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New technologies enable companies to minimize IT system administration and maintenance, whilst maximizing usability and data/process transparency. Companies that are setting up their systems from scratch have a particularly large amount of design options and room for automation and optimization. Therefore, the freedom to be able to build something from scratch makes it possible to do something unprecedented, something the competition has not seen before. The following case of an automotive manufacturer building a new factory and a whole new software system demonstrates that.


The Challenges

This customer story is about Smart Press Shop GmbH & Co. KG, a Joint Venture (JV) between Porsche and Schuler. The objective of the JV is to add flexibility to the manufacturing of car body parts in the press shop in Halle an der Saale in Germany. To achieve this goal, the production should be digitalized with a single-sourced SAP system. The entire SAP system should run in the SAP public cloud with no on-premises installation, leading to SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the solution of choice.

The new company started to build up its IT infrastructure and systems from scratch without anything in place. The implementation partner that was chosen for the project is the Syntax Systems GmbH & Co. KG. The challenges were numerous. Not only was it necessary to set-up the IT infrastructure, but also to build up the ERP system and Manufacturing Execution System (MES). In addition, the project had to be executed in full remote setup as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable remote deployment, certain mechanisms had to be developed and established in a short time frame. Daily collaboration with the customer was necessary on migration, software imports and first test movements, which all had to be controlled from home via video conference.


The Solution

From the beginning, the JV wanted to follow a cloud-first development strategy, which included vertical and horizontal integration as well as networking. The decision has been made to single source and implement S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution as systems that work jointly together. As a consequence, every business process clearly maps to the IT-platform, where it operates using centralized core functions such as the workflow system and the document management system. The consequence is that all KPIs appear exactly where they are needed and in real time. With it comes the ability of continuous component tracking across the whole production process – from raw material delivery to the finished parts. This enables AI techniques and detailed cross-process data analysis, which is still a rarity in the automotive
manufacturing industry.


The Result and Outlook for the future

After successful implementation of the systems, the benefits were clearly visible and tangible. The press line and laser cutting equipment at the plant will be fully automated, including all press tool set-ups. Syntax is going to introduce the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution system on the shop floor in one of the first implementations of the Manufacturing Executing System (MES) worldwide.

For Smart Press Shop this means it gets a highly transparent shop-floor management system. This provides insight into issues such as parts traceability, production speed and sequence. It also allows to deduce if sequence optimization is necessary and whether it is possible to increase efficiency, all facilitated by the SAP Analytical Cloud.

Moreover, the whole production process can be managed completely paperless, including the suppliers’ facilities. Additionally, the suppliers have the ability to work directly within the cloud solutions, which improves the efficiency of collaborative working and reduces failure rates and redundancy.

It should be highlighted that no IT hardware is necessary to run the processes in the whole factory. Syntax will operate and maintain the whole system as Software as a Service. Syntax Europe CEO Ralf Sürken is very pleased with the new partnership and the result of one of the world’s first implementations of SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution. He sees SAP’s cloud solutions as the way forward for manufacturing companies in terms of digitalization and public cloud usage.

Further benefits are:

  • Facial recognition for end devices, machines and company premises as well as payment transactions

  • Throughput optimization with digital simulation model of the press

  • Reduction of non-value adding processes

  • Automated creation of maintenance orders

  • Documentation of fault diagnosis and correction

  • Recuperation of energy in the press line and with robots

This case clearly illustrates the benefits that come with forward-thinking from the beginning. In this story SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials & SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution work hand in hand together and enable Smart Press Shop to achieve incredible efficiency, simplicity and cost savings. Anyone can achieve this, if planned and executed correctly.

Clearly they are not the only ones who are thrilled with their achievements, since they were recently announced as one of the SAP Innovation Awards 2021 winners. The SAP Innovation awards is an annual award that honors and celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking companies and individuals that have harnessed the power of the latest SAP products and judged by a mix of SAP, Industry and Community influencers. Its something I have been proud to contribute to and support fo many years.  With more than 375 entries this year, the Smart Press Shop was chosen as a worthy winner in the Business Innovator category


For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links: 

  • The power of best-in-class and Next Practices business content for a modern ERP Blog Post

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud: The Intelligent ERP Link Collection Blog Post

  • Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here

  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Content here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease

  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here

  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community here

  • SAP Activate Community here

  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here

  • Help Portal Product Page here


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