Using PLM provides huge business returns
DHI·DCW Group (Teamcenter)
A Chinese manufacturer relies on its extensive Teamcenter implementation to please customers and expand its international presence
DHI·DCW Group Co., Ltd. (DHI·DCW Group) is a 5,000-person enterprise created by the merger of heavy equipment manufacturer Dalian Heavy Industry Co., Ltd., and DCW Group Co., Ltd., the leading crane supplier in China. DHI·DCW Group specializes in heavy equipment used in a variety of industries, including metallurgy, mines, power, transportation, chemical, construction materials, grain storage and urban construction.
“Our main products fall into four categories: cranes, port machinery, metallurgical machinery, and loading/unloading machinery for bulk materials,” says Baodong Sun, DHI∙DCW Group’s CIO (chief information officer). “We also have five categories of new products: core parts and components for wind power generation, crankshafts for large ships, tunnel extractors, nuclear power-specific equipment, and high-end castings and forgings. We have up to 1,000 product specifications in total.”
DHI·DCW Group has provided more than three million tons of heavy equipment and components over its history, for customers in China and abroad. Its goal is to become a leading supplier of this equipment on an international scale, offering first-class products, management and service.
Supportive IT infrastructure
As part of its strategy for expanding its international presence, DHI·DCW Group has been working to create an information technology (IT) infrastructure that supports innovation and speeds time to market. A key element of this infrastructure is Teamcenter® software from Siemens PLM Software, which is used to manage the entire product development process.
“The whole process – from the preparation of pre-sales technical documents to the receipt of contracts, project establishment, role assignment, design commencement, material and parts procurement/preparation, component-specific filing and issuing, design change, and after-sales service – is realized using Teamcenter in strict compliance with the requirements of the ISO 9001 quality system,” explains Yan Bai, chief product designer at DHI∙DCW Group. “With Teamcenter, we have realized full product lifecycle management.”
The extensive implemenation of Teamcenter was carried out in two phases, and the company reports that its employees found the software easy to learn and use. The implementation “covers all of our products and business departments,” says Chunting Li, director of DHI∙DCW Group’s CAE (computer-aided engineering) and PDM (product data management) Department. The company has 825 users of Teamcenter, and its Teamcenter database contains more than 1.6 million files, including computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and 3D models, technical documents, CAE simulation processes and the like. “We have fully achieved the management of materials data, technical documents and operational processes in a comprehensive, accurate, consistent, transparent, standard and traceable fashion,” he adds.
Teamcenter includes an application development interface that allows companies to customize the application and develop new functions according to their own business requirements. “We have created a system development team, and ever since the go-live of our Teamcenter system, the team has developed many highly practical custom functions,” Yang Pan, an engineer at DHI∙DCW Group.
Using Teamcenter, data can be exchanged with the company’s computer-aided process planning (CAPP), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other applications, realizing the principle of “one code for one material,” while significantly increasing downstream efficiency. The product lifecycle management (PLM) system’s integration with other applications also “allows our internal departments in different regions to share, review, approve and issue data in a collaborative and concurrent manner,” Li explains. “Besides, it also provides a management platform for research, development, design and innovation, making it possible to re-use and accumulate enterprise knowledge.”
Impressive business returns
“Using Teamcenter provides our group with huge business returns,” Li continues. As he explains, the returns come mainly in four areas. “First, with Teamcenter we have optimized and standardized the group’s business processes by making them more rapid, convenient, standardized and traceable, thus improving our design, research and development efficiency. Second, Teamcenter provides a platform for product research, development and design, thus realizing knowledge accumulation and re-use, increasing design efficiency and controlling costs. Third, by using the Teamcenter product platform, we are able to realize rapid design variations, to quickly respond to the market demands and improve customer satisfaction,” Li adds. “Fourth, through the Teamcenter platform, we have integrated the data of CAD, CAE, PLM, CAPP and ERP, realized concurrent business and departmental collaboration, and significantly enhanced our core competitiveness.” Li explains, “Using Teamcenter allows our internal departments in different regions to share, review, approve and issue data in a collaborative and concurrent manner.”
DHI∙DCW Group credits the use of Teamcenter with helping the company reduce the time needed for product design by 16.7 percent. The company also found that data re-use has increased by 25 percent. File search efficiency has increased 60 percent, and the company has realized 100 percent control over the security of its technical documents. Sun notes, “Using Teamcenter has continuously improved our product innovation and management capabilities, enabled us to make a quick response to the market demands, and thus has played a critical role in supporting the rapid development of our group.”
The organization’s future plans include increasing its investment in Teamcenter to “continuously optimize processes, enhance functions, and strengthen our PLM implementation team to establish an inter-region system for managing and controlling the parent company and its subsidiaries all over the world,” says Li. “This will allow us to continuously improve our R&D and innovation capability and provide a powerful supporting platform for our growth as a first-class player in the international heavy equipment industry.”