Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
elobau develops and manufactures sensor technology and operator interface controls for the industrial machine and off-highway vehicle sectors.
Founded in 1972, elobau is intimately familiar with machine optimization as it is globally recognized for its engineered, innovative and rugged component parts. With innovative, non-contact sensor products, elobau supports customers worldwide in the manufacturing of industrial machines. The company also sets the standard for performance, operator comfort, safety and quality. Elobau covers a range of application requirements with products for operating and controlling mobile (off-road) machines. One of the world’s leading providers of non-contact sensor technology, elobau supplies globally recognizable companies with systems and components for commercial vehicles, machine safety and level measurement. Renowned commercial vehicle manufacturers from the agricultural and construction machinery sector are among elobau’s long-standing customers.
In 2017, elobau received the German Solar Prize. Elobau supports sustainable production by producing more electricity than it consumes and boasts a 100 percent own electricity quota. In 2016, the company was nominated for the German Sustainability Award. With the development of a modular vehicle operating system, elobau is a sector pioneer in the field of sustainable control elements.
Due to a large extent of in-house manufacturing (90 percent), elobau achieves high manufacturing speed, flexibility and reliability while maintaining high product quality. These requests are often customer-specific. Acceptance tests are necessary to design a control system to the exact requirements of a commercial vehicle for specific development work including product design, construction, hardware and software development and tool design and construction as well as simulation. At elobau, almost all development and production processes are conducted in-house. Elobau develops the tools and produces them in the company’s tool shop. Production and testing systems are also planned, designed, developed and manufactured in-house. This accelerates a series introduction and keeps the necessary flexibility to react to customer requests.
In the past, elobau encountered challenges in product and tool cost calculation. Differing company-wide calculation methods used in individual segments made it extremely difficult to track and optimize product and tool costs. Different information technology (IT) structures and a lack of storage systems standardization challenged elobau’s cost analysts in exchange and access-distributed calculations. The preparation of cost calculations with different versions of a spreadsheet-based software resulted in individual, non-standardized calculations in each region and segment. This lack of standardization of quotation calculations led to different sales prices, resulting in competitive disadvantages. The complexity of offers increased, making, timely quotation submissions full of risk.
Elobau recognized the potential to optimize the cost calculation process and introduced a process- and database-based solution. One of the key requirements of the new system was to connect product and tool costs within one system to simulate the influence of changes in tool cost calculation on product cost. Following a strenuous benchmarking of competing products, elobau adopted Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Teamcenter® product cost management software.
The complexity of current development projects is reflected in the bidding phase. Elobau’s quotation processes are handled by a project team from different departments to offer customers the best possible solution.
For example, an elobau armrest consists of more than 2,000 individual parts. If a significant number of new parts need to be developed, more effort is required for the quotation. Due to the nature of today’s constantly evolving marketplace, elobau requires a detailed cost calculation.
Calculating quotations is a comprehensive analytical task that covers areas such as value engineering/value analysis, development and purchasing. This phase is crucial for new orders. Accurate quotation calculations are crucial for winning a contract and securing the financial success of the future product.
Elobau uses the Teamcenter solution for product costing to calculate complex quotations achieving optimal calculations. The Teamcenter solution for product costing also allows elobau to create the necessary transparency for the customer and provide financial benefits.
After a project has been awarded, the calculations begin. The advantage of using the Teamcenter solution for product costing is evident early in the process. The 3D design data, generated with Siemens’ NX™ software, the system the company uses for computer aided design/computer-aided engineering/ computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAE/ CAM), can be used for calculations.
Elobau uses Teamcenter’s database with reference processes for plastic injection molding. Significant calculation elements include manufactured parts, raw materials, work plans with manufacturing processes and additional costs, such as tools and assemblies.
During the project, the result is a calculation based on a detailed bill-of-materials (BOM). Once the cost details for the individual items have been obtained, elobau performs regular target cost reporting. With the defined figures, the product costs are compared with previously established target costs. The cost analysts can use Teamcenter to track the development cost of individual processing steps and immediately identify critical projects.
Starting from the part geometry in the tool costing area, the tool components are automatically dimensioned and calculated using Teamcenter® software for tool costing. This is made possible by integrating the product and tool cost calculations using Teamcenter. Using NX Feature2Cost, the integrated tool for tool costing in NX CAD, elobau can accurately calculate mold tool costs based on the detection of costly geometric parameters such as surface area, volume and wall thickness. The ability to simulate the implication of the changes gives elobau fast and reliable decisions for each assembly and tool.
“Teamcenter product cost management allows us to reduce any deviations between quotation costing and final costing,” says Christian Herter, Calculation/VAVE Department, elobau.
Despite frequent customer changes during the quotation phase, elobau remains flexible and can adjust quotations in a very short time. “Teamcenter optimizes our quotation calculation processes, reducing the time for quoting by 40 percent,” says Herter.
Today, elobau relies on Teamcenter. All parties in the calculation process access the same data and have the same level of knowledge. Elobau minimizes error sources and calculates additional variants with minimal effort through a structured representation of the cost and use of consistent standards. Teamcenter enables elobau to work much more efficiently throughout the calculation process and produce traceable results. With Teamcenter, elobau has achieved a structured and standardized global process.
“Teamcenter product cost management helps us identify cost saving potential for new products as well as optimize costs for series production,” says Herter. Elobau will continue to rely on Teamcenter in the future to continue realizing high quality while optimizing costs.