The RECycler® 315 model is a Hvidtved Larsen product being sold in the North American market. Photo: Asger Stage / Hvidtved Larsen
Ready for Industry 4.0
Hvidtved Larsen is one of many Danish industrial companies in the midst of digital conversion; with the implementation of Bluestar PLM, the company’s IT systems for CRM, ERP, PLM and CAD now are connected in one system.
In recent years, Hvidtved Larsen has evolved from being a traditional craft company to a global industry, producing and supporting a number of distinct products. Their vision is to be the world’s most innovative maker of sewer cleaning and sanitation equipment, and it’s a vision that demands technology and IT systems that support production processes. To achieve their vision, it is crucial that drawings and data flow freely between technical departments, where designs are planned, and production areas, where the plans are implemented. Bluestar PLM creates this link between the CAD system (where the design exists) and the ERP system (the company’s administration system). The software is integrated into Microsoft Dynamics AX and collects product data such as drawings, BOMs and 3D files from CAD systems, as well as manufacturing data from Dynamics AX.
Jesper Hejselbæk is Technical Director at Hvidtved Larsen. He recalled the challenges when all drawings from the CAD systems were created separately in the warehouse and finance system.
“Bluestar PLM is an important part of our growth and error reduction. It is crucial that we effectively manage our documentation so that we can grow and deliver quality on time, which is a major strategies in all markets.”
Jesper Hejselbæk, Technical Director at Hvidtved Larsen
“It was both time consuming and there was a risk of errors because you did not necessarily get all the details when transferring from one system to another,” said Hejselbæk, noting that this resulted not only in production errors, but also increased waiting times and time-consuming manual processes in handling product data from one system to another.
“Bluestar PLM is an important part of our growth and error reduction. It is crucial that we effectively manage our documentation so that we can grow and deliver quality on time, which is a major strategies in all markets,” said Hejselbæk.
Data provides competitive power
Jørgen Schiønning Larsen is CEO of PDM Technology, specializing in ERP-based PLM with the solution ‘Bluestar PLM,’ and was responsible for system implementation at Hvidtved Larsen. According to him, the experience at Hvidtved Larsen is an example of how businesses in the Western world are required to digitize and run smarter in order to compete in a global market. This happens by combining data from a manufacturer’s various systems, machines and robots – a phenomenon called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ or Industry 4.0.
“With Industry 4.0, our ability to generate and manage data becomes our new competitive power. Everyone can make ordinary production today, so the competitive power for us in the Western world stems from our ability to process and produce data,” said Larsen.
”Everyone can make ordinary production today, so the competitive power for us in the Western world stems from our ability to process and produce data”
Jørgen Larsen, CEO at PDM technology
At Hvidtved Larsen, the flow of data starts when a customer starts an order for a sewage vacuum truck. Each customer is different – some customers buy a standard design, while others prefer to make minor adjustments for vehicle color, size of pumps and length of hoses. Other customers want to define each detail of the vacuum truck, so they have optimized the product to fit their unique needs. Consequently, a variety of different data is collected during the order process that affects how the product is manufactured.
“It’s important that you work on a common platform, with one data model and have one way to work throughout the organization, and therefore have coherent data in a single system,” said PDM Technology’s Larsen. “Hvidtved Larsen’s migration to Industry 4.0 started with implementation of Bluestar PLM, which connects the sales system, engineers and production with one another in one single solution – an essential part of Industry 4.0. It is likely that their next step will be to get sensors in the vehicles, so Hvidtved Larsen can monitor them and, from there, make effective plans for vehicle maintenance and repairs. It’s all about giving Hvidtved Larsen competitive power.”
Easy access to data
Jesper B. Thomsen is a Project Manager with PDM Technology. According to him, one of the key advantages with Bluestar PLM is that it is embedded within the ERP system, which means that all data is available in one system. “You have drawings and information available exactly when needed. When you are in production, you have access to the current 3D model, drawing, bill of materials and production data. With Bluestar PLM, companies use this availability of information avoid costly mistakes,” Thomsen said.
Source: Sponsored case study published in Jyllands Posten, Danish newspaper, March 16th, 2018.