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CASE HISTORY

Collaborative management of inter-company PLM processes

RuleDesigner for Faist Componenti

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RuleDesigner helps those people who have always worked in a simple and fast way to continue working without feeling the burden of a structured management: considering that some tasks may require more time to be performed, it could be difficult to make people accept a PLM system. In fact, the use of this kind of systems is very important in terms of end user, but the greatest benefits are gained at enterprise level to manage certifications, search for information quicker and make analysis faster. Today, 90% of RuleDesigner users make benefit of a ready project template without having to
intervene manually to modify flows, phases or tasks. The company manuals, reporting in details processes and procedures, is now available to anyone who wishes to consult it and this opportunity allows to better engage and empower all employees at Faist.

PLM Manager at FAIST
COMPANY

Faist Group

Originally founded in 1978, FAIST works in the metal sheet stamping industry. Since then, FAIST has grown and has developed into a multinational group that employs approximately 2.300 people in 24 industrial plants in Europe, North America and China. Today, FAIST is a global supplier of automotive and telecommunication systems, as well as industrial and consumer electronics.

FAIST is divided into four business units. Namely Emission Controls, s, which designs and produces turbo compressors and internal combustion engines’ air intake and exhaust systems; Truck Bodies, which includes the renowned brand “Scattolini” and produces fittings for light commercial vehicles; FAIST Light Metal Components, which produces die casted components for the automotive and telecommunications markets; Industrial Components, which designs and produces chassis and cabinets for the electronics industry, components for automatic gear boxes and for double effect clutch transmissions, electronic control unit housings, general components for weapons and the consumer market.

Faist Componenti

HeadQuarter
VIA DELL’INDUSTRIA, 2 06014 MONTONE (PG) Umbria Italia
Sito Web: www.faist.net

CONTEXT

Sector peculiarities

Faist’s corporate workflows are based on the ADVANCED PRODUCT QUALITY PLANNING (or APQP) process – a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in the industrial sector, particularly in the automotive industry – and regulated by the Automotive Industry Action Group (or AIAG) manual.

So far, the management and sharing of information and product documentation was performed through heterogeneous repositories and filesystems, creating in terms of security, data completeness and traceability of notifications.

The company structure and the presence of PLANTS WORLDWIDE, lead to the need of having an enterprise portal with global access, capable to gather information related to job and homologation procedures in a structured way, to support workflows and guarantee both data completeness and inter/intra-company collaboration.

CHALLENGES

Challenges dealt with RuleDesigner

  • MAP and support corporate workflows and information flows all along the product lifecycle, spanning from the customer request to production, according to the procedures of the automotive industry.
  • INTERCONNECT 7 LOCAL plants of the business units through a collaborative, centralized system providing access via web.
  • Meet the product INFORMATION REQUIREMENT to better manage audits by customers.
  • Get the maximum level of AUTOMATION throughout the progress of workflows and the generation of product-related documents.
  • FACILITATE THE ACTIVITIES of analysis and final evaluation of the project carried out
  • MANAGE WORKFLOWS and homologation documents in a single repository accessible worldwide.
WHY RULEDESIGNER

Some of the reasons why FAIST choose RuleDesigner solution

ENTERPRISE WEB-BASED PLATFORM to interconnect the Headquarter with several plants geographically dislocated. By mapping the organizational chart and all the inter-company relationships, the system guarantees a secure and regulated access to all the employees of the Faist group.
Flexibility in defining and re-configuring processes on the basis of new needs thanks to advanced administrative tools that give customers complete autonomy over their corporate informative system.
MODULAR SOLUTION that integrates the management of corporate processes and documents involved all along the product life-cycle to specific environments for managing multi-CAD technical data and the configuration of automotive procedures across the extended company.
COLLABORATION as the system promotes documents and information sharing and the empowerment of users thanks to both easy-to-use tools and procedures that inform and assign tasks actively and automatically.
HIGH CONFIGURABILITY of corporate workflows and procedures makes it suitable to adapt to products and processes quality standards regulated at international level.
AUTOMATION throughout the processes development and the practice to assign tasks, ensuring maximum efficiency.
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

Data import

Technical data import

The first phase of RuleDesigner project dealt with the import of all the product part numbers stored in JDEdwards, the existing ERP system, and the retrieval of part numbers’ information and drawings from servers and local workstations.

