Engineer-to-Order (ETO)

With Engineer-to-Order (ETO), products or components are designed and produced on a customized basis. The secret behind this: Efficient software, end-to-end data platforms and error-free digital processes. Discover the advantages of the method now, as well as software solutions and consulting options from Cideon.

Optimized Engineer-to-Order Processes

With Engineer-to-Order (ETO), you can align your engineering and production with your customers' individual order requirements. Find out more about the Engineer-to-Order manufacturing strategy now.

What is Engineer-to-Order?

Engineer-to-Order (ETO) describes an order fulfillment process in which a product or component has to be developed, engineered and manufactured from scratch for the first time. This approach differs from the Configure-to-Order (CTO) process. In this case, the product is configured using firmly defined parameters and subsequently manufactured. Product development therefore takes place in advance.

ETO projects are usually highly complex and require close collaboration between customers, engineers, project managers and other stakeholders. As the products are customized, they can be more expensive and require longer development and production times than standardized products. However, ETO enables customers to tailor products to their exact needs, which can be a great advantage in industries with special requirements and customized solutions.

Cideon supports companies in machine building and plant construction with consulting for efficient software handling as well as solutions for end-to-end data integrity and information platforms along the entire value chain. This includes, for example, our interfaces, individual software developments, CAD software as well as PDM and PLM solutions.


Typical Scenarios for Engineer-to-Order (ETO)

Engineer-to-Order (ETO), often referred to as Design-to-Order (DTO), describes the manufacturing of individually designed products where engineering is a central part of the order fulfillment process. Here are some application areas or typical scenarios for Engineer-to-Order:

Complex Machines and Plants

Companies that manufacture specialized machines or plants that are tailored to the individual requirements of their customers often use the ETO approach. Examples include production systems for the food industry, customized tooling machines or high-tech manufacturing systems.

Spezialized Tooling Machines

Tooling machine manufacturers that focus on the production of individual components or parts for different industries often rely on engineer-to-order to meet the different requirements of their customers.

Plants for the Process Industry

Companies developing equipment for the chemical, pharmaceutical or petrochemical industry can use the engineer-to-order approach to ensure that their equipment meets the specific process requirements and safety standards of their customers.

Power Generation and Distribution

Manufacturers of power generation and distribution equipment, such as turbines or generators, can use Engineer-to-Order to deliver customized solutions for various energy projects.

Advantages of Engineer-to-Order

Use Engineer-to-Order (ETO) to take advantage of the process approach in production to individually develop, engineer and manufacture individual parts for each customer order. Discover the biggest advantages of the method.

Realizing (Tailor-Made) Solutions Efficiently

With Engineer-to-Order processes, you can create tailor-made solutions for your customers. With software that is individually adapted to your needs, you can also realize these efficiently.

High Degree of Flexibility

ETO enables a high degree of flexibility with regard to the implementation of any customer requirements. Design and production are 100% project and order-related, as the product is uniquely tailored to the customer.

Customer Loyalty

The ability to manufacture products according to customers' exact wishes promotes customer loyalty. Customers who receive a personalized solution are more likely to buy from the company again.

Daniel Pasing, Customer Success Manager

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FAQ about Engineer-to-Order

The abbreviation ETO is short for "Engineer to Order". This is a manufacturing approach in which products or systems are only designed and manufactured once a specific customer order has been placed.

Engineer-to-Order (ETO), often referred to as Design-to-Order (DTO), refers to a practice in which products are individually developed, engineered and manufactured according to the customer's unique requirements and specifications. It is a customer-oriented approach that aims to provide tailor-made solutions.

Unlike Configure-to-Order (CTO), each product is individually designed and manufactured with ETO after the order is placed. Order processing only begins once the customer order has been received.

ETO is often applied in industries that produce highly specialized products with individual requirements, such as plant construction, machine building, marine, aerospace and high-tech industries.

Engineer-to-Order enables companies to offer customized products, which can increase customer satisfaction. ETO can also enable a distinctive market positioning.

The challenges of ETO often lie in the complexity of individual product development and manufacturing. Planning and coordinating resources and ensuring that deadlines are met can be demanding.

Instead of engineering each product according to individual customer requirements, we recommend Configure-to-Order (CTO). This involves creating a product from various configuration options. With the CTO+ approach, the pre-configured product can then be subsequently adapted to specific customer requirements. This process works smoothly with our Cideon Conify software solution.

The Difference Between CTO and ETO

Our graphic shows you the differences between Configure-to-Order (CTO) and Engineer-to-Order (ETO) and what CTO+ means.

Configuration Process

Use Cideon to implement a consistent configuration process in mechanical and plant engineering and link your sales and engineering data. Discover new possibilities for better planning and faster projects.

Cideon Conify


Software Solution for a Consistent Configuration Process

Cideon Conify consistently links data from the sales and engineering phases to automatically provide PDM-compliant MCAD and ECAD data of the configured product. This is the basis for the subsequent engineering-to-order and the creation of ERP-specific parts lists, work plans, circuit diagrams and production processes according to customer requirements, so that individual products can be created quickly and in accordance with specifications.

Main advantages:

  • Automate daily tasks when processing configurable products
  • Consistent data quality
  • Ensure uniform standards for everyone involved in the process
  • Combination in a mechatronic parts list

Cideon Conify is the ideal combination of CONnection and CONfiguration!

Process Consulting

Within the context of Cideon process consulting, we will work together on your current challenges and identify possible potentials. We address your individual needs and support you in the implementation of new projects. Our value proposition: optimised and short project runtimes in compliance with the defined budgets until go-live.

Why Cideon?

Cideon advises and supports companies in optimizing their product development processes - from conception and engineering to production and service. We stand for:

Decades of Expertise

Rely on decades of practical experience in system integration and process consulting. Cideon understands your business challenges in digital transformation and supports you with unique solutions along the entire value chain.

Customized Engineering

Benefit from customized solutions with Cideon software and interfaces. Integrative, powerful and perfectly tailored to your individual daily business needs.


End-to-End Process Consulting

Transform your digital requirements into corporate (added) value. We simplify your processes, map them digitally and make them economically viable - across functions and divisions throughout the entire product development process.  

International Cooperation

Trust in a strong group of companies. Cideon is part of the family-owned, globally active Friedhelm Loh Group and is based on the principles of customer-oriented and sustainable corporate management.


Cideon Support

Quality, speed, and reliability in engineering are critical to your success. Comprehensive services are just as important as dedicated specialists and powerful software solutions.

Cideon Support offers you fast and uncomplicated answers to your questions, detailed insights into products and solutions as well as helpful tips and tricks.

Go one step further with Managed Services: With this service, we monitor your CAD/PDM/PLM environment and ensure the long-term operational reliability of your software. This ensures that your systems are always up to date and ready for use, giving you the peace of mind that your software is consistently maintained and optimized.

Cideon Locations

Cideon Headquarter

CIDEON Software & Services GmbH & Co. KG
Lochhamer Schlag 11, 82166 Gräfelfing (Germany)



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