Integration of engineering and production planning with ECTR

The Innovation @Work event at Ypsomed in Switzerland encourages participating product manufacturers in their digitalization projects

On September 1, 2016, SAP Switzerland and DSC hosted the Innovation @Work event in Burgdorf (Switzerland) – at Ypsomed Holding AG, the world’s leading medical technology company for injection systems, focusing on products for self-medication in the case of diabetes. The series of events known as Innovation @Work provides insights into SAP projects as well as SAP solutions in daily use. This year, 40 guests from the most varied companies were present, to get information about the “Integration of engineering and production planning with ECTR”. In interesting lectures, they found out about the rollout of the integration solution at Ypsomed and how the manufacturer managed to integrate product development and tool design seamlessly in SAP PLM. The guests were very impressed by the breadth and depth of the integration and the harmonious implementation. In lively discussions during the closing aperitifs, many of them expressed their intention of performing a similar digitalization process.

PLM integration as a recipe for success

Ypsomed develops and produces medical products for different markets and countries. Traceability and transparence in product development and production are indispensable – and a basic prerequisite for satisfying the demands of the various regulatory authorities. For example, there must be complete documentation showing which product was produced with which equipment. This means that the Swiss company, in addition to its own claims to precision and quality, has very high documentation and process security requirements. According to Fernand Portenier, Head of IT Services & SAP at Ypsomed, digitalization in this context opens up new options, particularly in the context of product lifecycle management. For this reason, Ypsomed pursues a targeted integration strategy on the basis of SAP PLM. Even today, the company has continuously consistent data and steered processes from engineering to manufacturing: as a solid basis for an intelligent value-creation control in terms of Industry 4.0 and as the ideal prerequisite for future growth.

Networking as efficiency booster

In order to be able to service the product portfolio as well as the target markets as fast and flexibly as possible, efficient procedures are required. Data and process integration provide the necessary prerequisites, says Ulrike Bauer, Senior Vice President Delivery Systems at Ypsomed, in her welcoming speech.

For this helps to interconnect company divisions, merge product-relevant real-time data, and network product-related processes, which makes procedures faster, more secure, and simpler. Examples from the company’s own toolmaking department, which produces injection-molding tools and molds for insulin pen production, were cited by Bruno Boos, Business Engineer CAD/PLM at Ypsomed. For example, the tool design data model was matched with the product development data model. And together with DSC, a digital planning board was developed to support the fine planning of production orders. Moreover, information that previously was to be found only on drawings would in future flow into the 3D data so that paper could be completely dispensed with in the production area.

SAP ECTR as information hub

A complete view of products, services, and production-relevant resources: that was how Portenier formulated the PLM vision of Ypsomed, which is being implemented step by step. The previous main focus lay on product development and tool manufacture. All relevant assets are mapped in the central SAP system: products, injection-molding tools and molds, machines, rooms etc. The SAP system is also used to manage product-related data and documents from NX, ECAD programs, and MS Office, as well as software components and documentation according to the S1000D standard. The most important role to date in the new solution scenario is played by the integration of the CAD/CAM systems NX, with which both product development and tool manufacture work. This was implemented using the integration platform SAP Engineering Control Center, whose intuitive SAP cockpit serves both company divisions as a user interface and makes handling of SAP PLM as simple as possible.