Linear business models are a thing of the past. Networked business models are the future and require high-quality master data. Companies failing to realize this in the digital transformation era will soon run into difficulties, making automation more difficult or even preventing it.
RAMPF Production Systems GmbH & Co.KG were quick to recognize this and established a practicable innovation strategy with a process excellence approach. This in-volved detailed analysis around document management, data traceability and change numbers, as well as BOM management and BOM information. Transferring and processing BOMs from the ECAD system was particularly time-consuming and error-prone, as much of it was being done manually.
Approach: Linking electrical engineering
An effective option was provided by the software-based ECTR interface between SAP and EPLAN, developed by CIDEON and marketed via SAP. To achieve maximum benefit for customers, consultancy and implementation are always carried out by CIDEON on an individual customer basis. Consultancy always involves listening to customers to enable interface functions to be optimally matched to customer requirements. At Rampf, electrical engineering was linked to the SAP ECTR to enable project and BOM management. Interface functionality was also expanded to implement specific customer requirements for BOM extrac-tion as well as for material creation.
CIDEON service: All-round support
The SAP ECTR interface to EPLAN Electric P8 provides re-dundancy-free ECAD and PLM/ERP integration into SAP. By taking this technological approach, RAMPF has succeeded in easily linking the relevant engineering and development disciplines. The company now also has an easy-to-use UI and a technical link between the engineering and business worlds. After implementing the interface's basic functions in RAMPF's system, key users were briefed according to the “train the trainer” approach. A test phase then followed, enabling all key users to try out the new system and gain initial experience. CIDEON acted as an enabler here and personally supported RAMPF's participants on site and later remotely. The test phase was followed by an optimization phase where requirements that arose during the project phase were identified and implemented.
This has given users more time for more value-creating tasks. Having to switch to the SAP interface is now rare. At RAMPF, projects, article information and parts lists are now automatically and securely transferred to SAP and pro-cessed there. A comment from Björn Niebann, Team Lead Electrical Design at RAMPF Production Systems GmbH & Co. KG: “CIDEON scrutinizes process landscapes and al-ways sees things from the customer's point of view. Discus-sions are productive, full of ideas and always forward-look-ing. This also helps management in their decision making. It must be said: CIDEON is a true partner.”
Customer benefits: Speed in BOM extraction
The technological change has established a new process that demonstrably saves time and has led to a noticeable reduction in errors. The time saved extracting BOMs at RAMPF is considerable – this has been a major benefit, es-pecially in times of scarce resources and acute shortages of materials. Urgent components can now be ordered ahead of time. The streamlined process also requires fewer personnel resources. All this leads to increased cost efficiency and operational excellence. RAMPF's design engineers work with ECTR via an interface that is user-friendly and clearly laid out, with information depicted in a Win®Explorer-like manner. In EPLAN itself, SAP functions are directly integrated via an EPLAN menu.
Scalability as an extra option
Projects have become more efficient due to optimized and secure data management, as well as the simultaneous linking with other business processes directly in SAP ERP. Further potentials and scaling up options became apparent during project implementation, which are currently being examined by RAMPF Production Systems GmbH & Co. KG.