Long production line - short distances @BSH

08.01.2019 Alexander Maier, translated by: Rebecca Pichler

As production plants are increasingly networked digitally today, maintenance is also changing. OPRA is IT-Informatik‘s answer to industrial digitization. The SAP-based application for the maintenance of mobile and stationary systems and devices offers the user intuitive and process-oriented user interfaces as well as comprehensive and context-related information at the touch of a button.

Maintenance of production lines and supply systems

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is a globally active company with production sites in Europe, America and China. BSH not only has to maintain its entire production lines, tools and buildings, but also its supply systems and building services. The manufacturer has been using SAP EAM (Enterprise Asset Management - formerly Plant Maintenance) in Europe for over twenty years, in the USA since 1995 and in China for three years.

Due to the size of the company, the SAP ERP system is split up in several ways. There are two development systems for customizing and program development, one for Europe and one for America/China, which are then integrated into their own factory production systems in each region. In addition, there are various other parallel production systems such as FI/CO, CMD, SRM, Service..., which of course communicate actively with each other.

Simplifying the SAP landscape

BSH has been simplifying this SAP landscape and standardizing its processes worldwide for several years now. Whereas there used to be a separate SAP system for each plant, these were combined in Europe between 2003 and today in a uniform SAP „net-F“ system. The USA locations have been working together on the new factory system since 2016, in their own productive landscape.

At the same time as Robert Bosch GmbH took over 100% of the household appliance supplier in January 2015, the topic of Industry 4.0 became increasingly important. Parts of production will be transferred to Manufacturing Execution Systems (= MES, the process-related operating level of a multi-layer production management system), „or also the production management level, as they used to say,“ explains Peter Zischler, SAP/PM IT Product Manager at BSH. „Other parts go into the ERP system. MES are increasingly becoming the control level and the link between ERP and machine control“.

In this context, BSH also intends to modernize and accelerate its maintenance activities. In search of a suitable system in their own group and on the free market, the topic debated was soon OPRA: „Its functionality fi ts into the SAP and production landscape exactly as we imagine it. IT-Informatik is also ahead of other products in terms of cost-benefit ratio.“

OPRA is fully SAP-integrated, mobile applicable and supplements SAP EAM by user friendliness, process orientation and the seamless integration of third systems. Thus it enables a technical, functional and visual integration of plants, persons, processes, data and systems in SAP.

Working directly at the assembly line in SAP

Peter Zischler: „We needed online access to the master data, orders and material in the warehouses, which OPRA offers us.“
Maintenance staff have mobile clients of the solution on their smartphones and tablets. This allows them to stand next to the system at the assembly line and, in the event of a fault, to check on site in SAP to see whether a spare part is available.

You can reserve or book it, take it directly from the warehouse and include it in the maintenance order. The maintenance technician no longer has to go to a terminal, thus saving a lot of travel time on the long production lines.

If a system fails, it runs back and forth several times between the system and the SAP terminal to inspect the damage, create an order, check whether the used spare part is in stock according to the bill of materials, etc.

„Almost like a pre-project for S/4 HANA“

The IT department sees further advantages in the solution: With the new technology and its Fiori interfaces, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is now well positioned towards the new SAP product generation. For Peter Zischler, OPRA is almost like a kind of preliminary project for S/4HANA, „to get a feeling for what working with SAP Fiori interface will look like in the future“.

Since March 2018, OPRA has been used productively in pilot areas at four locations: Dillingen (dishwashers), Giengen a. d. Brenz (refrigerators), Montanana near Zaragoza/Spain (stoves) and Nazarje/Slovenia (consumer products). BSH has been using the system since June. In the initial stage, around 280 maintenance staff worked with OPRA, and more than 500 are expected in the final expansion phase.

Peter Zischler: „The project is going very well. We are extremely satisfied with IT-Informatik, which has made a number of BSH-specific adjustments in OPRA for us. Because we work with a number of SAP settings that were not available in the OPRA standard.“

Networked production facilities and SAP-integrated value-added processes - with this duo, BSH is resolutely driving inhouse digitization forward.

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