Managing product part-numbers

Since the introduction of RuleDesigner, product part-numbers are created exclusively in the PDM environment and then automatically synchronized with the ERP system JDE. Also, PDM part-numbers have been grouped in different classification categories and layouts. For each of them, it is possible to attach both technical documents retrieved from customers’ title-blocks, in PDF format, and any project developed by application engineers working at Faist, in the original CAD format (CREO, SolidEdge and Catia). Finally, technical bill of materials (BOMs), previously  managed with Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, are now completely handled inside the PDM system: BOMs are based on FAIST official format; they can be edited using the revision procedure that follow specific rules set by the company and then shared using reports printed in a format which is familiar to users coming from production

Workflow management

With regard to PLM management, with RuleDesigner it was possible to shape the entire workflow, structuring it in 4 different phases, spanning  from the customer request to production. The possibilities offered by RuleDesigner allowed to meet FAIST’s need to decrease the index of defectiveness and all related  costs by extending the automotive procedures on other sectors or where not explicitly required by the customer.

Workflow for request for quotation

The request for quotation process is managed by a dedicated project based on a pre-defined template. Such as template contains the correct execution flow structured in phases and  involving managers and resources with details of the task to be performed.

Product and process development

The APQP2/3 make reference to product and process development workflows. They have been organized as templates with a general structure because they are directed to a small number of users with a more advanced training on the workflow management.

Product and process validation

APQP4 is the workflow dedicated to the validation activities and production of certifications. This workflow embraces different sub-projects aimed at the homologation of subcomponents whose approval levels very depending on complexity, use and application of the product, according to the PPAP (procedures part & process approval procedure) procedures.

INFOGRAPHIC

Project summary data

7

Local Plants

5

Business Unit

222

Users

4

Local Team

7

Customer Team
KPI

Metrics of performance gained

IMPROVEMENT OF ESTIMATED EXTRACTION TIMES

REDUCTION OF TIME FOR BOM LISTS

IMPROVEMENT OF TIME FOR RESEARCH INFORMATION

IMPROVEMENT OF LEAD TIME

TIME FOR IDENTIFYING RESOURCES IN CHARGE OF A SPECIFIC ACTIVITY

REDUCTION OF ERRORS IN RECOGNIZING THE CORRECT REVISION OF PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

CONFIGURATOR ROLE

Configurator to estimate manufacturing costs

By using RuleDesigner, it was possible to set up a configuration process directly accessible form the project panel, to calculate and get an estimate of manufacturing costs and, at the same time, provide support in the definition of the product’s quotation.

The application retrieves information on the costs by number/project from the ERP system. Users are supported by the system while entering and  selecting the proper information to configure specific quotation for different sales volumes, product variants or currencies. Then, they get back a summary of the industrial costs indicating material types, necessary processes, treatments, raw materials and purchasing codes.

On the occurrence of specific conditions along the workflow, it is possible to generate reports containing information concerning margins and profit percentage and duties. All the outputs generated by the configuration process can be stored and consulted to carry out projects final analysis

Workflow automation

The development of workflows is controlled by configuration processes that, on the  occurrence of specific events, can create sub-flows, create and store documents, schedule tasks and update the database, etc.

Users, according to the role held in the company,  are required to fill in the project’s attributes or to confirm the execution of the assigned tasks. RuleDesigner automatically runs procedures to assign responsibilities on the  basis  of parameters taken from projects, BOMs relationships, production patterns  or purchasing company. Also, according to the configured numbering plan, the system generates project part-numbers and reports based on the properties of the project.

Key account managers can calculate the final result outcome of projects with visibility of the resulting level and quotations generated. Also, parameters are associated to each project in order to evaluate performance in terms of efficiency and productivity of both resources and work teams.

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT AND WORKFLOW

Company documents organized by context with certified approval workflows

First of all, with RuleDesigner it was possible to set security permissions on documents. Staring from the organizational chart, users, groups, roles and functions have been defined for both the users belonging to the corporate and the ones belonging to the plants. Then the company define the different categories of document, their respective approval workflow and versioning rules. All the documents are stored, shared and they can consulted by using RuleDesigner portal.

Examples of documents typologies:

Product & process development
Development of business relationships with suppliers and customers
Technical documentations
Process qualitative documents
Manufacturing work instruction
Operating instructions
Production control specifications
User guides

Today, 90% of RuleDesigner users make benefit of a ready project template without having to intervene manually to modify flows, phases or tasks.

The company manuals, reporting in details processes and procedures, is now available to anyone who wishes to consult it and this opportunity allows to better engage and empower all employees at FAIST.

Ing. Tina CortesePLM Manager FAIST
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