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Teamcenter and NX help geographically distributed engineering centers work smarter, save time
The Energomash Group unites several enterprises and engineering centers and is one of Russia’s largest power engineering companies. The company’s operations cover design, construction and installation of gas turbine generator units for heat stations, including support services such as scheduled maintenance and repairs. Energomash’s product line includes electrical equipment including turbo generators, hydraulic pumps, boiler plant machinery, heat station and nuclear power plant equipment, metallic structures and pipelines; oil and gas-related technology; metallurgy, heavy engineering and transportation equipment; electric power and heat generation. The Energomash Group’s enterprises address the entire product lifecycle, from design and production planning to manufacturing and commissioning.
The Energomash Group started using Siemens PLM Software’s products in 1998. As the engineering centers were being established, the issue of selecting a CAD and data management system arose. The selection process considered the Energomash profile. The corporation’s divisions design and make different kinds of products; the group provides different kinds of production (one-off, small batch, large scale); a project may be managed by several geographically distributed divisions.
Numerous factors drove the company’s PLM pursuit, with the most prominent being a unified product knowledge base for the entire group of enterprises, unified reference library, design and production of different products at different divisions, collaboration and shared real-time data access for design, production planning and manufacturing engineers, real-time product data exchange between the corporation’s divisions, minimal data conversion efforts, easy system expansion to include more engineers and digital workflows. It was also important to have the ability to export design and manufacturing information to the ERP system to enable further economic evaluation and resource planning, and to possess decision-making and workflow transparency at every product lifecycle stage.
Energomash management asserted that a strong CAD/CAM/CAE system must provide tight synchronization with a PLM system, noting modern production requires part-to-tooling associativity. Management wanted a system that would support concurrent multiuser assembly editing and minimize design and production planning costs by replacing time-consuming manual workflows with automated ones. A product lifecycle management market analysis led to Siemens PLM Software technology – Teamcenter® software for digital lifecycle management and NX™ software for digital product development.
The deployment began at St. Petersburg Engineering Center while the GTTETs 009 low-power heat and power station was being designed. A unified standard digital mockup of the gas turbine unit was developed, which enabled maintaining design intent at every product development stage. The 3D CAD solved a major challenge at that time: fast market release of gas turbine heat and power stations.Quality of the new products was much improved while prototype production and testing costs were reduced.
A number of projects had been successfully deployed with NX, so the decision was made to set a company standard for complex product design. NX was configured to meet the construction industry’s requirements related to metallic structures design and documentation layout.
Today Energomash is also developing best-practice design techniques for standard electric units (magnetic cores, coils, tanks, housings, etc.), including design automation using a reference library and model prototypes. Production planning processes are supported by downloading the geometric parameters of an NX model into a corresponding Teamcenter entity.
Energomash uses NX both in its design and production planning departments. NX generates production documents related to a designer’s 3D model (for example, workpiece charts). NX CAM is exceptionally valuable for machining center programming and is especially adept for parts having complex geometry. Moreover, 3D modeling has become the designer’s primary approach to tooling design.
For Energomash, the first and most important stage of a corporate-wide PLM system deployment was creating a reference library (materials, standard and OEM parts and units, tooling, etc.). Management decided that the ERP library would serve as the primary reference resource. To maintain data integrity and to avoid duplication, the library supports special entity naming rules. There are duplication removal and publishing procedures for new entities with multi-site collaboration. Company standards have been established to specify the library’s management, search and data entry procedures.
A group of experts were assigned the responsibility for library management. The group processes applications for reference entities creation (application registration and progress, attaching additional information like a 3D model or a specification). Importantly, the in-class solution supports reference information handling within Teamcenter.
The company’s divisions and engineering centers used to work with a variety of both in-home and commercial software systems. Data was stored differently at every site. In order to implement a corporate-wide information system, the product development systems at the divisions were reorganized and unified.
