Langen Utilise SmarTeam to Capture Project Knowledge

January 29, 2009

Langen Packaging replaced a home-grown system with Enovia SmarTeam and Microsoft to respond more quickly to customer orders and with full visibility of previously completed projects.

Langen Packaging of Ontario, Canada, manufactures highly customised, durable machinery used to package products that range from food and durable goods to cosmetics, paper, pharmaceuticals and many others.

Langen Packaging needs to respond quickly to new customer requests with accurate quotes and proposals that build off its existing designs, and also to provide long-term service. This involves tracking the history of every custom machine and maintaining updated knowledge, sometimes over a span of 20 years, of a machine’s evolving configuration in the field.

As a manufacturer of custom solutions, Langen Packaging does not offer off-the-shelf products. “We quote customer demand based on machines we’ve done in the past,” explains Mirek Tokarz, director of technology development. “If we have quotations that are similar from different customers, and we have a databank of those proposals, we can save work during the quotation process.”

When Langen Packaging receives a request for proposal from a customer, it is registered and tracked in Enovia SmarTeam. “With the push of a button, we create a document structure that will be attached to that customer inquiry,” Tokarz says. “Even if it doesn’t become a project, we have all of the activity stored inside Enovia SmarTeam for future reference, including market analysis.” So a design for a product that is not manufactured today can become the starting point for a new design tomorrow.

With the push of a button, we create a document structure that will be attached to that customer inquiry. Even if it doesn’t become a project, we have all of the activity stored inside Enovia SmarTeam

Mirek Tokarz, Langen Packaging Because Enovia SmarTeam operates on the Microsoft platform, information from a broad range of sources, including Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and Outlook can be stored together with product designs and proposals. This helps ensure that all details of a project are organised and stored together for future reference and search.

Langen Packaging’s Microsoft support partner, xLM, uses Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 to customise Enovia SmarTeam to Langen Packaging’s specific needs and to expand its use of the solution, including integration with Microsoft Outlook 2003.

With Enovia SmarTeam, Langen Packaging is well equipped not only to take new orders, but also to handle changes in the field. “If the aftermarket needs to introduce changes to a piece of equipment in the field, their starting base is a clean bill of materials (BOM),” Tokarz explains. “This BOM can be revised and released back to manufacturing, just like in the engineering cycle. And when they’re done, you’re left with a new revision of the BOM that represents what’s in the field.”

Today, with Enovia SmarTeam on the Microsoft platform handing everything from BOM management and ERP integration to engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and sales, Langen Packaging has succeeded in making vital product information available to everyone in the company, facilitating collaboration and improving efficiency. “Five years into our implementation, Enovia SmarTeam on the Microsoft platform is more central to our operations than ever before,” Tokarz says.

This article first appeared in issue 15 of Prime