Dortmund/Bocholt/Zurich | 15. September 2022
Drive technology manufacturer Flender has a gear unit to meet every requirement – from modular designs to customised solutions. Two years ago, Flender joined forces with its digitalisation partner adesso to develop a new and unique gear unit solution. The cutting-edge transformation programme used to digitalise processes end-to-end has led to the creation of Flender One, the next-generation gear unit. A system like this has never been seen before in the manufacturing industry. It is also the first major contract for adesso’s new subsidiary adesso Manufacturing Industry solutions GmbH.
With support from adesso, Flender GmbH has spent the last two years automating processes for the new product, Flender One, across the entire value chain – from the initial inquiry and receipt of the order, through to production and delivery. After all, customers expect bespoke solutions to their increasingly complex requirements. This applies as much to consumer business as to the B2B segment, where industrial customers require specially made components, machines and production equipment. However, the desire for multi-variant products is increasing both the complexity of all the related business processes and the need to adapt them. This is affecting the entire supply, order and delivery chain right through to component production. A costly business up to now.
adesso has helped gear unit manufacturer Flender digitalise all its workflows related to inquiries, product configuration, pricing, quotes, customer orders, purchase orders, customisations, assembly, delivery, commissioning and servicing at Flender One.
Dr Jan Reimann, Project Manager at Flender, describes the cutting-edge services Flender will now be able to offer the industrial sector thanks to Flender One: “Application, performance, speed: customers will soon be able to find the right gear unit solution using just three parameters. Instead of asking for the specifications or characteristics of the gear unit, we focus solely on the benefit requested by our customers. Customers tell us how and where they want to use the gear unit, and we tell them which gear unit with which functions they need.”
Peter Hensel, Head of Configuration and Data Management at Flender, is also impressed: “This is a true breakthrough in customisation – and sustainability. Flender One provides our customers with a completely new type of gear unit solution that precisely meets their requirements at all times, and therefore avoids waste. This is made possible by the automation of our business processes on the basis of a sophisticated and comprehensive enterprise architecture. As a result, we have reduced the workload of our engineers involved in sales and manufacturing processes, and shortened the time it takes our gear units to reach customers.”
The partnership between adesso and Flender has already led to the creation of the revolutionary software solution FIRE, the centrepiece of the enterprise architecture. Project coordinator Andreas Liesche, Managing Director of adesso Manufacturing industry solutions, describes FIRE as a “software toolkit that is currently one of a kind in the German manufacturing sector. Our modular system architecture can be used to automate process steps in industrial applications. To this end, our system masters all levels of complexity in an integrated configuration system for end-to-end processing: from modular products as assemble-to-order and product configuration for configure-to-order with 3D visualisations to model design for engineer-to-order. The FIRE variant configuration system can be integrated into the SAP system environment without any issues and incorporates the relevant non-SAP systems used by our customers.” According to Liesche, the system can also automatically create production data such as 3D models and drawings, parts lists, work plans, service documents and spare parts catalogues.
adesso gives its customers the ability to handle complex digitalisation tasks for their core business processes. The IT service provider combines the required expertise in SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce, digital commerce and customer experience management, the cloud and IIoT, data and analytics as well as manufacturing and engineering under one roof and offers its customers solutions from a single source as an IT all-rounder.
With this interdisciplinary approach in mind, experienced mechanical engineer Liesche has this to say on the scope of the Flender project: “This brief is without doubt our biggest project to date in the industrial sector. Working on Flender One has required us to draw on and smartly combine several aspects of our areas of competence – as is always necessary for interdisciplinary IT projects like this with a major international corporation.”
adesso will continue to support Flender as its digitalisation partner after the launch of Flender One in September 2022. Due to the great success of the cooperation to date, the partners also plan to offer their customised modular variant management and software toolkit FIRE to other manufacturing companies.