Friday, 24 January 2020
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A modular system for lifts

A mechanical engineering graduate of the Münster University of Applied Sciences developed a construction system for Tepper. The 25-year old wrote a special programme for passenger lifts.

Digital design: Heiko Rademaker now works for Tepper and designs various lifts in the programme he wrote. (Photo: © Münster University of Applied Sciences /Press Office)

Heiko Rademaker found out just how many different lifts there are when he began his internship at Tepper in Münster at the inland harbour. "There are even ones for cars, which are bigger than my flat-share room," smiled the graduate mechanical engineer from the Münster University of Applied Sciences.

Rademaker now works in the company; he was taken on as a design engineer immediately after he completed his bachelor’s degree. The 25-year old wrote a special programme for passenger lifts – a kind of modular system that processes different inputs in relation to each other.

Cars visualised directly in 3-D

"When I started at Tepper, there were five car sizes for passenger lifts – but this was no longer the state of the art," Rademaker noted. The cars were to become more flexible in terms of size as well as appear visualised directly in 3-D in the new programme.

Rademaker made this development the subject of his bachelor thesis. "I taught myself two programming languages for this purpose, familiarised myself with new design programmes and at first experimented with other components."

The next task was the floor, walls and ceiling. These three components are the constituents of lifts in design. But Rademaker introduced an intermediate step. The programme first designs the individual sections – for example, the floor consists of a metal floor plate and the matching frame to which the handrails, mirrors or baseboards can be attached. The ceiling has several material layers and can include lights, tiles or a fan.

The programme assembles the individual components

The programme then assembles these individual components as floor, walls and ceiling and then constitutes the complete lift from these three components. The special feature, "The programme assigns parameters to the individual components," explained Rademaker. This means all values are preserved in a table in order to design varying sizes – and in order to be able to manage both individual parts as well as the entire unit. "Everything is interdependent; if one value changes, all the others change automatically.

In the end, Rademaker’s programme produces a finished drawing, which is used directly in production. This not only saves time – it also reduces the number of errors during production," explained Rademaker No wonder that the handicraft tool has long since become established in his everyday work.

The VDI Münsterland District Association awarded the designer the VDI Prize for this work. "Digital design is in increasing demand in industrial companies – Heiko Rademaker was in tune with the times at Tepper," said Professor Eckhard Finke, who supervised the thesis.

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