Case Study

Advanced development technology behind innovative new excavator line

Concern Tractor Plants

Concern Tractor Plants speeds production planning, improves product quality and bolsters competitive position with NX-Solid Edge combination

Largest producer in the region

The Concern Tractor Plants Manufacturing Group is the largest Russian producer of facilities and spare parts for light and heavy engineering and off-road machinery. The holding company’s products are used in key industries within Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as on a worldwide basis.

The manufacturing group operates numerous design and production facilities in Russia’s eight regions, as well as in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Malaysia. Operational management is performed at the holding company’s headquarters in Cheboxary, Russia. Within this organizational structure, Concern Tractor Plants produces manufacturing equipment, agricultural machinery, spare parts, ОЕМ parts, railroad machinery and special-purpose machinery.

Integrated approach

Efficient manufacturing is unthinkable without modern information technology. When Concern Tractor Plants’ various enterprises were united at the turn of the millennium, the need to modernize the manufacturing group’s IT capabilities became obvious. Initially, Concern Tractor Plants wanted to expand its domestic and international market share by developing innovative new products and adopting new technologies for initiatives such as its plan to develop a next-generation excavator and new machinery for timber processing.

Company management made a strategic decision to reengineer the design process in order to implement a unique business model that would cover the entire product lifecycle, from development and manufacturing to aftersale service. Management was particularly interested in implementing advanced production planning techniques to accelerate the new excavator’s development time to market and improve design quality. With this in mind, management chose to leverage an integrated automation approach that would best enable wide-scale unification of its OEM parts so that multiple suppliers would be able to make the same part. Equally important, OEM parts unification was expected to save design time and enable the entire manufacturing group to develop a corporate standard and widely used parts database.

Management assigned an expert team to assess the company’s options. The team thoroughly analyzed the CAD market as part of its decision to improve the manufacturing group’s IT capabilities. Multiple factors were taken into consideration, including functionality, usability, technical support quality and total cost of ownership. When the analysis was complete, the team noted that it was clear that Siemens PLM Software’s digital product development solutions offered many significant advantages over competitive offerings.

In 2008, Concern Tractor Plants entered a strategic partnership agreement with Siemens PLM Software. The agreement included deploying PLM solutions on a step-by-step basis at the holding company’s various enterprises, with the first implementations at the most advanced design departments and for purposes of the company’s most important products, such as the new excavator and other complex machinery.

Deployment started with the NX™ suite, Siemens’ high-level CAD/CAM/CAE system capable of solving diverse and complex design and production planning problems. Today, NX is being used at Concern Tractor Plants’ JSC Special-Purpose Engineering Design Department and Central Special-Purpose Chassis Design Department.

Concern Tractor Plants also adopted Solid Edge® software, Siemens’ mid-range design system with advanced functionality and attractive pricing. Today, Solid Edge is being used at JSC Promtractor, Promtractor-Promlit, Ltd., Volgograd Tractor Works, Ltd., Central Special- Purpose Chassis Design Department, Ltd., Central Special-Purpose Caterpillar and Wheeled Vehicles Design Department, Ltd., and JSC Special-Purpose Engineering Design Department.

Concern Tractor Plants is also taking advantage of the capabilities of Solid Edge Free 2D to develop diagrams and drawings, as well as the capabilities of the commercial version of Solid Edge 3D to generate drawings for the company’s OEM supply chain.

New excavator designed entirely using NX-Solid Edge combination

Concern Tractor Plants’ PLM activities involved extensive training. In the summer of 2008, Siemens consultants provided NX training that resulted in the certification of 20 Concern Tractor Plants engineers from the Central Special-Purpose Chassis Design Department Ltd. and three engineers from Inform-Standard, Ltd. In addition, Inform-Standard’s engineers underwent supplementary NX and Solid Edge instruction so they would be ready to deliver training to other Concern Tractor Plants’ experts, as well as to provide on-site technical support.

Concurrent with these training sessions, a pilot development project was started at the Central Special-Purpose Chassis Design Department, Ltd. (CSPCDD) for the new excavator. CSPCDD fully leveraged the use of 3D modeling. The new excavator was entirely designed in 3D using both SolidEdge and NX. The driver’s cab and the frame were developed with NX; all of the other parts were developed with Solid Edge.

The holding company also created the new machine’s 3D digital mockup and associative drawings. The mockup facilitated fast design changes, configuration management, and parts re-use. 3D modeling with NX and Solid Edge enabled in-depth design analysis and refinement, as well as kinematics analysis including to evaluate the jib’s performance. It also helped avoid production planning errors.

Faster, better, fewer

To date, Siemens PLM Software’s solutions are installed at approximately 60 workstations, with more installations planned. The new technology is actively engaged in the full development of specialpurpose and agricultural machinery, spare parts and brand-new vehicles. Concern Tractor Plants is now realizing faster design and production planning, better design quality, significantly fewer design errors, and the development of 3D standard parts and units libraries for the entire holding company’s manufacturing group.

Concern Tractor Plants’ management and technology review team has ascertained that the implementation of Siemens PLM Software’s integrated and comprehensive approach to PLM represents a critical competitive advantage. Moreover, management points out that the Siemens NX-Solid Edge combination is enabling outstanding manufacturing and operational benefits, with the result: product innovation and business growth.

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