properties such as the maximum spring deflection.
Based on these calculations, even dynamically generated diagrams can be displayed that show the physical relationships
between the currently selected product parameters and the resulting performance values.
The project was designed and developed in close cooperation with the customer. Due to the complexity and the desired
innovative implementation, only a development according to agile methods was promising. In a short conceptual phase,
the product vision was developed using mockups. The detailed conception, implementation and evaluation were then
carried out within the agile project management framework Scrum in many iterations, the sprints, in order to be able to
provide the customer with maximum transparency and optimal user-centered quality of the end product.
One of the biggest challenges in this project was to package the many parameters of this very technical product into a
conclusive UX concept so that customer-side engineers can also use the configurator and understand the actual product
behind it. Thus, a control concept was deliberately chosen that resembles the look of CAD software. In addition to
entering values in fields, the user can also interactively edit the product dimensions using drag-and-drop.
The modern front-end ensures that the boundaries between browser-based websites and interactive desktop software merge.
On the other hand, the development team was confronted with a product that, however plain and simple it may seem to the
layman, requires understanding of a variety of complex mathematical / physical contexts. As an example: for the
determination of the mechanical properties, calculations in three-dimensional space had to be combined with numerical
methods of the zero-point search. In order to still keep the performance and speed of the application high, these
values were pre-calculated and stored with several million data points in a database - from this, a linear
interpolation method in four-dimensional space determines in a fraction of a second the exact approximated value up to
several decimal places.
The application has been online since June 2015 and continues to evolve.