imos AG can look back on successful trade fair weeks: The Herford-based company was represented at both interzum in Cologne and LIGNA in Hanover. Numerous visitors from industry and trade were given an insight into the digital possibilities of furniture production with imos products at the software manufacturer’s exhibition booths.

At LIGNA, the iXperience Show was a particular magnet for visitors. Visitors experienced interactive kitchen planning in Virtual Reality, from planning to design and production. The visitors were accompanied by the digital assistant RobiX. The focus at LIGNA was on new products: The imos product managers presented the new software version iX 2019 with all its features and showed the iX Interio ecosystem in action.

From networked applications to ecosystem iX Interio

With the first own ecosystem, imos AG has achieved its goal of networking suppliers, manufacturers and end customers: The ecosystem iX Interio reduces the communication and transaction processes between the individual business areas and makes cooperation models more attractive – even across locations. iX Interio is the result of developing autonomous software applications to integrated solutions that fulfill the requirements of digitalization and overcome both technological barriers and company boundaries.

Mapping innovative business models

“iX Interio is based on a series of applications and databases which connect the different user groups in the design, manufacturing and sale of furniture, even beyond the company boundaries,” says Winfried Dell, Managing Director for Sales and Marketing.

“Depending on application and user group, both desktop and cloud-based applications are used – not all components are necessarily from our company. The key component, of course, is the central product database, which dissolves the interfaces in the process and provides reliable information at all times”.

Beyond applications and locations

In addition to the development of functions, the imos developers in Herford and Utrecht have spent the last two years on focusing the constructive combination of technologies. Web-based sales solutions communicate directly at the data level with CAD-based design applications and vice versa. End customers and planners work together on ideas that can be exchanged online and thus successively finding solutions. Different applications communicate via web services and allow different editing options for the work results.

Planning for professionals and amateurs

Planning should be fun – for the planner and the customer. The web-based application iX NET has been extended by numerous functions. Planning speed, usability and interoperability were at the top of the list of requirements. Furthermore, the photorealistic presentation of the planning results was improved using new material, lighting and rendering techniques. The 3D planning results can also be uploaded into social networks at any time and viewed interactively by anyone. Room creation in iX PLAN has also gained in design comfort. It benefits from articles and components that can be placed more flexibly and interact with each other.

The second generation of Virtual Reality

About two years after the presentation of the first VR applications, imos AG is already presenting the next generation. VR is now not only a presentation tool for finished planning results but can also be used in the design phase in direct dialogue with the customer. This can be done either together in the showroom or online at separate locations. Planning results from iX PLAN, iX CAD or iX NET can be shared directly via VR and experienced virtually.

Engineering furniture gets more comfortable

The central application of the ecosystem iX Interio is still iX CAD. Here the parametric furniture constructions are created, which enable the continuous process from sale to production. This powerful application has been basically redesigned with regard to the essential operating elements. The iXplorer selects and manipulates the individual construction elements. In addition to a modern user interface, optimizing the operating sequences was significant. Graphical tool tips, a user friendly interface that can be interactively arranged by the user and the automatic zoom function when selecting a component for detailed modifications are just some of the functions that simplify and speed up daily work with iX CAD.

Providing CNC data for complex production processes

There are also new features in iX CAM. Special milling strategies for solid wood processing have been developed and the display on the component label has been improved. The control of the edge banding unit on CNC machines has been completely revised so that these machines can be supplied with the necessary data much more comfortably. This applies first to the machines of the market leaders.

iFurn provides data for all CAD systems

Besides imos, the supplier portal iFurn presented its expanded range of functions at the interzum in Cologne. With the integration of a powerful 3D kernel into the iFurn online platform, the iFurn hardware data can be imported and reprocessed in more than 30 CAD systems. The iFurn data has thus become virtually system-independent, which multiplies the number of potential iFurn users.

The moving furniture or the animated fitting

In the past, the iFurn Service has been largely used by furniture designers. Now the fitting data can also be applied otherwise: In the sales solutions of imos iX 2019, the fitting can be presented not only in design and construction but also in its function. All constructively movable furniture components such as doors, flaps, drawers etc. can be opened and closed with a click and show the viewer the inside of the furniture as well as the kinematics of the components in animated form. And this throughout in all applications – in the construction as well as at the point of sale.

The visitors could try this new feature interactively in the entertaining VR iXventure

Game at the interzum booth and also at LIGNA. Numerous players dared to take on the exciting task of finding and opening all the fittings of a virtual kitchen in good time before time runs out. RobiX also accompanied them here, providing information on the individual fittings.