Optimized processes from the software development to the production

More safety, efficiency and flexibility in terms of change, documentation and distribution of control software: This was the goal of a world market leader in industrial trucks. In order to carry out the necessary optimization measures, they opted for an integrated solution that has been successfully in use since 2015 - around the globe.

Former handicap: bought-in control units

Previously, the controllers had been purchased as a hard-coded complete part - with different control software and control configurations: depending on the type of the truck. That meant: many different purchased parts. The handling was correspondingly complex and error-prone besides short-term software changes were unthinkable. In addition, the documentation was hardware-heavy and was supplied as (only one) paper document.

Fundamental rethinking was necassary

On the one hand, inefficiencies, error sources and liability risks were supposed to be minimized. On the other hand, the company wanted to be able to respond more flexibly to changes in software requirements. These were the steps to achieve the desired results:

  • Internal software development, integrated into the global development
  • System-supported processes up to and including the worldwide distribution to the plants
  • Documentation that is available throughout the company and audit-proof (EN ISO 13849-1)
New goals - new requirements

In-house software development meant a great advantage: Only one purchased part was still required for the control units –  a mechanical part with a neutral operating system. However, in-house software development also meant: software components and control configurations had to be managed  somehow, ideally in the same system as for the mechanical design data for industrial trucks.

A project idea was born

They decided to launch a PLM project and to implement the new requirements as an SAP-based solution, with SAP PLM as a central data processing system. In the first step, 4 European development sites as well as several plants in Europe, Asia and South America had to be connected - via local content servers.

central PLM system
Local content servers
users worldwide
PLM-integrated engineering

As an integration solution they chose Engineering Control Center of DSC. ECTR integrates authoring tools and product data of all types into SAP PLM. In this way, documents from MCAD, ECAD, and software development can be managed together and logically combined. In addition, the integrated change management function provides controlled release processes and change processes. In addition, it enables versioning and documentation of changes.

Software management made easy

Using ECTR, the customer can now easily and clearly manage control configurations and software components - including all necessary assignments. Software components are assigned to the respective control configuration and the control configuration to the respective hardware. In addition, you can specify the plant and the assembly line to which the software is to be sent later.

Fully automatic software distribution

Thanks to the exact assignments, the worldwide software distribution is completely system-controlled. Upon release, the software is transmitted via the SAP system automatically to the plants: first to the local content server and from there to the programming station at the end of each assembly line. In order to make the distribution process run safely and efficiently, the customer has extended the ECTR installation by needs-based SAP PLM add-ons of DSC just like infrastructure modules.

One success after another

... this is how the the project result could be summarized. After all, in addition to the central product data management, the main success is based on continuous processes. And these are not just a question of the right software, but also of the right implementation partner. A PLM allrounder like DSC who decisively contributed to the success of this project: from the concept design through prototyping and integration testing to go-live and service.

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Phone: +49 721 9774-100
Fax: +49 721 9774-101

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DSC Software AG
Am Sandfeld 17
76149 Karlsruhe | Germany

Phone: +49 721 9774-100
Fax: +49 721 9774-101