Success Story

Bruker raises documentation quality and design flow efficiency for precision instrumentation with E3.series

To improve the quality of its electrical documents such as wiring diagrams, and to raise its design efficiency, Bruker AXS GmbH Karlsruhe implemented Zuken’s E3.series at all stages. The manufacturer of X-ray analysis systems uses E3.series from concept and production to service.

X-ray analysis systems, such as those produced by Bruker AXS, are used for material investigations in labs, material research, and even industrial manufacturing control. “Bruker AXS is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of X-ray spectrometers for element and microanalysis, diffractometers for material analysis, and single-crystal diffractometers for analyzing chemical and biological molecular structures,” explains Jürgen Fink, head of the Electronics development department in Karlsruhe.

Results

Bruker logo
  • High-precision X-ray analysis systems with special requirements of development tools
  • Any entrance point is possible thanks to the object-oriented data structure of E3.series
  • The time taken to develop pre-series devices has been slashed
  • Improved quality of wiring and manufacturing drawings

Bruker and E3.series

X-ray analysis devices are very complex mechatronic systems with high and very high levels of accuracy. “The quality of our X-ray analysis devices lies in their mechanical precision,” says Fink. To achieve the required analytical detection accuracy, the core components of the systems must be positioned using a motor to a degree of reproducibility in the order of a few 1/10,000s of a degree. One of the ways in which Bruker AXS achieves such extreme precision is by using in-house mechanical production.

Other challenges include generating X-ray radiation and the safety precautions this requires, defining the path of the X-ray with a wide range of optical components, and detecting the X-ray emissions are excited or bent by the material samples being investigated. Bruker AXS provides a wide range of 0D, 1D, and 2D X-ray detectors for this purpose. Moreover, samples can be analyzed automatically and linked to generic laboratory automation solutions.

It is easy to imagine the functions that the harness must perform so that all device parts, motors, switches, sensors, interlocks, etc. function intelligently and optimally. The electrical design needed is very different than that needed for control cabinet construction, and is also not comparable with the cable harness design used in the automotive industry. A new approach is therefor needed.

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In order to describe and model such complete systems at all levels powerful CAD and/or ECAD systems are needed. Bruker AXS uses SolidWorks in its mechanical design department and has installed around 15 E3.series workstations in the electrical design department. Various established systems were put through their paces. Zuken’s E3.series, a system developed in Ulm, Germany, came out on top. “The scope of function provided by this system allows us to best map our X-ray analysis systems,” says Binkele.

S8 Lion X-Ray
S8 LION X-ray spectrometer from Bruker AXS used to establish the chemical elements contained in a material sample.
Schematic concept
Example of a schematic concept at high abstraction level, developed with E3.series. Note the photorealistic insertion of electronic parts, which greatly improves understanding.

Why E3.series?

An analysis device may be mapped in various abstraction layers, i.e. one block diagram level with illustrations and real images, one wiring level, and one level with detailed manufacturing drawings. Links ensure rapid navigation between the various hierarchical levels.

  • E3.series allows the technician to depict a device in many different ways.
  • It also ensures well-structured device documentation that complies with standards and is consistent with internal standards.
  • Multi-user and multi-language capability were considered essential features in E3.series.
  • Before we take a closer look at how the system is actually used, let’s look at the software itself.

Comprehensive CAD Solution

E3.series is Zuken’s modular, scalable CAD system for the engineering, design, documentation, and manufacturing of wiring, harnesses, cable assemblies, control panels, and hydraulic and pneumatic systems. It uses an object-oriented data structure and a common core.

Data is transferred between the various modules, providing optimum user support throughout the entire design process, from development to production. This reduces errors, increases quality, and allows engineering changes to be completed much more effectively.from development to production. This reduces errors, increases quality, and allows engineering changes to be completed much
more effectively.

AXS DS Discover X-Ray
The Bruker AXS D8 DISCOVER X-ray diffractometer analyzes the inner structures of materials.
Bruker leadership
Jürgen Fink (left) and Matthias Binkele

Experiences

Once the optimum device documentation structure for Bruker AXS had been developed in a pilot project and the integrated ECAD system database had been adapted and added to, all the X-ray analysis systems can now be fully depicted in E3.series.

“We are now experiencing a noticeable increase in productivity because we have slashed the time it takes to develop the first sample or pre- series device. Manufacturing drawings for individual connection cables can be produced from the wiring drawings in a highly automated fashion,” says Fink.

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Compared with how employees used to work, the quality of wiring and manufacturing drawings has also vastly improved. This results in higher quality device cabling and means that fewer iteration stages are needed in the development phase. In addition to the benefits outlined above, E3.series has proven to be highly effective in analyzing device defects. The system allows individual signals to be easily tracked from the sensor/actuator through the wiring assemblies to the control electronics. Bruker is also full of praise for Zuken.

“Whenever we needed anything, they were always quick to help out. We are delighted with the support provided by Zuken,” stresses Binkele. “The same applies to the ongoing development of the system. Capabilities that we hoped for five years ago have now become reality.”

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Case Study: Bruker raises documentation quality and design flow efficiency for precision instrumentation with E3.series

To improve the quality of its electrical documents such as wiring diagrams,and to raise its design efficiency, Bruker AXS GmbH Karlsruhe implemented Zuken’s E3.series at all stages.

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