Case Study

Digital process speeds the creation of quality consumer products


Siemens PLM Software shifts development’s focus from prototypes to virtual validation

Brazilian consumer goods leader

In the market for more than 40 years, competing against multinational enterprises, Esmaltec stands out today as the only consumer products company with 100 percent Brazilian capitalization. Esmaltec offers a complete line of products, including conventional ovens, water fountains, microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, water coolers, hoods and cooktops. The newest division of the company, Esmaltec Food and Beverage, produces a product line for commercial cooking. Its products are exported to more than 50 countries.

Known for its quality and reliability, Esmaltec is a national leader in the water fountain market, with a market share of approximately 40 percent. In 2008, the company established itself as a leader in oven sales. Esmaltec’s industrial park in Maracanaú, Ceará, has more than 213,000 square feet of space, 2,800 employees and the capacity to produce 300,000 units per month.

Facing a market situation in which rapidly deployed launches may ensure a company’s survival, and in which mistakes are not easily forgiven, Esmaltec decided to migrate to an integrated product development platform as a way to reduce the development cycle and improve reliability. The goals for the platform were 1) to integrate all areas, from design to simulation, including the manufacturing line and technical documentation, 2) to manage the resources available for the deployment of complex projects, 3) to offer greater control and reliability and 4) cost reduction.

Carefully chosen solution

The implementation was carefully studied by Esmaltec, which forecast a two-year implementation plan divided in three main stages: system analysis, onsite evaluation and implementation. Within this period, diverse solutions were evaluated and, in the end, Esmaltec chose the one that was better adjusted to its needs for the following criteria: process integration, resources, user interface, migration facilitation, data management, cost, support, future expansion possibilities, structure and partner accessibility.

The technical evaluation included presentations focused on possible partnerships, software trials and training. By the end of the evaluation period, it was possible to precisely determine the software’s fit to Esmaltec’s reality. The company chose Solid Edge® computer-aided design (CAD) software and Teamcenter® software, preconfigured for rapid deployment and fast return on investment (ROI), both from Siemens PLM Software. This choice was made on the basis of the software’s better cost/benefit relationship and more substantial ROI, as well as the possibility of stable growth and better operational income. The fact that the solution belongs to Siemens PLM Software, regarded as a company that provides the best services and is more flexible and accessible for future contacts and negotiations, was essential for the company.

Wide-ranging benefits

Esmaltec has experienced many benefits from the Siemens PLM Software implementation. These include a 30 percent decrease in average lead time for both new projects and project modifications, the need for approximately 40 percent fewer prototypes, a decline in the amount of rework by approximately 80 percent due to fewer inconsistencies, a 90 percent reduction in deviations in projects and technical documentation, and a 20 percent decrease in paper consumption. Esmaltec expects a significant improvement in these figures after the conclusion of the Teamcenter implementation.

Previously, only about 30 percent of Esmaltec’s projects were executed and validated in digital environments while the remaining 70 percent were executed in physical environments through prototypes. Today, 60 percent of the validation happens in a digital environment, contributing significantly to a reduction in the number of prototypes, deadlines and costs involved.

This project benefits from the solution’s scalability, which allows the implementation to proceed according to the company’s needs and at the speed required for it to remain competitive. Solid Edge has been implemented in every expected area and, currently, it is being used to develop all new projects.

The focus now is on the complete implementation of Teamcenter for document and approval management. This is being done in stages to generate a lower impact with the current model. The complete implementation is scheduled for the end of 2008, and there are already plans for expanding its use to the full management of product structure, including nonmoldable and large flow items. This will involve the expansion of Teamcenter to nontechnical areas.

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