The Claudius Peters Group is a leading specialist for bulk materials and process technology. A key objective of the corporate innovation project “Inspired Excellence” is to bring together the knowledge from separate expert systems and make it available in excellent clarity to a large user group on a central platform using the software CATALOGcreator®.
The Claudius Peters Group GmbH, headquartered in Buxtehude near Hamburg, with offices in the Americas, Europe, China and the Far East, designs and manufactures storage bins, pneumatic conveyors, cement silos, aluminum silos, clinker cooler, grinding mills for minerals, coal and gypsum, gypsum homogenisers and coolers, packing plants, bulk material technology for ships, aluminum and coal. Across the globe, Claudius Peters employs a workforce of nearly 540 employees, with 400 people working at the headquarters in Buxtehude alone.
The aim of the innovation project “Inspired Excellence,” launched in 2014, is to lay the foundation for a modern and excellent company of the 21st century at Claudius Peters. To achieve this, project participants concentrate on the following four priorities: introduction of consistent software applications, process optimization, standardization, and the realignment of the product portfolio.
In the IT sector, this means a shift from separate, co-existing software solutions to systems that constantly communicate with each other. As a result, the complex information from the various sources should be clearly arranged and easily accessible on a central platform.
Claudius Peters was therefore not only looking for a traditional software solution for the service but moreso for something to link company information and provide a user-friendly interface to internal and external users. “In 2015 we visited the cDAY – the annual customer conference of TID Informatik GmbH – and everything we learned there about the product CATALOGcreator® turned out to be useful for our project and later confirmed in practice,” said Thomas Nagel, Operations Director of Claudius Peters Project GmbH.
He summarized the five key requirements for the software solution for the enterprise-wide information platform as follows: convenience criteria, ease of use, linking data, various publishing variants, and presentation on all mobile devices.
As convenience criteria the company considers a simple licensing model, a good authorization concept, and the automatic linking of data. The tools should also be easy to use, meet modern requirements, provide flexibility, and at the same time represent comprehensive information. The information must be accessible to the users of this platform on the intranet, as well as offline as PDF, and, independent of devices, on the internet. The most important data published by the CATALOGcreator® come from ERP, CAD, and CAE systems, as well as project databases and documentation.
As the first step, Claudius Peters created a set of requirements for the new software which would replace the existing solution. Claudius Peters opted for a Proof of Concept (PoC) with TID Informatik GmbH. The purpose of a PoC is to clarify whether the new software solution – in combination with corporate data and processes – is capable of delivering the desired results. After the workshop it was clear that the decision would be in favor of CATALOGcreator®.
“We were able to implement the project with little IT capacities. For us, the holistic, enterprise-wide change was the focus. The project platform is a tool that is intended be used in all areas of the company. Our direction is therefore very user-oriented and a complex result of the innovation project,” Thomas Nagel explained about the strategy.
The project for this central publication platform goes by the name “Claudius Peters Portal,” and in addition to customers and distribution partners it also focuses on a variety of user groups, including sales managers, sales, spare parts departments, product line management and engineering, assembly staff, commissioning technicians and the aftermarket service.
Around 8,000 catalogs are already available on the platform for the projects with machines with a CP series number dated from today until all the way back to 1994. “What particularly thrilled us was the fact that even decades-old data could be converted quickly and easily into a modern program thanks to CATALOGcreator®,” Thomas Nagel said, describing the process of legacy data integration.
In summer 2016 they started globally with test users in the corporate network, accessing the platform via the intranet. “Claudius Peters Portal” provides information about the master data of projects, machine and serial numbers, ERP parts master data, customer part numbers and project data, spare parts drawings from design, assembly drawings, process and automation data, documents from the CAE system Engineering Base and complete documentation and engineering documents.
The results of the tests have been very positive. Upon delivery of new machines, customers also receive a 2D offline version of the electronic spare parts catalog on CD.
Experiences and Outlook
At Claudius Peters, CATALOGcreator® assumes the function of a data connector. This way the company ultimately achieves a clear added value in each project phase. The current languages available in the system are English and German, but further translations into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian are already planned.
The intensive preparation of the master data has proven to be a fundamental insight of the innovation project at Claudius Peters. Through the visualization in the electronic catalog, it quickly becomes apparent when data are not well-maintained. This creates an additional motivation to invest the time and effort to complete data cleanup promptly and consistently.
Thomas Nagel refers to the project collaboration with its longstanding partner CCS Solutions GmbH, entrusted with the implementation of a DMS system at Claudius Peters, and TID as “very refreshing and efficient” and describes the product as “modern and innovative.” The requirements of the group were always understood and implemented quickly.
The new project platform helped them make good progress towards their goal to be a forward-looking company. The next steps of the project include training and integration of representatives and the go-live of the 2D web catalog for customers by the end of 2016. A convenient webshop and the option for a 3D catalog are still on the agenda.
“CATALOGcreator® is a tool that every company should use. We use it as an information database that brings together expert knowledge from different systems. Not everyone can use an ERP system or a CAD program, but in the electronic catalog, the information is presented in a way that allows virtually anyone to easily access all relevant and shared data. This is a tremendous added value for the entire company and our customers and partners,” summarized the group operations director of Claudius Peters Projects GmbH.