Two (integrated) sites are better than one
Teamcenter allows production sites in Switzerland and Bulgaria to share a common design database
Expanding to lower production costs
Schätti AG metalwork was founded 1934. It is a family-owned Swiss company where the third generation is now in charge: brothers Jos, Thomas and Stefan Schätti. The company, which has 160 employees, specializes in forming metal components and subassemblies. It collaborates with companies from the electronic, machine building, home appliance and furniture industries.
Schätti is a leading designer and manufacturer of adjustable bed fittings in Europe. Schätti also produces mechanisms and structural components for chairs, armchairs and recliners, upholstered furniture, tables, cupboards (steel profiles, handles and hinges) and much more for other branches of the furniture industry.
When the company received a large order in 2004, it realized that the wages it was paying in Switzerland were too high to make the job profitable. After a long evaluation process, the Schätti brothers decided to open a second production facility in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, which is 46 hours away from the Swiss headquarters by car or truck.
Design software that’s quickly learned
Both facilities are equipped with Solid Edge® software from Siemens PLM Software. The company chose this computer-aided design (CAD) solution because “we wanted a program that was reasonably priced and, at the same time, powerful enough,” says Andreas Zweifel, who is responsible for design and development at Schätti. “Solid Edge was the solution we were looking for in terms of the best price-performance ratio. In addition, Solid Edge was the easiest solution for transferring our existing I-deas database, which was a big deciding factor for us.” Schätti already had a proven partner in BYTiCS, the Siemens value-added reseller, and this also helped swing the decision toward Solid Edge.
After a brief demonstration of Solid Edge, employees at the new Plovdiv facility were soon using the software on their own. This is one of the main strengths of Solid Edge, says Zweifel. “Even though the program is very powerful, it can be used intuitively and is thus very easy to learn,” he says. “Also, Solid Edge is being continuously developed. This is the benefit of having Siemens as a strong partner.”
One and one are more than two
Schätti’s two factories work closely together, collaborating on the production of many items. For example, parts for an oven hinge are made in Schwanden and then trucked to Plovdiv for assembly. Schätti is using Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter® software to strengthen the integration between the two facilities. Teamcenter, preconfigured for rapid deployment and fast return on investment, allows both locations to share a common database of product information.
When it comes to its design 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,” says Zweifel. “Currently, we work with Solid Edge, Teamcenter, CAM Express and NX™ software because we want to be able to use our data continuously from beginning to end, from Schwanden to Plovdiv and back again.”
The company’s next step is to integrate CAM Express within the Teamcenter database. This will make it possible to use all of the data from all of the programs at both locations.