Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen GmbH
Highly Sophisticated Engineering Change Management
What might a machine that is 100 meters long produce? A gummy bear! Highly specialized plants are required to transform chocolate, fruit gum, jelly, fondant and marzipan into delicious sweets. Such plants can be found at Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen (WDS). Together with its sister company Maschinenbau Runkel GmbH, WDS from Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the leading manufacturers of confectionery machines worldwide a real Hidden Champion. With the help of proALPHA, WDS has established a seamless process for implementing engineering changes that significantly reduces the effort for all departments involved. In 1913, Alfred Winkler and Max Dünnebier laid the foundation for a company that enjoys great international success today: Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen. Having started off as a small handicraft business, WDS has become a state-of-the-art industrial company that operates all over the world. In modern administration and production facilities that extend over approx. 15,000 square meters at its headquarters in Rengsdorf, WDS has developed, engineered and manufactured confectionery machines since 1997.
All WDS plants are unique. They are composed of up to 50 different machines and 3,300 individual parts. Up to 45 percent of the parts installed in a machine have to be entered in the system as new records, while for at least half of the parts, records from previous projects can be used.
- Seamless engineering change processes and workflows are integrated in a single system
- Service requests by customers and change requests by employees are managed in one call
- The effort of implementing engineering changes is reduced to a minimum for all departments
- Customized views ensure full transparency in project management
- Comprehensive controlling tools are available
ERP Serves as the Backbone
The ERP system proALPHA is the backbone of all processes in the company. It is the central location where all data on a new customer project are stored, be it commercial, E-CAD and CAD data or information from the product data management system and the plant data collection system tisoware. Service employees draw on this data pool to process all kinds of calls, such as requests for remote support and complaints.
Service and Engineering Change Management from a Single Source
The WDS service team offers its customers round-the-clock support. By establishing a seamless service and engineering change process, the company has managed to reduce the effort in all departments involved and increase transparency at the same time. If customers report a machine failure, WDS tries to resolve the issue by means of remote support first. Service employees access the plants affected via a secure VPN connection. They document how they fixed the error and the time required in proALPHA.
The data entered in the system are immediately available for invoicing. It can also be specified in the call if a part has to be replaced. All sequential documents are automatically created by proALPHA. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, WDS has tailored the ERP system to its needs, in close cooperation with proALPHA Consulting.
Sophisticated Engineering Change Management
Modifications to machines can be implemented effortlessly thanks to effective engineering change management. Change requests might be made by different parties, such as the production or assembly department and customers who have a complaint. If such a request comes in, a call is created in proALPHA. Moreover, a notification is sent to the engineer and the project leader responsible to ensure that they take care of the issue. The engineering department documents required changes in the call. "This also gives engineers the opportunity to decide on whether this modification has to be implemented in other machines, too. Our service team is therefore an important channel that continuously communicates suggestions for improvement," says Carsten Butz, Head of Corporate Strategy & Engineering at WDS.
Carsten Butz, Head of Corporate Strategy & Engineering at WDS