New integration tool enables sharing of design and production data

A new integration tool developed by German PLM (product lifecycle management) software consultancy firm Cenit, enables manufacturing companies to link their design, production and business processes, improving supply chain collaboration and communication between engineering, procurement, manufacturing and sales. Dean Palmer reports

A new integration tool developed by German PLM (product lifecycle management) software consultancy firm Cenit, enables manufacturing companies to link their design, production and business processes, improving supply chain collaboration and communication between engineering, procurement, manufacturing and sales.

The integration of ERP software vendor SAP's 'mySAP PLM' software with IBM Dassault's Catia v5 3D solid modelling software means that manufacturing companies can now exchange key engineering, product and customer data between their existing business-critical systems.

For example, design engineers will be able to import data from other applications and quickly work with them in Catia v5 to adjust blueprints according to product related feedback from customers. In turn, information generated by Catia v5 will be available to in all business applications, allowing for example, procurement and manufacturing to directly adapt purchase orders and production sequences according to engineers' specifications.

One of the integration tool's first customers, Alcan Mass Transportation Systems, designs and develops buses and rail vehicles. When the firm deployed Catia it needed an integrated product data management system and chose mySAP PLM to centralise all customer and project-related information.

"Our business is delivering efficient assembly technologies for custom transport systems in the shortest possible time with the lowest possible lifecycle costs," said Reto Bachmann, IT manager at Alcan. "To achieve this we've got to integrate all business processes, from development to support, including technical, logistic and financial processes. mySAP PLM integration for Catia v5 directly links our project management with budgeting, cost monitoring and POC [percentage of completion] accounting, enabling seamless engineering processes and ensuring that key data in the value chain remains available throughout our extended enterprise." DP

Author
Dean Palmer

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