How street-cleaning machines came to the Internet
Bucher Municipal is the world’s leading manufacturer of municipal vehicles for cleaning and removing snow from public and private areas. The technically advanced solutions offer high performance, ease of use and efficiency.
The spare parts catalogs have been created in Adobe InDesign with a large amount of manual work and were difficult to keep up to date. Often there were wrong deliveries because it was not very easy for users to find the correct part. With the introduction of a modern electronic spare parts catalog system and an e-shop, a consistent database would have to be created for use around the world.
Bucher Group worldwide
Bucher Industries is a global technology group with leading market positions in specialty areas of mechanical and vehicle engineering. The operations currently include specialised agricultural machinery, municipal vehicles, hydraulic components, manufacturing equipment for the glass container industry as well as for wine, fruit juices and instant products. The company is listed on the Swiss Exchange (SIX: BUCN). For more information, see www.bucherind.com.
One of these divisions is Bucher Municipal, a leading global supplier of municipal vehicles. The product range includes compact and large street cleaning machines, snow removal equipment and garbage trucks. In 2011 Bucher Municipal realized a turnover of CHF 380 million with approximately 1,500 employees. With locations in Switzerland, Germany, England, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Australia and Korea, Bucher Municipal is represented worldwide.
The production parts lists were exported from SAP and adjusted manually, the graphics were processed using different programs. Both together were then brought combined in one layout with Adobe InDesign and published in PDF format and on paper. Since there was no connection to the material master and the updating of the catalogs happened only sporadically, the catalog content rarely corresponded for a 100 percent of the products. As a consequence the search and identification of spare parts was often difficult to establish.
Bucher Municipal publishes approximately 70 catalogs with 200-400 units and 3000-4000 replacement parts each.
Service technicians, retailers and customers expect up-to-date spare parts catalogs from Bucher Municipal, which can be used easily and intuitively and enable a fast and unequivocal identification of spare parts. An important aspect is the large volume of additional information that must be provided with the products, assemblies and articles.
An automated quality control upstream of the catalog production should ensure the completeness, accuracy and consistency between diagrams and parts lists.
Through the proven combination of SAP CatMan und CATALOGcreator® in many projects, an innovative, streamlined production process could be implemented, which is automated over long distances and significantly relieves the documentation department.
The basis for the spare parts catalog is the engineering BOM (bill of materials). This is being prepared with the SAP CatMan according to the service aspects and enriched with additional information. The graphics are either created in Adobe Illustrator (existing catalogs) or in the case of new machines from 3D – CAD models derived via 3dvia Composer and stored in the web standard format SVGZ. An integrated quality control checks the data for completeness and consistency prior to publication. All the information required for the spare parts catalog is passed on by the CatMan to the CATALOGcreator®, the subsequent publication process is fully automated.
Currently, a PDF file for the paper catalog and the HTML – option for CD and Internet is generated. In the medium long term the paper catalog will be largely replaced by the CD version.
The online catalog is integrated seamlessly with SAP E-Commerce – the web shop of SAP – in terms of layout, content and handling.
At Bucher Municipal many departments benefit from the introduction of the CATALOGcreator®, especially the technical documentation department, the spare parts sales department and customer service. The following results are particularly noteworthy:
- The process of creating the catalog is largely automated
- The topicality of the catalogs has increased significantly
- The identification of spare parts has become much easier
- The former “Parts Book” has become a “Product Information System”
- The seamless integration of the catalogs in the web shop enabled a convenient and easy ordering of replacement parts
“As a customer we felt we were being taken seriously and understood right from the beginning. The consultants of TID were IT specialists and valuable sparring partners for our departments at the same time. The identification with our processes and data, coupled with a healthy desire to explore during special situations and problems, was exemplary. The intention to continuously make the CATALOGcreator® standard better and more user friendly with input from customer projects is not an empty phrase at TID.”
Katharina Völkening, Senior Application Project Manager at Bucher Municipal