The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

PLM and Engineering-to-Order

Booster for SAP processes

Managing data flows digitally from the outset using an SAP PLM solution makes company processes fast and flexible. The “process booster” has been successfully implemented at Schenck Process. Together with Cideon and BDF, the world market leader for integrated measurement and process technology has standardised its order management and taken it to a whole new level.

Text Birgit Hagelschuer ––– Photography

I n not one but two locations – the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic – Cideon and the BDF team of digitalisation experts joined forces for the digital development of Schenck Process. SAP S/4HANA, SAP Engineering Control Center (SAP ECTR) and SAP Product and Process Governance (SAP PPG) were all rolled out at the same time for the market leader in material handling solutions and monitoring. Martin Schütz, Director Engineering EMEA and Project Leader Engineering at Schenck Process, explains: “Having analysed several options, our positive experiences with SAP PLM (CAD Desktop) and the opportunities offered by PPG and ECTR led us to opt for these solutions.”


With the new SAP PLM solution as a “process booster”, the company is now able to digitally manage all data flows and processes from the outset, which means workflows can be monitored much more effectively. In day-to-day business, that means collaborative use of engineering, production and machine data. Furthermore, an “engineer-to-order” (ETO) process was implemented in an S/4 greenfield environment using SAP PPG – a completely new solution for plant engineering.


    1. Approach

    Assess the feasibility of requirements using the new IT solution. Implement the Proofs of Concept (PoCs) using best-practice methods. Roll out the SAP S/4HANA system, SAP Engineering Control Center (SAP ECTR) and SAP Product and Process Governance (SAP PPG) simultaneously.

    2. Challenges

    Reduction of administrative work and error rates in data management. Agile implementation of the “single-source-oftruth” approach using a holistic, cloud-based software solution to increase connectivity and automation of the supply chain and customer journey.

    3. CIDEON service

    Process consulting and conceptual design work, implementation, configuration and data migration. Training for administrators and end users, microtraining, and solutions support.

    4. CIDEON solution

    SAP ECTR interface to Inventor, SolidWorks and AutoCAD, other Cideon tools such as the Conversion Engine and Enhancement Suite as well as PDM, and installation of SAP Visual Enterprise Generator.

    5. Outcome

    A consistent database, private cloud-based systems, and collaboration spanning the planning, engineering, quality assurance, production and shipping departments lead to greater efficiency, productivity and cost savings.



From the very start, Schenck focused on a high-quality, process-oriented end-toend solution of this kind. “We wanted to establish an efficient PLM and an effective engineer-to-order process in the cloud,” continues Schütz. Schenck felt making collaboration as open as possible was key to the success of a project of this kind. “Teamwork, regular communication within the sub-projects, excellent transparency in the implementation of the project as well as cost transparency and an openness to change requests were the cornerstones,” says Schütz.




Cideon and BDF were identified as suitable candidates, and two sub-projects were then defined – “SAP PLM/PDM” and “Global Engineering”. As a result, SAP S/4HANA is being used as a scalable, modern cloud ERP system and is providing a strong basis for replacing the existing legacy IT systems at Schenck Process.

SAP Engineering Control Center (SAP ECTR) and SAP Product and Process Governance (SAP PPG) also became a vital part of the project’s success. To avoid planning errors, the BDF/Cideon model factory was used – an exemplary system for the agile verification of defined processes. The SPG development team gradually adapted the factory’s simulated process results and implemented these promptly with the project teams, in several waves.


With over 1,100 employees, more than 300 patents and sites in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the Group headquartered in Darmstadt is a leading global supplier of sustainable products, integrated solutions and services for chemicals and high-performance materials as well as infrastructure and energy projects. Its portfolio includes solutions for industrial weighing, feeding, conveying, pulverising, classification and mixing, including associated digital applications.


Thanks to this project, Schenck will be able to adapt even better to specific customer requirements in networks in the future. The next step will be to integrate and connect more sites. Implementation of the Cideon Conify software solution is on the agenda, too, in order to ensure efficient connection of data and the automated PDM-compliant output of configured CAD data. The wish list also includes a configure-to-order (CTO) process, that is to say an engineering method in which a product is configured as required by selecting from a range of predefined options.

Schütz is already certain of one thing: “Integrated system solutions are more impressive than multi-system landscapes. Their data models make it possible for engineering work to directly impact logistics in an agile manner, with technological continuity at all times thanks to a consistent database.”

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