Case study: Rotork & Bluestar

The Spring 2017 issue of The Record features a case study on Rotork. The full-length article is as follows:

PLM inside Dynamics AX

Global pipeline control systems manufacturer Rotork is anticipating a wealth of new efficiencies thanks to the integration of Bluestar PLM within its Dynamics AX ERP system

Established in 1957, global manufacturing company Rotork operates in a wide variety of markets including oil and gas, water and sewerage and marine operations. Over the last decade, the company has experienced remarkable growth and today has over 4,000 employees spread across the globe.

“Historically our employees were located across a few major sites, with the engineering and operations teams co-located at the factories that manufactured the products they were working on,” explains Phil Wood, Rotork Group’s chief information officer. “With this structure in place it was easy to implement manual controls over engineering data as colleagues sat together and there was a lot of face-to-face communication. However, in the last six years we’ve made 16 acquisitions and our engineering teams are now spread across many sites. We also have an Engineering Centre of Excellence in India. The company has grown and this has resulted in many disparate teams and an engineering authority that needs better tools to control the data being created and maintained around our products.”

Wood recognised that it was necessary to implement a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. “First we turned to one of the bigger PLM providers, but we quickly realised that the offering did not effectively match our needs. What’s more, the vendor was not interested in meeting our needs,” he explains.

With this in mind, the company decided to take a different avenue. “We’d been using Microsoft Dynamics AX for over five years, and had planned implementations in all Rotork factories. We realised that we had a unique opportunity to implement ERP and PLM together to integrate the way we manage all of our product data. We would not get this chance again, and so we looked for a PLM solution that worked inside Dynamics AX.”

Microsoft independent software vendor Bluestar PLM was the only company that could deliver this capacity. ”Its PLM solution seamlessly integrates product data (such as drawings, bill of materials [BOMs] and 3D files from CAD systems), with manufacturing data, right inside Dynamics AX,” Wood says.

So far Rotork has designed and built its engineering control system inside the Dynamics AX template for all factories, as Wood explains: “At present BlueStar is in a limited live deployment stage – we’ve released it to a small number of our engineering teams who are using it on our new products to define product data, to create new items and for CAD document storage. We intend to deploy Bluestar PLM to our factories and engineering authorities worldwide over the months to come.”

Wood expects the solution to dramatically increase efficiencies, especially around the creation and management of BOMs. “Historically, engineering created product BOMs in a way that reflected how the product was designed. In most cases this did not align with how the product would be made in the factory,” he explains. “Clearly the factory either had to redefine the BOM that would fit with the assembly process, or simply use a BOM that was ‘wrong’. This clearly created problems with BOM accuracy, BOM version management, configurator management and in turn materials requirement planning accuracy and stock accuracy.

“These are very real problems for operations, and cause friction between the engineering and operations teams,” Wood continues. “The Bluestar PLM solution will change all this. Everyone will be working from the same system and there will be far greater accuracy and control of data. This will be very powerful for us, and will really bring engineering and operations together – it will change the way we work in our factories, and increase efficiency in engineering change and product data control companywide.”

And this is just the beginning. “It is likely that Bluestar PLM will be as beneficial to application engineers who work on customer solutions as it will be for product engineers,” Wood concludes. “I expect we will significantly expand the rollout beyond the current factory scope.”

Source: The Record, Issue 4: Spring 2017, page 90-91. (http://digital.tudor-rose.co.uk/therecord/issue04/#90)

About rotork

For more information please visit: rotork.com or rotork on LinkedIn

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Case Study: From Idea to Production

Data is growing faster than ever before, employees are systematizing processes on an individual basis, and productivity is slowing down.
We have all heard this story before. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like this.

PDM Technology is an Independent Software Vendor and a Microsoft Partner. Since 1988, they have been specialized in the development, sale, and implementation of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions. Their core mission is to provide a solution that bridges the gap between PLM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

By doing so, their solution provides endless possibilities for data-sharing while automating business processes across engineering, production, and finance departments.

One set of data, one system

“Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system that processes and integrates data from the areas of finance, purchasing, sales, planning and inventory control. In other words, ERP is the operations and production playground. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), on the other hand, is the engineering playground. The core purpose of the PLM system is to manage engineering data such as 3D models, (design) documents, and BOMs. Ideas are born and developed in PLM, and they are realized in ERP,” says CEO of PDM Technology, Jørgen Schiønning Larsen. He also adds,

“Normally, ERP and PLM systems are isolated from one another. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. The software platform, Bluestar PLM, ensures that there is two-way communication between your PLM and ERP systems. We merge these two worlds into one software platform, so that everyone in the company has access to the same data and are on the same system. By using a single system instead of two, employees are able to successfully work uniformly. We have found a way to streamline the entire process, from concept to delivery, whereby everyone benefits from the clarity that Bluestar PLM provides.”

“PDM Technology’s IT solution helps our engineers navigate these large quantities of data, which enhances overall quality by reusing existing data.” Peter Johansen, IT Manager at SH Group.

One of the customers that PDM Technology has provided an IT solution for is SH Group, which develops and manufactures a wide range of products. Peter Johansen, the IT Manager at SH Group, explains, “SH Group is, to a great extent, a project-oriented company. We deliver custom solutions to various industries, including offshore and wind power, with products such as deck equipment for ships and oil rigs, and handling equipment for wind turbines. Due to the fact that most of our products are Engineered to Order, not very many models and drawings are used more than once in our production process. PDM Technology’s IT solution helps our engineers navigate these large quantities of data, which enhances overall quality by reusing existing data.”

From Idea to Input, and on to Production

Niels Markussen, Project Manager at PDM Technology, describes the IT solution SH Group received, and explains why this solution works, “We provided SH Group with a standardized solution that allows their engineers, who use 3D CAD programs, to have data carried from the initial concept straight down to production effortlessly. It is the best and the most standardized solution, which both SH Group and PDM Technology believe serves two essential purposes: enhanced quality assurance and time optimization. In cooperation with SH Group, we have been able to create a common thread in their workflow, from idea to input and on to production.”

“Prior to choosing Bluestar PLM, SH Group experienced massive growth rates.” Henrik Mølgaard Jørgensen, Business Controller at SH Group.

Henrik Mølgaard Jørgensen, Business Controller at SH Group, agrees with Niels Markussen by stating, “Prior to choosing Bluestar PLM, SH Group experienced massive growth rates. When rapid growth occurs, establishing more structured approach becomes a requirement. Bluestar PLM assisted our staff to overcome the challenges we faced along the way, and together we created a PLM solution that was tailored to our needs.” He adds, “

“The level of quality has improved in all of our products, and the more standardized the product, the faster it can be produced. The implementation of Bluestar PLM was based on PDM Technology’s ability to challenge us with critical questions. That is how we developed the core elements needed in a solution that suit our business.”

Henrik Mølgaard Jørgensen believes that cooperation with PDM Technology improves the standard of their work, because they can better ensure the quality of each other’s drawings before they get to production. He also points out that it reduces the total number of errors in production, and facilitates data sharing between SH Group’s engineers.

Source: Sponsored case study published in Jyllands Posten, Danish newspaper, March 26th, 2017.

Original in Danish

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