The MULTIVAC Group relies on a certified SAP partner solution from T-Systems, the Universal Data Converter (UDC). It allows the automation of an important sub-process of machine production, the generation of order-related, production-specific bills of materials (BOMs). MULTIVAC is thus able to produce its custom machines faster – a clear competitive advantage.
The automatic "translation" of the BOMs initially takes the strain off the developers and service technicians. However the production staff also benefits from the UDC, as the preparation time for production is significantly reduced. And – something that is even more decisive for a company with full order books – in the future, the UDC will be able to make production more flexible in two ways: firstly, production orders can be allocated according to the available production capacities of the manufacturing sites. This is made possible by the UDC's ability to adapt the production BOMs to the respective production location on the basis of the locally applicable regulations. Secondly, the UDC makes it possible to break down the complete production BOMs into relevant BOM scopes and assign them to the corresponding assembly stations. This means that the parts can be made available at the location and on schedule during assembly. For MULTIVAC, the UDC therefore provides a clear competitive advantage: A more efficient engineering-to-order process for custom products of batch size 1 reduces delivery times.
MULTIVAC has been using SAP for many years to centrally manage the BOMs for its machines. Only one BOM structure was used to control the production process. The development engineers were constantly having to deal with the requirements of scheduling and production in order to create the production BOMs that they needed. This is a costly and restrictive process, as the production BOMs can only ever be created for a specific production location. For the other production sites, the BOMs had to be adapted manually. However, the structure of the BOMs also has an effect on subsequent service: it is designed to ensure that customers and service staff can quickly identify the right spare parts for machines, thus speeding up repairs and maintenance work.
The UDC has won over all of us who are involved: with the automated creation of production BOMs, the burden on development and service is significantly reduced and we can work more efficiently.
Martin Steinbeiß, Department Manager Variant Management, MULTIVAC
With the SAP partner solution Universal Data Converter (UDC), which is fully integrated in the existing SAP system, MULTIVAC can now automatically provide the BOMs in two versions: one central, functionally organized BOM structure and several production-related BOM structures, which are adapted, based on rules, to the various production locations. The UDC's set of rules is drawn up on the basis of the materials that have been uniquely classified by the development department in order to derive the production-related BOMs. A basic set of rules is defined for each machine type. If necessary, this can be adjusted for each production facility and sales order. The UDC automatically creates the production BOMs from the functional BOMs and keeps the BOMs synchronized at all times. Adjustment errors which occurred in the former manual transfer are excluded. Service staff and customers also benefit from the possibility of having two versions of the BOM. They now have a functional view of the machine – just like the developers – and can thus find particular spare parts more easily. The UDC thereby enables each target group within the company to be provided with information tailored to their tasks.
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