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.

winkler-duennebier logo

Industry: Mechanical & Plant Engineering

Sites: Rengsdorf

Products: Confectionery machines

Revenue: €52m (2015)

Employees: 304 (2017)

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  •  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.

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Our partner manager Bernhard Fix will be happy to help you!

"Since we were able to implement the entire engineering process in proALPHA, we have managed to reduce the effort of handling change requests and complaints for all departments."

Carsten Butz, Head of Corporate Strategy & Engineering at WDS

Proactive Management of Defective Parts

If a part is defective, the position where it is installed in the plant is determined based on the bill of materials and entered in the engineering change order. This information is crucial when plants with a length of up to 100 meters have to be maintained. Engineers not only have to remove defective parts from a machine, they also have to check parts that are of the same type and might still be in stock. proALPHA therefore informs them about the current stock and asks them to decide how to proceed: can the remaining parts be installed in other machines? Is it possible to repair the parts or do they have to be scrapped? Engineers can initiate the next processes in a dialog window.

Seamless Processes and Workflows

Changes to a call trigger various workflows, for example, documents are forwarded to the routing department. Master data, bills of materials and schedules are checked there before the work order is adopted into the order of the superordinate assembly. Depending on whether a machine is affected which has already been delivered or that is just being manufactured, a sales or service order is created. The purchasing and production department can be informed by another workflow, if required. As a result, purchasing can generate the purchase order from the MRP report, and production can start to manufacture the new parts. "The documents sent by engineering change management to purchasing and production are identical to 'normal' documents of other orders," Mr. Butz explains. Finished and purchased parts are registered in the warehouse and assigned to a call, and consequently, to the respective project. On the demand date, things proceed as usual: the parts are provided for assembly or prepared for shipment if the machine has already been installed at the customer's.

Minimum Effort

WDS has mapped its entire service call processing in proALPHA. The call that initiated a process is always linked to the individual steps. This significantly reduces the effort of handling service calls for all departments. Moreover, workflows ensure seamless communication. A single database where all data are stored allows comprehensive controlling. WDS has taken an important step towards improving quality management of its extremely long machines ─ to keep producing the most delicious gummy bears!

Do you have any questions?

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+1 603-402-3877