Klingel GmbH
Klingel GmbH

At the Automotive Supplier Klingel, FOSS Controls Batch and individual Production at the same time!

With Precision and Quality

Since its foundation in 1978, the automotive and engineering specialist Klingel GmbH in Waiblingen (Germany) has pursued one goal: to help ensure with precision and quality that its customers stay competitive on the international market.

The employees of the Swabian family-run business (about 180) manufacture precision parts for vehicle steering pumps for customers like ZF or ixetic – in every second German car you can find Klingel products. Furthermore, Klingel manufactures hydraulic cylinders for construction vehicles or supporting systems particularly after customer’s requests, e. g. for Putzmeister.

“Absolute adherence to schedules and highest quality has in our house first priority,” Jürgen Hahn, managing director at Klingel, says. “In order to meet these objectives, an efficient IT support is indispensable. Therefore we wanted a new and more high-performance ERP solution for improving the process stability, transparency and efficiency in the company.” For many years the ERP solution Format by e.Bootis had been in use on a HP e3000, which was no longer able to cope with the increased requirements especially in the automotive sector. New functions could only hardly be implemented given that the ERP system had not been developed further by the provider. Moreover, the end of the hardware support by HP had already been conceivable.

That is why in the second part of 2006 the Waibling company looked for a new future-proven solution. After a thoroughly market examination Klingel chose FOSS by ORDAT. “FOSS met our special functional requirements,” Jürgen Hahn remembers. “Additionally, we were convinced by the references of ORDAT and the competence of its consultants. And the chemistry was right too.”

Klingel’s most important requirement for an ERP system is that it has to cover two different production typologies with the utmost efficiency at the same time. For the automotive customers the company manufactures in serial production with a high volume in order to make low prices possible: Each year, 14 million precision parts in 200 versions leave the production line; the lead time is no more than one day. The hydraulic cylinders, however, are produced of delivered raw material parts in smaller batches according to customer-specific requirements. Per year, Klingel supplies its customers with about 20.000 parts at a lead time of 8 to 10 weeks.

“For us it was also important that the ERP system is able to cope with mapping, control and surveillance of external operation sequences,” the managing director says. The precision parts for vehicle steering pumps are anodized by external suppliers. FOSS cannot only control these operation sequences but can also take over the retracement of the series/batches. After a short introduction period of only 6 months FOSS entered the productive run on December 1st, 2007 with its subsystems Sales, Purchase, Warehouse, Production, Planning and PDC/AC as well as FOSS EDI and FOSS Mobile. Contemporarily to the implementation of the system, ORDAT consultants were also training the key users. Furthermore, a link to the document management Saperion was generated. As quality assurance managing system Klingel applies CASQ-IT by Böhme and Weihs.

Operating Data entry Into Industry PCs

Due to the fact that FOSS already meets in the standard almost all of Klingel’s requirements, the program customization only referred to the operation sequencerelated lot report and the extended PDC functions.

Klingel has about 70 state-of-the-art CNC lathes and processing centers of which FOSS collects the operating data based on the order and it evaluates them by FOSS PDC. Next to the times for the manufacturing steps, PDC also records the maintenance times by allocating the reported periods to repair orders. Smaller program adjustments had to be made for the hydraulic cylinders production in the operation data entry: given that normally you will find here many smaller orders, an especially efficient form of reporting (bundle reports) has been established in order to reduce the PDC report complexity to a minimum. The PDC processes have to run permanently. That is why ORDAT attached great importance to a high reliability and durability of the PDC hardware. Six industry PCs with touch screen and barcode scanner are used for the operating data entry because their range of functions extend way beyond the possibilities of the PDC Captor terminals which have been used before. FOSS GUI runs on the industry PCs in the so-called Kiosk Mode with limited user access rights.

The ORDAT and Klingel project team implemented the required operation sequence-related batch verification by batch accompanying maps which guarantee a gapless batch tracking and batch verification starting from the purchase part over the single operation sequences to the semi-finished and finished products. “With the new series/batch tracking I can exactly reproduce the production time of each single part, even if ten different machines produce the same one,” Jürgen Hahn says. “As a consequence, I can keep track in a more detailed way.”

Tried and tested successfully

Meanwhile FOSS has already proven itself successfully in day-to-day operations. It is highly accepted among the about 30 users. In the rare cases where start-up difficulties were encountered, optimizations have already taken place, e. g. for the background processing of the batch accompanying map postings. “We are very satisfied with FOSS,” CEO Jürgen Hahn resumes.

“The aims we pursued by a system change have been achieved, not least thanks to the good collaboration with ORDAT.” Now, the processes are stable, the efficiency and the transparency are noticeably better. Next to improved verification ability for the automotive products, also the complete EDI integration and the functions for preliminary and final costing which have become recently available are very much appreciated. In the short term a scanning solution for receipt documents and a tool administration shall be implemented.

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