Hydraulic platform maker gets lift from design data management
Teamcenter helps Bronto Skylift improve manufacturing efficiency
Raising safety for access, rescue and firefighting
Bronto Skylift is a global market leader in designing and manufacturing truck-mounted hydraulic platforms used by equipment rental companies, contractors and large municipal fire departments. The company’s products have risen to a new level with the help of Teamcenter® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software.
During the company’s 50-year history, Bronto Skylift has designed and manufactured more than 6,400 platforms for customers in more than 120 countries. The company’s products are designed to increase overall safety and help prevent damage or injuries at fires and construction sites.
“Bronto Skylift’s products are always tailored to each customer’s needs,” says Jarmo Rajala, computer-aided design/product data management (CAD/PDM) administrator for Bronto Skylift. “There are thousands of hydraulics platforms and accessories, which can be combined in several ways to create a huge number of product variations. Managing a large portfolio of products is an important part of our development process, and for that we need a modern design system and environment.”
Developing something new
Product information is part of the company’s intellectual property, defining the composition of a product required to bring it to market. Teamcenter provides Bronto Skylift with a comprehensive set of solutions for managing product data and process-related information in a single, centralized system.
Bronto Skylift’s former design software products had become obsolete. Meanwhile, managing the growing amount of product data was difficult because it was decentralized within a number of software programs, each with their own databases.
“The design tools acquired years ago had come to the end of their lifecycle and we were no longer getting updates,” notes Rajala. “We needed to replace those tools with new design systems that meet today’s needs.”
Because the project was not just an update or the installation a new system, it required the development of a completely new product design environment for Bronto Skylift. The project started with new product ranges and entities, which were enabled with the aid of Teamcenter.
The use of the design tools has been increasing at Bronto Skylift and the number of the products continues to expand. The company needed a design environment in which the data would be better organized so that it would be simple and easy to find.
Because the company and IDEAL PLM have a long-term relationship, it was only natural that Bronto Skylift turned to this Siemens PLM Software partner for assistance. Bronto Skylift needed a design environment in which it could cost-effectively manage product knowledge and product-related processes with its own dedicated computer system.
“We knew the customer for many years and were fully aware of their high standards for quality,” says Jarno Renko, IDEAL PLM sales manager. “So their skills, combined with IDEAL PLM’s corresponding expertise, facilitated and accelerated the project from the start.
“Our customer needed software with which it was possible to centrally distribute the same information simultaneously to all key parties in the same format. The Teamcenter environment included all the necessary tools for data management.”
Bronto Skylift product data includes part names and numbers, product structures, 3D CAD models and the documents that describe these items. Ideally, the PDM system the company selected would take into account the special requirements of the business processes and enhance the organization’s internal communication, as well as increase knowledge and unify best practices. This ultimately leads to better quality, faster decision-making and more effective operations that enable cost savings.
All information in one place
A large organization based in several locations has its own challenges with access to information. “In terms of operations, it is very important that everyone can access the same information, in the same context and at the same time,” Rajala says.
Before restructuring the design environment, changes to product data were entered redundantly into a number of places and distributed to appropriate parties via e-mail in a PDF-format. “We have about 100 projects going on at any one time, so change management is a critical aspect of the product design process,” Rajala says. “Teamcenter enabled more accurate product revision documentation and distribution to the rest of the organization. It also helped reduce human error.”
Teamcenter provides a secure, centralized repository for product and process information that satisfies the information needs of all parties throughout the entire product lifecycle. It helps Bronto Skylift introduce more sophisticated products while effectively maximizing the productivity and operational efficiency of its global organization.
The open-modularity, scalability and advanced integrated interfaces of Teamcenter made it possible to integrate PDM as an integral part of the company’s overall architecture, allowing the product organization to grow the business without any system constraints. “Our effectiveness increased and we can now manage several design steps at the same time,” Rajala says.