05/10/2012 | Author / Editor: Ingo Kaiser * / Marcel Dröttboom
Improve plant processing quality, save time generating P&IDs, and optimise global engineering – these are just three of the numerous advantages achievable by using innovative engineering software at Zeppelin Systems. Indeed, this software is increasing the company's competitive edge.
Zeppelin Systems GmbH has a long history, stretching back over the past century to when Graf von Zeppelin first developed his legendary airships. After Zeppelin stopped producing airships, they went on to found numerous companies which continue to be successful in various markets in today's industry. This includes Zeppelin Systems, a leading manufacturer of plants for storing, conveying, dosing, weighing, cleaning and blending premium bulk solids. The company develops plant and conveyor components for the plastics, food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, as well as manufacturing rubber and tires. At the same time, the company is the world market leader in engineering and building silos and logistic centres. As every plant has to fulfil specific requirements, the company develops special solutions geared to its customers across the globe.
The medium-sized company began with a strategic engineering project towards the end of 2007, with the aim of implementing more efficient, consistent plant engineering. In doing so, the processing and engineering of plant construction, document management, and data management should be improved in terms of quality and implemented in a more cost-efficient manner. "Up to now, we have been working in Excel and carried out plant engineering using a software tool that was no longer up-to-date. After that we started using a benchmark of four renowned CAE products," recalls Mark Niestroj, Head of Engineering at Zeppelin Systems. The first step was to specify what exactly was required from the software solution. This included software functionalities, the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system interface, integration into current IT systems, market acceptance of the software, development potential, costs, and the overall usability of the software. In particular, great importance was attached to global usability of the software, as engineering collaborations across the globe had become increasingly important – specifically between the German headquarters in Friedrichshafen, and the other branches – in China, India, Brazil, and the USA, among others.
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