Digitization in the field of stretch film technology

1. Initial situation

“Stretching the limits” is the motto of Brückner Maschinenbau. Founded in 1960, the world market leader in the field of stretch film technology, which is part of the Brückner Group, today offers its customers a remarkable portfolio: From planning to construction and commissioning of complete production lines and turnkey factories, as well as all process and machine engineering developments for film production.

At the company’s own technology center in Siegsdorf, significant topics such as e-mobility, intelligent packaging or sustainability in film production are dealt with Brückner Maschinenbau was looking for a solution to advance its internal application development and digitalization processes and to optimize its own processes – and found it with Simplifier.

Brückner Maschinenbau

  • Industry: Mechanical engineering
  • Headquarter: Siegsdorf
  • Employee: ca. 2.400

“Our requirements for the implementation of SAP-integrated apps were tested on the basis of different solutions. Simplifier quickly convinced us, as it enabled us to implement the connection to the existing SAP module and the application integrated in it within one day and to put it live in real time. This enabled us to generate direct value in a short time.”

Heinz Plank, IT specialist responsible for SAP PLM/ECTR SAP development and organization, Brückner Maschinenbau

2. Challenge

As part of SAP Leonardo, Brückner Maschinenbau planned an SAP cloud project in 2019. Initially, the focus was on implementation with the HANA cloud, as the company has already been working with SAP systems for 20 years and wanted to continue using cloud services within the SAP portfolio.

Since every item at Brückner is technically inspected and photographically documented in the incoming goods department, the first business case was photo documentation. The images are used for product presentation in Brückner One, the customer service platform for customers of the Brückner companies. However, an application already developed for this purpose by an external service provider could not meet the requirements.

Brückner created an exemplary process flow for a selection procedure, the processing of which formed the basis for the cooperation.

3. Lösung

With Simplifier, it was possible to implement initial requirements in a one-day hackathon. The scenario was worked on by two teams. Here, the Brückner team took care of the SAP topic, while the Simplifier team of experts created the application’s user interface. Immediately after the hackathon, the responsible Brückner developers got to work and extended the solution in order to optimize the application even more to their own needs. The appropriate infrastructure was created and the systems were connected for continuous operation – this meant that the first app could go live within a very short time.

The SAP interface to the existing ERP system created for the first application was set up once and, due to Simplifier’s architecture, can be used again and again for other subsequent apps that need to access data in the same way, in the same system. The time saved in the initial creation of this connector with Simplifier was already 90 percent compared to the previous development. This means a time saving of almost 2 1/4 days alone.

Since new or further developments of interfaces are usually individually developed, the integration of a subsequent application must always be created anew in the traditional way. Based on the reusability offered by Simplifier, Brückner benefits from savings of up to 75 percent of the development time – or more specifically, 1.5 working days. Connecting 10 applications with the same interface results in 15 saved developer days.

4. Results

But even beyond the first use case, Brückner benefits from out-of-the-box elements that allow new applications to be created not only easily but also quickly. Brückner also appreciates the user interface:

„The interface is designed to be intuitive and developer-friendly. Logics can thus be created quickly and clearly. Projects can be implemented in a much shorter time.“

Heinz Plank, IT specialist responsible for SAP PLM/ECTR SAP development and organization, Brückner Maschinenbau

Overall, both components pay off in terms of productivity, as repetitive tasks are minimized. The development team can thus concentrate on the complex aspects of the app. At the same time, needs of the specialist departments can be realized in an uncomplicated and timely manner. The result is a significantly higher level of digitization for the company. Overall, Brückner was able to replace a large number of spreadsheet documents and analog forms by using Simplifier, thus accelerating process times in the company by almost 20 percent.

5. Outlook

Brückner wanted to continue to drive internal digitization with Simplifier in the future. The implementation of five new apps each is planned for the next two years.

One of the apps to go live this year is a “cab” app (BUBER app). Among other things, this is to be used to coordinate trips with the cab service, which operates exclusively for Brückner, as well as to handle travel costs. This is currently being discussed with the departments concerned.

In addition, a delivery schedule forecast is to be put into practice. With this, the packer will be informed via app at the port of Hamburg about what Brückner will deliver. A tracking function is also to be used as part of this.

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