Digital Obsolescence Management

How Hauni and the MBO Group optimize their Obsolescence Management with a new database from Körber Digital

Are you a mechanical engineer? Then you know this problem: electronic components becoming ever more prevalent in various types of machine – and they have especially short innovation cycles. Users need replacement part solutions over the decades that follow. Obsolescence management (OM) is designed to minimize the risk of non-availability. An OM database developed by Körber Digital – the newest business division of Körber AG – is now available that can simplify the entire process. Major companies such as Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH and the MBO Group are already using this solution.  

Growing number of PCN makes development process more difficult

Today’s world is characterized by a huge increase in the use of electronic components. This development is the basis for every new generation of smartphones, self-driving cars and smart production machines. However, the rapid pace of development is leading to obstacles that the industry has to overcome, as confirmed by Christian Ignatzek, obsolescence specialist at Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH. The company is a leading supplier for the global tobacco industry and the parent company for the tobacco business division within Körber AG: “Many electronic components and electric parts come from suppliers, and these suppliers either optimize such parts quickly and on an ongoing basis, or have to replace obsolete components at their end. As a result, the number of product change notifications (PCN) is on the rise.” 

The development stage is already important

Generally speaking, more and more electronic components are being used in production technology. This means that mechanical engineering companies have to request the delivery status of these components as early on as the development stage and, in case of doubt, find alternative solutions. As Ignatzek states, “This involves a lot of work and is highly susceptible to errors. To make sure this process runs much more effectively in future, we started to look for a digital solution.” 

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Mechanical engineering database with one million vendor parts: comprehensive information, rapid inquiries and direct messages

With this in mind, mechanical engineering firms Hauni and Seidenader (also part of the Körber Group) took an interest in the development of a new OM database solution from Körber Digital, which is now ready for use and is available to all interested mechanical engineering companies. One other key mechanical engineering customer is also on board in the form of the MBO Group, a leading name in the development of folding machines, thread-sealing machines and peripheral units. 

3 Reasons why you need this OM database

  1. The universal database contains more than one million vendor parts (and, in the future, entire devices such as photoelectric sensors and other sensors). In this sense, it works in the same way as Wikipedia, providing standardized information regarding the availability of these products. The various wording options and terms used by the manufacturers are standardized, too.  
  2. Users can access parts and entire parts lists quickly and easily. There is no longer any need to check for errors in the parts numbers issued by the manufacturer, either. Instead, a fuzzy search function estimates what the correct number should be. The system checks delivery and discontinuation statuses. 
  3. If a particular part can only be supplied for a limited period of time or is no longer available (end of life – EOL), the database will suggest alternative parts. If the delivery status changes, the database will, if desired, automatically send this information to the user.

Best practice: Individual queries are no longer necessary at Hauni  

There is no need to submit individual queries to the various suppliers or for the PCNs to be collected for each project. It is no longer possible to overlook discontinued parts, while the internal OM process starts at an earlier stage. Finally, it means that unnecessary (and cost-intensive) stockpiling can be avoided, the amount of work involved in redesigns can be gaged more effectively, and ‘firefighting’ measures to replace critical components can fall to the wayside. “Up to now, we had to use a lot of manpower to process all incoming availability requests. This invariably led to delays. We have managed to resolve these issues in collaboration with Körber Digital,” states Ignatzek.

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Benefit from a low flat-rate user fee – and the first 12 months are free of charge!

This database is very simple to implement and only requires a low monthly flat-rate fee for the users. What’s more, the first 12 months are free of charge. The first users have offered extremely positive reviews. “We are highly optimistic that this software will establish itself in the market,” states product owner Nizar Manzli at Körber Digital. “What we are doing is turning a complicated, Herculean task into a smart process in which all involved are able to streamline their workload and be more efficient. Ultimately, this is the objective that all digitalization projects at Körber Digital strive to achieve.”

Why suppliers also benefit: 3 reasons 

The current software version contains OM information (PCN and PDN) on a wealth of parts from all areas of the mechanical engineering industry. The specialists at Körber Digital are working behind the scenes to keep expanding the database. In the future, the aim is for as many suppliers as possible to automatically add their information to the database. Körber Digital already has its first two partners here in the form of two big automation equipment suppliers. Furthermore, the database will also draw on information from other databases.

Benefit now from these 3 advantages! 

  • Before, you had to inform every last customer in the event of a product change notification or a product discontinuation notification (PDN). In future, the OM database will ensure that mechanical engineering and maintenance companies are reached directly and automatically informed of any changes.
  • Customers who, in the past, purchased parts from distributors often were not kept up to date and were then greeted with product discontinuations out of the blue. In future, you will systematically reach customers with the database.  
  • At the same time, the database can be used as part of a sales pitch to mechanical engineering customers: “As the supplier, we ensure that you automatically receive all PCNs and PDNs.”

Do you want to radically speed up your OM activities and improve your internal processes with the database?

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Daniel Schuster - Senior Customer Consultant

Daniel Schuster
Körber Digital GmbH
Senior Customer Consultant

+ 49 171 8 47 87 92

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