Product lifecycle management (PLM) enables KLINGER Westad to access product configurators and the documentation of their valves across departments
As the world relearns how to collaborate post-Covid, KLINGER Westad has begun digitally integrating efforts across departments through the adoption of a new PLM (product lifecycle management) system by Siemens Teamcenter®. The company is one of the leading specialists for high-tech butterfly valves in critical applications like LNG, LPG and chemicals.
With customer satisfaction in mind, KLINGER was determined to ensure a good user experience on both sides of the digital table. When it was time to upgrade the previous CAD system in 2016, Technical Director Øystein Andre Bakkene saw an opportunity. His previous aerospace experience with PLM convinced him that a similar system would meet KLINGER’s engineering needs. He and Ole Petter Christensen, Engineering Manager, began the process of researching systems and meeting suppliers to determine the best product for KLINGER’s development process. Multiple challenges along the way made the timeline stretch farther than originally anticipated, but the team persevered.
As Ole points out, support from the board was essential in order to make such a long-term project possible: “It's a change of process that will lead to many improvements along the way.”
Everything at hand: in the PML system (right screen) the designer can find all the information he needs for the design of the tailor-made customer product (left screen)
Customized customer experience
With all system users accessing one central “source of truth”, customers can expect a more precise, customized experience throughout the product lifecycle. All departments provide frequent updates that are easily retrieved through tailored access groups, providing customers with details ranging from drawing revisions through product configuration status and shipping status. This faster, more direct access to project updates will allow customers more autonomy while also ensuring that the entire project team has the latest information.
„There's a very short way to learn precise information for everybody. You order the correct configuration, you deliver the correct configuration, you have the correct documentation. Everything is in a very specific place at the right time.“
Øystein Andre Bakkene, Technical Director at KLINGER Westad
Expanding knowledge through teamwork
Because PLM removes the problem of information silos, employees across the KLINGER organization have more access to more data, and can make more educated decisions. For example, an engineer attempting to develop a custom valve solution may previously have been unaware that the vendor providing the materials was experiencing a shortage. With PLM integration, the supply chain team can make note of availability issues, and allow the engineer to choose an alternate product with a time frame that meets the customer’s needs.
„It’s all about gathering the company’s intellectual capital in a centralized system and making it available throughout the organization, including customers and suppliers.“
Ole Petter Christensen, Engineering Manager at KLINGER Westad
KLINGER’s adoption of this new system will position the company to better serve customers with a higher level of efficiency. As projects grow increasingly complicated and require ever tighter timelines, the fully integrated process of KLINGER’s PLM environment will capture and track all the moving parts of a custom fluid control system with precision and accuracy.
A glimpse into the new PLM already reveals the capabilities in workflow and document management as well as product configuration.
What is PLM? PLM, or product lifecycle management, is the process of overseeing the entire journey of a product’s existence, from ideation to disposal.
How does PLM software work? PLM software allows an organization to distribute data access across departments, giving all team members the data they need to deploy people and resources where they are best used. At KLINGER Westad Siemens Teamcenter® software creates this single source of data across all workflows, streamlining the product development, revision and production processes and allowing every contributor to the project to access the same centralized information.
How do KLINGER customers benefit from PLM? The business side of the PLM system will improve the specificity and timeliness of data KLINGER can provide to customers. The customer side of the PLM system will allow customers to directly access product configurators, documentation, and other records. Customer Benefits:
» Asynchronous and multi-department collaboration
» Extensive product customization
» Full project traceability
» Up-to-the-minute status updates
» Advanced record-keeping for future integration
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