Since it was founded in 1925, Rohde AG has been specializing in the treatment of surfaces. In 1934, galvanic silver-plating became part of the range of services and the first brooches and tea carts were refined. The company continued to develop over the following years.
But in order to not be too dependent on surface treatments, a second mainstay was searched for. Since 1978, the company has therefore also produced industrial handles at the company site in Nörten-Hardenberg. As it turned out, that was the right decision.
At the moment Rohde AG employs 110 staff members and the handles are distributed in Germany and by 28 partner companies worldwide.
“The production and surface treatment of industrial handles provide us with great flexibility”, explains Carsten Hennig from the company management of Rohde AG. “This also makes it possible for us to deliver small quantities of items with different kinds of surface refinements, depending on the customer’s request.”
Investment in the future
Over time, the company management of Rohde AG paid increasing attention to the idea of making the drawings and design data of the industrial handles available as an online CAD catalog. For one thing, the requests by existing customers would be able to be serviced more quickly, and for another, Carsten Hennig sees this as an investment in the future.
“With an online catalog we want to be able to offer designers, developers and also students the possibility of using our CAD data for their projects. Especially the students require enough material to be able to experiment with the different software solutions. After all, today’s student is tomorrow’s designer, and then it’s good if he has already heard the name Rohde and come in contact with our products.”
For the state-certified technician and business school graduate, the online CAD catalog is therefore primarily a marketing instrument, which he expects to have great success in the long term. The Rohde company had special requirements for the implementation of the catalog. Here the design of industrial handles, which is highly valued at Rohde AG, was the center piece.
After a longer selection process, the company finally assigned TraceParts to the project. “At TraceParts we had the feeling that we’re being understood from the very beginning”, is how Hennig substantiates the decision.
Its good reputation and international activities were also positive factors in selecting the Amberg company, which has been part of the French Trace Software Group since 1989. With more than 100 million 3D CAD models and 2D drawings, TraceParts is one of the largest providers of construction element libraries worldwide.
“In TraceParts I’m also seeing a partner with whom we can establish Rohde AG as an international brand even more strongly. To be represented here as a company with parts lists is very important to us”, Hennig says about the partnership.
The point that TraceParts is very well-known among students and used frequently is also a decisive criterion for the Rohde AG company management in terms of supporting the company’s intentions.
A simple solution with a major effect
The collaboration included the creation of the CAD files and their publication through tracepartsonline.net. In addition, the catalog on the Rohde AG website would be integrated. The depiction of the handle designs was a particular crunch point.
Christian Baumgartner, managing director of TraceParts GmbH, says this about these challenges: “The handles did not only have to fit perfectly in terms of their dimensions but also had to be visually appealing. In the beginning it wasn’t easy to reconcile everything. But thanks to our well-educated employees, we were finally able to fulfill the request of our customer.”
During the integration into the Rohde AG website, special attention was paid to the customer requirements.
In contrast to most other solutions, the work with Rohde did not involve TraceParts GUI. The primary reason for this was that the company did not want to create any links to competitors through their own home page.
“Of course we know that TraceParts creates libraries for many companies, including some with equivalent products. That’s what distinguishes the company, after all. For that reason we requested a solution where the customer remained on our website”, Hennig says.
If the customer now accesses the website and is interested in a handle, he will have all of the information about it presented to him. There is even a PDF file that can be printed out. Now he can choose in which size, shape and surface he would like the handle and request the corresponding CAD files. For this he only has to enter his email address and the required CAD format.
TraceParts has prepared the files for the most common systems, such as Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, Parasolid, Solid Edge, SOLIDWORKS, in 2D as well as 3D.
“The request for the CAD file is handled in the background, ‘on the fly’. This means that the data for the selected product are generated on our server and the user receives them per email. That way the request remains in the ‘look and feel’ of the Rohde website and for the user it means the slightest amount of time spent entering the information”, explains Christian Baumgartner of TraceParts. Both companies are very satisfied with this solution.
Carsten Hennig was especially impressed by the quick and professional implementation of his requirements.”“I’m very happy with the result. At first I had concerns about whether the handles could be depicted in a visually appealing way, but TraceParts did an excellent job and advised and supported us very well at all times. TraceParts always had a handle on everything”, Hennig says.
Rohde AG would like to continue working with TraceParts in the future and immediately make new products available for the catalog. The company would also like to have TraceParts prepare other products from additional areas. “It is our goal to always provide the greatest advantage to our customer. It makes us very happy if he is pleased by our work and we can continue to cooperate in the future”, Christian Baumgartner explains.