Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H), a manufacturer of machines and production lines for flexible packaging operating worldwide, uses the simus classmate software as the basis for global Value Management. A transparent database and automated processes that already facilitate the assessments of costs in the concept phase, lead to a reduction in the diversity of parts and provide Purchasing and Production with valid target costs for throusands of new parts every month. The solution created by simus systems integrates with the existing CAD, PLM and ERP systems.
The manufacturer of machines, founded in 1869, developed machines and lines for the extrusion of film, various printing processes and subsequent processing in line with their motto “Passion for Innovation”. Numerous new parts which are to be manufactured in low batch sizes require digital solutions for the calculation of target costs. As the basis for comprehensive value management, the company was already looking for a software solution in 2017 that could ideally support target costing for drawing parts and assemblies as part of an automated process. At the same time, a classification geared towards characteristics and geometry was introduced. Ultimately, existing designs and future new developments are supposed to be checked for similar parts and duplicates.
Software module cast from the same mould
In an intense selection phase, calculation software well-known on the market and the potential of the PLM environment were evaluated. At the beginning of 2018, a weighed evaluation of the benefits for the explored solutions led to the decision for simus classmate. The software suit comprises of various stand-alone modules for users in Design, Work Scheduling and Purchasing. Easy-to-use search tools, automated derivation of sequence of operations in machining and a calculation tool integrated in ERP are provided for a database which data cleaning was performed on.
“simus classmate provides excellent technology to determine geometries relevant to the price which allows analyses even across a diverse range of parts”,
Hartmut Kaiser reports. After 20 years of experience in value analysis and cost management in different industry sectors, the Head of Value Management took over the project management at W&H in 2019.
“In contrast to various other solutions on the market, the underlying method of analysis enables us to have informed discussions with suppliers.”
Multi-level induction project
The decision to buy simus classmate was followed by an induction project whose structure consisted of a steering group, project management and a team consisting of all participating departments, such as IT, Purchasing and Design which were supported by two of simus’ own project staff members. At first, the basis for the classmate PLAN module was set up which automatically generates the routing for mechanical processing and a cost analysis in the shape of preliminary costing in batch size increments after the geometry of a 3D CAD model had been analyzed. Therefore a technology database containing the required data – unfinished materials, machines, tools and cutting parameters as well as surface treatments – had to be filled once. The basis for the calculation contains a set of basic rules which was adapted to the needs of W&H by simus systems. The models from the CAD system NX approved by Design are automatically imported and analyzed.
As a second step, classmate CAD was introduced from mid 2019 onwards. Integrated to the 3D CAD system, this module automatically analyzes and classifies models and geometries and therefore lays the groundwork for an increase reuse rate. Furthermore, a classification for the W&H material group structure was created. “Both sub-steps were implemented in an appreciative, goal-oriented atmosphere within the agreed time and budget limitations,” Hartmut Kaiser reports.
Our partners will synchronize the classification of all articles with SAP’s ERP system as the third step of the project.
Early comparison of costs
The W&H Value Management now covers Product Development, Design and Production as well as Purchasing. All parties involved can make joint decisions based on transparent information supported by software. Even in early stages of development, you can compare various concepts and evaluate them based on technical aspects and costs. Parts as well as assemblies can be opened with the search engines classmate FINDER or easyFINDER. Expected manufacturing costs are shown including all individual operations and required information in detail. Cost drivers – be it individual contours or special additional treatments are highlighted in color.
W&H strives for a reduction in the diversity of parts and to make use of existing parts where possible, so not to create duplicates. Designers find a powerful tool for this task in classmate easyFINDER Modelmonitor, a search engine which is integrated in the 3D CAD/CAM systems NX. With the help of a temporary CAD model, even based on individual contours, existing parts from the inventory can be found using the analysis of similarities and therefore limit the creation of new brackets, sheet metal plates or levers. “Thereby, the labor for numerous drawings is cut down and standard parts are created which will be widely accepted in the medium run,” says Hartmut Kaiser. The analysis of one engine modul alone showed 474 material numbers and 717 BOM items! Through targeted duplicate analysis followed by an optimization and reduction of material numbers, new parts to be created could be reduced by a total of 5.5%.
“The resulting benefits in bulk prices led to a price reduction of 30 percent for single parts. These benefits in bulk prices led to a decrease of the total manufacturing costs”,
Hartmut Kaiser rejoices.
Automation of processes
The cost effect that can be implemented in Purchasing and Production may even be more significant. In this area, information arrives even earlier, is more extensive and is easily traceable. For all products, there are consistent material groups and purchasing data generating the basis for the automations of processes. Thanks to this information, make-or-buy evaluations and assignments of financial resources for services in Commodities can mostly be automated. Material group evaluations and the selection of potential buyers are also supported. With each new part that is created, a manufacturing description and a target price are defined in simus classmate and SAP. “For certain material groups, we compile a cost structure in collaboration with our suppliers which is used for creating target prices, ” Hartmut Kaiser reports. This way, we are automating the selection process and skip enquiries for these material groups.”
Transparency and efficiency
The Head of Value Management also wants to use the technical analyses and target ranges for prices provided by simus classmate in the future. The company which operates worldwide performs detailed costs analyses or Brownfield analyses in foreign markets in different countries in a notably more efficient way. “We can research all geometric and manufacturing data in one source without any preparation,” says Hartmut Kaiser in praise. “Manufacturing and purchasing strategies can be created and tested across the board for all parts.”
Photo credits: Windmöller & Hölscher, simus systems GmbH