Its integration with SAP, Office applications, and EPLAN along with its many configuration options tipped the scale in favor of PROCAD’s PDM/PLM software.
Karlsruhe, July 2, 2019. elumatec AG replaced its existing CAD data management system with PROCAD’s PDM/PLM system PRO.FILE. elumatec is based in Southern Germany and specializes in machine manufacturing. On May 15, 2019, the company was given the opportunity to showcase the ease of migrating to PRO.FILE when the PROCAD truck stopped by at its headquarters – only weeks after the successful go-live of the solution. It was also the perfect opportunity for its employees to get hands-on advice on how to make the most of the PDM/PLM and DMS application. On top of that, they were given in-depth insights into the methods and challenges of going digital in the context of working with PRO.FILE and its PRO.CEED add-on.
elumatec’s incumbent data management system had fallen behind the demands placed on seamless product lifecycle management today and had been discontinued by its vendor some time ago. After a lengthy evaluation process, elumatec chose PRO.FILE as its successor. Kay Gayer, head of the PRO.FILE project at elumatec AG elaborates: “As an SMB ourselves, PROCAD was the perfect match for us. We were particularly impressed by the software’s wide range of configuration options. There is little to no need for subsequent programming and many features can be easily added after the fact simply through configuration, allowing us to expand the system in sync with our needs.”
PROCAD’s experts kicked off the project by migrating 15 years’ worth of product information from the legacy system to PRO.FILE: drawing data from Inventor and AutoCAD along with any accompanying documents, BOMs from SAP, and Office documents detailing customer projects that were previously stored in the file system. This effectively turned PRO.FILE into an integrated Product Data Backbone for every piece of information throughout elumatec’s product engineering process. Its integration with Office enables employees in non-technical roles to work with the software as well and to use it to store their commercial documents.
Comparing BOMs between PRO.FILE and SAP
“Our designers can now compare BOMs from the PDM/PLM system with those in SAP,” explains Kay Gayer. “That is something we couldn’t previously do because our old CAD data management solution didn’t generate BOMs and wasn’t integrated with SAP either.” Comparing BOMs is essential to identifying changes between different product versions. PRO.FILE transfers item master data, product structures (assemblies), bills of materials, and documents generated during the mechanical, electrical and electronic development stages to the ERP system, where they are aggregated into a single mechatronics BOM. Their synchronization is carried out beforehand. If there are differences between the SAP and PRO.FILE BOMs, users can decide whether they want to overwrite the BOM in SAP (as the leading system) or not.
In a next step, elumatec plans to implement the PRO.FILE add-on PRO.CEED to model its change management processes in an effort to better document them. PRO.CEED comes with ready-to-use application packages with standardized forms and defines expertly engineered process steps with downstream actions that specify what to do with an item after the change, for example whether to rework, scrap, or sell parts that are already in stock. In the past, elumatec had no formal mechanisms in place to manage these types of processes, but rather relied on email, accompanying documents, and buck slips.
elumatec had only recently implemented EPLAN as a new ECAD system for its electrical engineering division. Through the existing EPLAN interface with PRO.FLE, the company is now also able to use the PDM/PLM software to manage its electrical engineering information as well. “We can take many of these expansions into our own hands, manage the system without outside assistance, and further expand it in line with our requirements. Defining document forms and material masters or creating our own customized document classifications and permission system are just two examples. That is exactly what we expect from a modern PDM/PLM system,” Kay Gayer concludes.
Image: A look inside the PROCAD truck at elumatec AG.