Product development for the manufacturing sector

Electronics and software bring new functionality
to industrial plant and equipment

Industrial plant and equipment are in it for the long haul. Ideally they will be reliable, long-lasting and – if well maintained – remain fit into their dotage. Development processes and innovation cycles for industrial plant have always been designed with this in mind – but times are changing. Today, new plant and equipment needs to come to market faster. The growing role of electronics and software also makes the development process more complex.
Refining and securing USPs

With competition becoming increasingly international, German industry is feeling the heat. Manufacturing costs and time to market are becoming ever more critical. At the same time, businesses need to defend and extend their lead in innovation in plant and equipment development. There are two areas in which USPs can be carved out:

  • USPs through electronics and software: In many industries, companies are increasingly differentiating themselves from the competition through their use of electronics and software. Frequently the software in use has evolved organically to meet immediate needs. A new, more solid and durable system architecture helps eliminate the need for costly, time-consuming bespoke solutions during future development
  • USPs from the core product: The increasing cost of software and electronics development is also affecting businesses whose products already feature internationally relevant USPs. It is not uncommon for development resources to be squeezed for just such core products

Seizing the opportunity presented by consumerization

When it comes to developing industrial equipment, user opinion counts. Consumerization has now reached the industrial equipment development process.

As a result of their experiences as consumers, users now expect two things in a work environment – rapid product updates and simplicity of operation via advanced human-machine interfaces. Zühlke has been working in interdisciplinary teams with a strong user focus for many years

  • User-centred design: When carrying out development work, we always have the user in mind. Our entire development process, from user experience engineering and mechanics to electronics and software, is designed around maximising simplicity of operation. This in turn minimises costly operator errors in day-to-day use.
  • Advanced Human Machine Interfaces: User Interfaces mit Multi-Touch sind Alltag geworden. Wir wissen, wie intuitive Bedienkonzepte die Effizienz und Produktivität von Usern steigern. Unseren Kunden konnten wir so bereits mehrfach zu einem neuen wertvollen Alleinstellungsmerkmal verhelfen.
Zühlke accompanies you right through the development process

We guide you through the plant and equipment development process – from idea generation to mass production to a successful product – with commitment and dedication

  • Interdisciplinary development from a single service provider:The ability to knit together expertise across several disciplines is one of Zühlke’s core competences. Zühlke employs experts in areas as diverse as electronics, mechanics, sensors, actuators, optics, embedded software, apps and server backends.
  • A cross-industry approach:With our engineering expertise, acquired over 40 years of developing solutions in a wide range of different sectors, we ensure your ideas make the transition to successful products. To deliver value engineering and design-to-cost and ensure your manufacturing costs remain within set limits, we frequently find novel uses for developments imported from other sectors.
  • Rapid prototyping and time-to-market: Early tests with users accelerate the development process and guarantee short times-to-market. Our highly advanced technology lab means we can produce and optimise functional prototypes fast.

Zühlke ensures that your ideas make the transition to market-ready products. We work rapidly and reliably and take responsibility for successful project outcomes.

Reap the benefits of our years of industry experience, our in-depth methodological knowhow and our interdisciplinary technology expertise.


Photo: Mr Gerald Brose

Gerald Brose

Director Business Development
Industrial & Consumer Products

Photo: Mr Michael Doelle

Michael Doelle

Director Solution Manager
Industrial & Consumer Products