A unified data model including new entity type creation, attributes and links was developed. The new model meets the demands of development across the corporation’s entire product line. The model offers many advantages, especially when different engineering centers perform design and production planning for the same project. The model is specified in the company standards. To preserve legacy data, conversion modules have been used to transfer the information into the new integrated environment.
Corporate-wide information (Teamcenter), design (NX) and manufacturing control (SAP ERP) systems’ deployment enables Energomash to perform the complete array of product lifecycle activities within an integrated information environment. These include client database management, in-house order creation (after an order is developed into a contract, an in-house order issue initiates product development), basic product structure development by the design and production planning departments (the structure is fed into the ERP system for product development’s financial planning and long-term OEM purchases) and paper design documentation generation from the digital product structure and 3D models.
Production planning begins concurrently with product design and finishes as the product status is changed to release. This significantly accelerates process efficiency. Intershop routes are transferred to the work measurement department along with the first design, with manufacturing data uploaded into the ERP system to start purchases. A second upload is performed after the manufacturing processes have been evaluated, upon which the ERP system begins production planning. Design changes are transferred in real-time into the ERP system. Production accounting is then completed, with the product’s passport generated from the design data and a product serial number assigned.
To meet the corporation’s standards, all design documents undergo automated verification, including data checklists required by manufacturing. A series of data verification modules were developed to check entities, attributes and attachments, while value templates and required parameters are customized through a separate Teamcenter site.
Teamcenter handles automated design document generation, with the primary requirement being compliance with the ESKD national standards. Basic design documents – part, assembly, installation and other drawings – are developed with NX. Title block templates featuring automated data entry are developed with Teamcenter and support various BOM generations (standard BOM, electric BOM, package BOM), creation of BOM lists,OEM lists and other documents.
Coordination between the digital design documentation, production planning and design verification departments is performed with Teamcenter visualization capabilities using the “red pencil” mode. To facilitate faster paper document approval and to synchronize paper and digital workflows, a complete approval procedure was introduced, including automatic status change for entities.
One of the key workflow automation requirements of Energomash was to eliminate the storing of paper originals. Therefore, as applicable, released paper documentation is scanned and saved in Teamcenter’s archive documents database. Setting a release status to the design entities is accompanied with creating archive document record cards and structures.
Teamcenter manufacturing functionality is used for production planning. A production planning data model was created to customize the system for the production planning departments. This provided conformance to ESTD national standards, enabling one-off and best-practice manufacturing process development and support of concurrent work by all engineers involved. Digitally based manufacturing processes facilitate automated generation of production documentation.
Using Teamcenter, a closed-loop production planning cycle is executed via designer and manufacturing engineer interaction starting from tooling specifications and through the final stages of product development.
To boost manufacturing process evaluation, a system of standard tables and a user interface were created. The interface retrieves data from the tables according to the product parameters and the manufacturing operations used.
As a design change is approved digitally, the product structure is updated automatically, including the manufacturing processes and the work measurement entity updates.
A growing Teamcenter database and implementation of the ERP system’s production modules made it necessary to transfer data from Teamcenter into the ERP system. Since different kinds of information were to be transferred (product description and specifications, BOMs, manufacturing processes), several data conversion modules were developed. There is also a batch conversion module for handling large amounts of data. The information on a conversion event is saved in a log.
Design and manufacturing information is fed into the ERP system, and for the specific product a new material record is created with all the fields filled, plus manufacturing documentation, manufacturing charts and configurations are generated. The updated information is exported into the ERP system.
The deployment of Teamcenter and NX has resulted in highly coordinated activities across geographically distributed engineering centers. The manufacturing engineers spend significantly less time on digital mockup analyses and production feasibility studies for available manufacturing equipment. NX and Teamcenter represent much more than productive new development and manufacturing technologies for Energomash. According to management, NX and Teamcenter provide an integrated information environment that enables managing the entire product lifecycle.
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Energomash is Russia’s largest power engineering group.
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