The foundation stone of FEINGUSS BLANK GmbH was laid in 1960 by Dipl. Ing. Wilhelm Blank in Riedlingen, the present headquarters of the company. Currently, after more than 60 years on the market, FEINGUSS BLANK has around 500 employees and successfully sells investment casting products, both steel and aluminum investment castings, worldwide. Classic customers of the family-owned company are active in the automotive, mechanical engineering, aerospace and medical technology sectors.
DATAGROUP was commissioned to bring transparency to the company’s planning and control processes, to enable paperless order processing and to greatly streamline communication and coordination processes. Furthermore, a restructuring and qualitative enrichment of the master data was commissioned as part of the project.
The maintenance solution OPRA is 100% based on SAP technology, thus does not require any interfaces or middleware and therefore enables a smooth interaction with other SAP modules such as PM, MM, FI/CO, HR, SD, etc.. In addition, OPRA allows the seamless integration of non-SAP systems; both optimize data transparency and integrity.
User- or role-specific as well as uniform interfaces also significantly increase efficiency and user-friendliness compared to standard SAP and avoid duplicate data entry. This sustainably saves resources and thus cash for FEINGUSS BLANK GmbH.
After initial skepticism on the part of the maintenance employees, who previously worked with the standard SAP EAM (Enterprise Asset Management), formerly SAP PM (Plant Maintenance), the project manager Mr. Burgmaier now says: “The employees can no longer imagine their work without OPRAmobil. If you ask them, they only say “You can take the wrench from us but not OPRA anymore”. The maintenance solution is therefore experiencing a high level of acceptance, not only due to the more efficient design of work processes, but also due to increasing digitization.
The entire project started with a 10-month so-called re-design phase, with the background of revising and redesigning the maintenance processes and redefining all master data and planning data of the plants. The re-design phase was followed by the 6-month implementation phase, during which OPRA was installed, key users were introduced to the new organization, trained in OPRA and the new processes, and employees were familiarized with working with mobile devices.
The implementation of OPRA at BLANK has enabled faster and paperless order processing and a reduction in administrative work. This is because until now, the maintenance department handled all processes on a printed work paper. Through the implementation, they now have the possibility to document their work assignments digitally on site.
DATAGROUP ensures higher efficiency in the area of communication processes at BLANK, which also results in lower process times. It was also possible to reduce manual transmission errors. By optimizing the processes, less management intervention is necessary, which is why the management level can concentrate on controlling and optimization tasks.
However, the rollout also presented some challenges:
“One challenge during the rollout was the non-existent area-wide availability of the WLAN and master data management. The WLAN was continuously expanded for this purpose until complete coverage could be achieved. In addition, improvements were made to our master data management, thus continuously improving the quality and quantity. The master data was also reworked in this process in order to be able to use it meaningfully in the process,” says Mr. Burgmaier, Head of Plant Planning.
The project had a design phase of two to three months. A total of 20 maintenance staff and three team leaders were involved in the project, who processed over 10,000 tickets in ten months to realize the project. The implementation of OPRA and the associated gap closure then took a total of six months. After an orientation and stabilization phase, the foremen and supervisors in production can now submit their maintenance requirements digitally.
New phases of the project are also in the starting blocks: The implementation of the new release and the entire roll-out of OPRA to production. The goal is to enable BLANK’s production to directly record its own messages in OPRA. In this way, the call or the e-mail for the colleague from maintenance is taken care of. In the future, this information will be embedded in processes. A valuable benefit of this project is also employee motivation. The personal responsibility of the maintenance staff has been strengthened and a higher level of identification has been achieved.