Case Study

Schätti Bulgaria significantly improves productivity using Siemens PLM Software solutions, decreasing time-to-market by an average of 73 percent

Schätti Bulgaria EOOD

Time for tooling manufacturing reduced from 50-90 days to 10-30 days and the time for quality measurement planning from approximately 1 day to 1 hour

A tradition of operational efficiency

Schätti Bulgaria EOOD was founded in 2005. It is a subsidiary of Schätti AG, a family-owned Swiss company founded in 1934. The subsidiary, which employs 130 people, specializes in forming metal components and subassemblies, collaborating with companies across the electronic, machine building, home appliance and furniture industries.

A leading manufacturer of adjustable hinges throughout Europe, Schätti also produces mechanisms and structural components for chairs, armchairs, recliners, upholstered furniture and private care beds, as well as numerous related items for other branches of the furniture industry.

Committed to continuously improving operational efficiency, the Schätti brothers decided to open a second production facility in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2005. The facility is 46 hours away from the Swiss headquarters by truck.

Schätti’s two factories are tightly aligned, collaborating on production across products. Schätti’s use of solutions from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software is prevalent throughout the organization, especially in its factories. For example, Teamcenter® software is already employed in Schwanden to strengthen the partnership between the two facilities. Teamcenter Rapid Start, which is preconfigured for rapid deployment and fast return on investment, is planned for implementation in Plovdiv. Once implemented, both locations will share a common database of product information. “Currently, we work with NX and Solid Edge, and we are looking to start the implementation for Teamcenter Rapid Start because we want to be able to use our data continuously from beginning to end, from Schwanden to Plovdiv, and back again,” says Iavor Borissov, technical manager at Schätti Bulgaria.

Looking for improvements – an ongoing practice

The goal of continuous improvement for faster delivery of better products, along with an evolving market, led the company to adopt more licenses of NX™ software, including CAD, CAM and quality inspection/coordinate measuring machine (CMM) solutions. NX is used primarily to help the organization more efficiently manage complex product design, processes and resources.

“NX is a revolutionary technology for design and manufacturing engineers,” says Josef Schätti, general manager at Schätti Bulgaria. “Due to its integrated multi-disciplinary applications, support for process-driven product development and embedded industry-specific best practices, NX is superior to other similar software systems and is very user-friendly with its advanced user interface. In addition, the complete suite of applications of NX includes everything that our engineers need. By using NX, our engineers are now able to optimize new designs, streamline manufacturing, address quality requirements and significantly reduce overall development time.”

Iavor Borissov, technical manager at Schätti Bulgaria, says that when it comes to its design and manufacturing software, Schätti’s strategy is to go with a portfolio approach rather than individual solutions: “We are specifically focusing on solutions from Siemens PLM Software. NX is very powerful software. NX can be used intuitively and is thus very easy to learn. Each new project we address is a new challenge for us, but continuous improvement is what we do every day at Schätti. The enthusiasm of the engineering and manufacturing teams helps us to easily adopt any new technology that accelerates reaching our goals. Our ability to effectively manage product development – as well as capture and exploit knowledge – has led to the growth of the company’s intellectual capital and enabled the training of a new generation of specialists.”

Tripling output without adding resources

According to the Schätti management team, the use of NX allows the company to design new tools and products very fast and efficiently. Data and processes can be re-used from past projects for new jobs. “By implementing the NX solutions for mold and progressive die design, CAM and CMM, we did not have to invest in additional machinery,” explains Nikolay Angelov, who manages the tooling department at Schätti Bulgaria. “With NX, we tripled the output while using the same manufacturing equipment and moving to multiple shifts.”

Schätti points out that the efficient management of daily activities, especially change management, is enhanced by the use of the integrated NX portfolio, which includes synchronous technology, powerful progressive die design capabilities and automated feature-based machining (FBM). Schätti concludes, “In order to address continuous market changes, we need to adopt and use the latest technologies. That’s why we are looking to software that is continuously developed. Such is the case with NX. For example, NX CMM is now part of the software’s complete portfolio. By using the advanced programming capabilities of NX CMM, we’ve reduced the time for quality inspection programming from one day to only one hour. This is only one of the important benefits of having Siemens PLM Software as a partner.”

Solid Edge is used to rapidly design less complex products and develop project studies that allow the management team of Schätti to make rapid decisions on the company’s sales and bidding processes.

At Schätti Bulgaria, Siemens PLM Software’s expertise was complemented by its regional partner Soltec EOOD. Soltec, which provides the know-how to help customers build their own manufacturing solutions and product developing strategies, provided the licensing and technical support throughout the implementation.

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