Groz-Beckert, a German company with a rich tradition dating back to 1852, has established itself as a global leader in the production of industrial machine needles, precision parts, and fine tools for the textile industry. Its extensive range of products supports users worldwide in various textile processes such as knitting, weaving, felting, tufting, carding, and sewing. With production facilities in multiple countries and sales subsidiaries in over 150 countries, Groz-Beckert has a strong international presence.
Efficient tool management: a challenge for global manufacturers
One of the key challenges faced by companies like Groz-Beckert, who manufacture their own tools and operate internationally, is the need to keep track of the number and location of their tools. In order to improve efficiency and reduce costs, it is crucial for them to have access to this information.
Previously, Groz-Beckert managed tool issuance through a counter service, where tools were recorded at different locations in IM. In order to improve the process, the company contemplated how tool management could be enhanced. CONSILIO, an experienced SAP partner, was engaged as a consulting firm to find a solution.
After an intensive exploration phase, it was determined that the existing warehouse management (WM) system could be used for the project, but it would require a significant amount of programming effort and is no longer being supported with new innovations from SAP. The clear recommendation was to transition Groz-Beckert to the Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) system in order to establish a future-proof solution that meets all requirements. This solution is actively developed by SAP and can meet the tool management requirements out-of-the-box.
A prototype was created to give Groz-Beckert an initial impression of the solution, showcasing the functions of tool management and raw material management. One noteworthy feature was the integration of provisioning and return storage processes between logistics and production. Additionally, the system records and manages the created values and tools in a single system.
Groz-Beckert was convinced by the presentation as the new system also opens up the path towards warehouse management in the context of Industry 4.0. The implementation of the EWM system started at the headquarters in Albstadt, where the innovations in the processes of tool disposition, tool provisioning, return storage, refurbishment, and scrapping were implemented. The system is already running very well and will now be rolled out to other locations.
The implementation of the EWM system took approximately eight months, during which CONSILIO’s SAP specialists customized the system to meet Groz-Beckert’s requirements. The result is a modern and future-proof solution that not only addresses current challenges but is also scalable for future needs.
After the successful go-live, CONSILIO continues to support Groz-Beckert in the relocation of the tool management to the new production center and the integration of a new Kardex lift with the EWM system.
The implementation of the EWM system was a significant milestone for Groz-Beckert in optimizing their tool management processes. With the guidance and support from CONSILIO, Groz-Beckert’s internal IT department was able to establish a strong knowledge base. The introduction of mobile data capture using Screen-Personas enables paperless in- and out-storage operations, resulting in improved efficiency. Although the team is still adjusting to the new system, early indications show a noticeable increase in productivity.
The successful collaboration between Groz-Beckert and CONSILIO demonstrates how the integration and merging of manufacturing and warehouse management processes can be achieved. The EWM system fully meets the requirements of Groz-Beckert and establishes the foundation for efficient tool management in the future.