Leading Turkish home appliances manufacturer Arçelik wanted to expand its market share, by investing in a new product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Its previous tools used multiple disjointed systems and databases, resulting in high costs and inefficient processes. Arçelik decided to deploy Teamcenter PLM technology from Siemens, running in a Microsoft environment using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 data management software. Now, complete product data is easier to view, interrogate, and validate, because all the company’s sites, including factories, use the same technology. The solution will unify the company’s development processes, shorten development times, reduce time to market and complexity of builds, and help ensure that Arçelik products are competitively priced. Microsoft and Siemens worked as one company to deliver the solution, sharing the same roadmap and business objectives.Situation
Arçelik manufactures, markets, sells, and provides after-sales services of consumer durable goods and electronics in Turkey and more than 100 countries. The Istanbul-based company is one of the top three companies in Europe in the white goods sector, and has 11 production plants across Turkey, Romania, Russia, and China. In addition, it has sales and marketing organisations in 18 countries, and 10 different brands—Arçelik, Beko, Grundig, Altus, Blomberg, Elektra Bregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, and Arstil.
||“We wanted to shorten our product development cycles and time to market, and make our products more competitive.”
||Ahmet Ihsan Ceylan,
Head of IT, Arçelik
In common with many other manufacturers, Arçelik faces tough competition on price, and therefore it needs to focus on sustainability and product innovation. The company also has an ambitious diversification programme into manufacturing units outside Turkey. It was conscious of the need to increase customer focus through product innovation, and improved marketing and distribution.
It had experience of product data management—the precursor to product lifecycle management (PLM)—but found it to be cumbersome and time consuming. The company used multiple disjointed systems with different databases, which posed challenges when the same product was manufactured in two countries.
There was no best practice, component and process designs had to be improved to remain competitive in the market, and engineering bills of materials were hidden in computer aided design (CAD) files. However, the company believed that making use of PLM in its product development processes was the way to bring new products to market quickly—and stay ahead of the competition.
Ahmet Ihsan Ceylan, Head of IT at Arçelik, says: “That’s why we decided to implement a PLM system to support our research and development processes. We wanted to shorten our product development cycles and time to market, and make our products more competitive.”
Arçelik analysed three different PLM vendors, but decided that Siemens PLM Software provided the most cost-effective solution and was better aligned to the company’s strategy. Ceylan says: “We also wanted tight integration between our development solutions and our enterprise resource planning application. And we needed to ensure we had the right toolset for collaboration among our sites.” Solution
Following a year-long proof of concept, Arçelik chose Teamcenter—an integrated PLM solution created by Siemens—initially for 950 users across the company. The IT team decided to run Teamcenter in a Microsoft environment, including the Windows Server 2003 operating system, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 data management software, and Microsoft Office Project Server 2003. The company plans to upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 once the deployment is complete.
||“With Teamcenter running in a Microsoft environment, we will unify our engineering processes, increase speed and quality, and ensure our products are more competitive.”
IT Manager and Project Leader for the PLM Deployment, Arçelik
Ozan Oncel, Enterprise Group Account Manager, Microsoft Turkey, says: “Teamcenter is a business-critical application at Arçelik, therefore the underlying environment must perform and scale easily to ensure that the PLM software runs smoothly. In addition, Microsoft Office Professional 2007 makes information from many resources available through familiar Microsoft interfaces to enhance and accelerate product innovation and delivery.”
The initial project review highlighted the need for a secure and synchronised collaborative system for all engineering data, with standardised processes for design release and first sample approvals. It laid a reliable foundation for further improvements and enhancements in change management, configuration management, and product bill of materials.
In developing the solution, Arçelik took full advantage of its Microsoft Services Premier Support agreement for both proactive and reactive support. The solution has now been installed at the factory in Romania, with Russia and China to follow, which will mean a total of 1,500 users across 10 sites.
In the next two phases of the project, the company will manage full integration with core business systems, including SAP and all manufacturing processes as well as extending PLM across the enterprise. It will implement Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 collaboration technology and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. The latter will introduce instant messaging, presence awareness, and audio, video, and web conferencing features for users of Teamcenter. Benefits
By using Siemens PLM technology in a Microsoft environment, Arçelik is creating standardised electronic processes that help to produce innovative products. With its modern, scalable IT architecture, the company will be able to deploy additional features in a second phase of development—giving its factories the tools to collaborate more easily. Halit Isilav, IT Manager and Project Leader for the PLM Deployment, Arçelik, says: “With Teamcenter running in a Microsoft environment, we will unify our engineering processes, increase speed and quality, and ensure our products are more competitive.”
Product Development Lead Times Are Reduced
By unifying its engineering processes, Arçelik is gaining greater flexibility, and, as a result, will shorten product development cycles. Apart from putting all engineering data in a single repository, the solution has helped ensure that PLM connects all the parties involved in manufacturing—suppliers, partners, and customers. Isilav says: “Collaboration across the manufacturing sites will get more efficient every day.”
Data Search and Retrieval Takes Less Time
Teamcenter is improving productivity and reducing time to market with several efficiency gains, including a cut in the amount of time needed for data search and retrieval. Product data is now easier to view, interrogate, and validate. Isilav says: “Design sharing between departments is much easier than with the previous solution. The quality of first-stage approvals for new products has also increased significantly.”
Employees Adopt User-Friendly Tools
Arçelik employees have adopted the PLM solution quickly because of the familiar look and feel of the Microsoft toolset. Isilav says: “Our previous experience with CAD was that it was extremely cumbersome and time consuming because of the delays in exporting and importing data. This has been improved through the new system integration and collaboration tools. ”
Collaboration Between Microsoft and Siemens Helps Ensure Success
Microsoft and Siemens have shared technology and resources for the past 15 years to develop cost-effective solutions for customers. Oncel says: “The Microsoft environment provides a scalable, secure, and highly available infrastructure on which Arçelik can deploy and run its business-critical application. We’ve optimised the PLM solution to reduce complexity and cost so that it easily adapts to the changing needs of the business.”
Ceylan adds: “Microsoft and Siemens acted as one company—they have the same roadmap and objectives. This made us confident that they had a good partnership, and that we could work effectively with them both.”For More Information
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