Ziehl-Abegg automates new axial fans catalog with crossbase

Künzelsau, 09/05/2012: Products from Ziehl-Abegg, based in southern Germany, set standards in reliability, efficiency and energy savings the world over. The company, founded in Berlin in 1910, is a quality and technology leader in air, control and drive systems. Ziehl-Abegg had its first major breakthrough in the 1950s when it used an external rotor motor to drive a fan. Since then, Ziehl-Abegg development staff have been continually raising the bar in terms of key data for motors, fans and control systems.

To create standardized but market-specific product communication, Ziehl-Abegg opted for the crossbase PIM and crossmedia solution. The main automatically produced media are the multi-lingual main catalogs, including some country-specific versions, the online catalog, and directly accessible product information for the sales team, who at the click of a button can produce product data sheets in any language in response to specific customer enquiries.

Automation of print catalogs with crossbase

  • Ziehl-Abegg has been producing catalogs with crossbase for almost a year. Catalogs including those for the drive technology and centralized air conditioning devices have been produced in several languages. The radial fans catalog is being produced at the moment. The catalog range has been adapted for export markets such as Brazil (60 Hz rather than 50 Hz products).
  • The new main catalog for the axial fans A01 product range includes around 1,300 products on around 600 pages.
  • The product section runs to around 550 pages and another 50 pages include artwork and editorial pages. All pages, including layouts full of design work, were automatically generated with the crossbase solution.

The technology behind it all

  • The layout is generated for each language variant using intelligent displacement rules and specific wrapping. This produces an attractive and consistent layout with as few layout templates as possible.
  • Linked product variants are mainly shown on double pages. A double product page contains the product photo, a generated product description, an ordering table with product-specific features, a table for visually depicting the product variants, the measurement data table and diagrams.
  • Particular mention should be made of the measurement data table which shows the airborne and structure-borne noise levels. The values from the measurement data system (MDM) are also linked to the associated diagrams.
  • The product description is generated from product features and text modules using crossbase.text and the XML transformation language XSLT. Text generation for all languages is fully automated.


  • By automating the language change in the catalogs, it was possible for the English version of the axial fans catalog to be produced within 2 days.
  • The interplay of media-neutral data maintenance and catalog range management in the crossbase solution enables market-specific catalogs to be produced in a flash.
  • The interfaces between the ERP system proAlpha, the measurement data system and the crossbase database guarantee the consistency of product data throughout, for example when generating text.

Sample of axial fans catalog


Sample data sheet


The applied application modules

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Information about the customer


Niels Jankowski
Deputy head of consulting and support
+49 (0)7031 / 714 – 7283

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