The product configuration is the sum of its actual functional and physical features. The following classifications regarding the complexity of a configuration are commonly used: 

Pick to order / PTO:
Here, individual product components or individual offer positions are selected independently from one another without the support of a product configurator. There are no dependencies, or if there are, the user must take them into account. Because of the simple variant selection, it is primarily a shopping cart feature. 
Product examples: washing machines, CDs, electric engines, etc.

Assemble to order / ATO:
Here, individual product components cannot be selected independently from one another. Dependencies controlled by rules must be considered. Thus the product configurator creates a corresponding configuration model displaying the dependencies. 
Product examples: doors, motor vehicles, pumps, etc.

Make to order / MTO:
Here, a product results partly from predefined components and partly from only pre-considered components. A large number of combinations is available for an article or a defined component. These products are often referred to as mass-customization. 
Product examples: special-purpose machines, machine tools, utility vehicles, etc.

Engineer to order / ETO:
Here, the products are not completely pre-considered. Dependencies to other product areas should be defined via rules. These rules have the highest degree of complexity in ETO. Because the products are very individualized, parameters are used, which are defined in a product configuration. As a result, this product configuration then provides the outline of how the product should be designed according to the customer’s perspective.
Product examples: houses, power plants, plant construction, etc.

According to a survey of the Aberdeen Group in 2008, the best enterprises can show the following results due to using software to configure their product:

  1. Users of integrated product configurators could increase their product margins up to 80%
  2. Costs due to ordering errors were around 31,400 USD, with the industrial average being around 823,900 USD
  3. The best enterprises offer an average of 3.5 times more options in the product configuration than the market average
  4. There are 20% more enterprises than in the industry average that can precisely calculate the costs already during the quote generation

Examples of products and branches, where a configuration can make sense:

  • waste collection vehicles
  • exhaust technology
  • sewage treatment
  • agriculture
  • trailers
  • plants
  • plant construction
  • plants for industrial laundries
  • drive technology
  • fittings
  • superstructures
  • treatment technology
  • elevators
  • balancing machines
  • automation solutions
  • web guiding
  • construction vehicles
  • construction machines
  • construction materials industry
  • lighting engineering
  • brakes
  • office furniture
  • roof systems
  • diagnostic technology
  • dialysis machines
  • dosing pumps
  • rotary piston machines
  • lathes
  • rotary tables
  • printing presses
  • electronics
  • power generation
  • power transmission
  • energy conversion
  • extrusion machines
  • eccentric screw pumps
  • escalators
  • vehicle engineering
  • springs
  • prefabricated homes
  • mold construction
  • milling machines
  • gas springs
  • generators
  • gears
  • gripping technology
  • commercial kitchens
  • semi-finished products
  • house concepts
  • hoisting technology
  • woodworking machines
  • hydraulic excavators
  • industrial construction
  • industrial cranes
  • industrial knives
  • interior doors
  • IT services
  • IT systems
  • edge banding machine
  • sweepers
  • nuclear power plants
  • components
  • compression solutions
  • compressor
  • checkweigher
  • automotive engineering
  • cranes
  • cross cardan shafts
  • plastic injection molding machine
  • couplings
  • linear systems
  • bearings
  • truck trailers
  • machines
  • mechanical engineering
  • magnetic materials
  • measurement technology
  • machinery
  • mixing technology
  • assembly technology
  • engines
  • utility vehicles
  • omnibuses
  • optical components
  • paper manufacturing plants
  • palletizer
  • automobile
  • upholstered furniture
  • precision optics
  • precision steel pipes
  • precision rolling bearings
  • precision tools
  • test engineering
  • pumps
  • pump systems
  • cleaning systems
  • motor homes
  • semitrailers
  • switch cabinets
  • rail transport
  • locks
  • cutting systems
  • screw driving technology
  • screw spindle pump
  • vibration damper
  • security solutions
  • screen pack changers
  • clamping technology
  • special machines
  • special transport vehicles
  • stamped parts
  • plugs
  • control technology
  • extrusion products
  • current distribution
  • Smart Card industry
  • sun protection products
  • tablet presses
  • textile machines
  • gates
  • transfer routes
  • transformers
  • conveyer belts
  • driers
  • doors
  • door automations
  • door adjustments
  • turbines
  • valve terminals
  • connectors
  • compressor
  • loading equipment
  • packaging machines
  • distributors
  • devices
  • wall systems
  • water treatment
  • shafts
  • tools
  • tool construction
  • machine tools
  • campers
  • gear pumps
  • frames
  • cylinder head systems

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