Fast data transfer is critical for today’s companies and becoming ever more important for households as well, especially with the growing popularity of mobile internet and streaming services.
Currently, the best bandwidth is provided by optical data transfer, i.e. optical fiber, also used by the recent 5G technology. Thus, there is great demand for the equipment developed by Rosendahl Nextrom.
Rosendahl Nextrom is one of the world’s leading suppliers of optical fiber and fiber optic cable production lines, production solutions, and services, delivering to customers across the globe. In Finland, the company’s product design, assembly and testing are located in Vantaa, near the Helsinki Airport.
The equipment and production lines provided by Rosendahl Nextrom represent the latest technological developments and are often tailored to specific customer requirements. That is why the company is strongly investing in research, product development, and continuous improvement.
“We have managed our product data with Roima’s solution already for over 15 years. All items, item structures, delivered equipment, projects, and the related customers and documents can be found in good order in a single place.”
– Mika Vihavainen, Director / ICT & Operational Development and Quality at Rosendahl Nextrom Oy
Advanced digitalization of the order-to-delivery process
Nextrom and Roima began their shared journey at the beginning of the 21st century, when Nextrom set out to modernize its product data management processes. The company decided to take control of their product data using the Aton PDM/PLM solution of Roima’s predecessor company Modultek – the solution nowadays known as RoimaSoftware Aton.
At Rosendahl Nextrom, product data is contained in items, structures, 2D/3D drawings and models, as well as in all product-related documentation. Product data is generated both at a general level and for customer-specifically delivered equipment and production lines. Naturally, all data needs to be up to date and available throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Today, Roima’s solution serves the company’s mechanical, electrical and automation engineers as well as the procurement department and spare parts management. Over the years, the cooperation between the two companies has deepened, and the experts on both sides have learned to know each other.
Mika Vihavainen serves as the ICT Director at Rosendahl Nextrom’s Finland office. He is also responsible for the company’s quality management systems. Mika has served the company already for 22 years – the work has been meaningful and continues to offer interesting challenges. Nextrom’s Finland operations have been integrated with the company’s global operations already for a long time, so IT development work is often carried out in cooperation with other country units.
All engineering data brought together
When Rosendahl Nextrom designs fiber cable production lines – or even entire factories – there are always several engineers working on the same project simultaneously. The Inventor CAD integrated with Roima’s system ensures that all the work done by different engineers is saved under the correct serial number, i.e. delivery item.
“Items are created in the design system and then transferred via Aton for CAD interface first to Roima’s PLM system and from there on automatically to the ERP system. The efficiency of work increases when there’s no need for manual data entries, thus avoiding duplicate work and human errors”, Mika explains the achieved benefits.
In addition to the important management of engineering data, RoimaSoftware Aton takes care of purchase control: all delivery items are automatically transferred to the company’s SAP ERP system, ensuring that the procurement department always gets the right parts list (Bill of Materials, BOM) for making the right purchases.
The management of spare parts is also done in Roima’s system, where the spare part information of all delivered equipment is visible directly in each item used in the assembly.
Easy documentation and sharing to customers
When all product-related documentation is in the same system, the management and monitoring of delivered projects becomes much easier. All approved documents of delivery-ready projects, such as data sheets and assembly manuals, are automatically moved forward in the workflow to be used in the ERP system and to be delivered to the customer in electronic format.
Mika Vihavainen standing next to DWC 600 Dual Wheel Capstan
Mika Vihavainen standing next to DWC 600 Dual Wheel Capstan
Rosendahl Nextrom offers an extensive product portfolio, in addition to which the company provides tailored solutions to meet specific customer needs. RoimaSoftware Aton stores not only the information related to the basic products, but also all the data related to the unique, customer-specifically engineered equipment and production lines. All previous models and components are reusable, which significantly speeds up the engineering of new equipment, as engineers do not need to start from scratch every time.
For the manufacturing of parts and components, Rosendahl Nextrom uses both its Finnish and its international supplier network. The procurement works through global procurement teams with members based in Finland, Austria, and Romania. The purchasers get all the necessary item data from the company’s SAP ERP system, supplied by RoimaSoftware Aton.
PLM – A must for manufacturing companies
As potential future development targets, Mika Vihavainen sees production capacity management, demand leveling, and subcontractor document management. Roima’s solution for the management of subcontractor networks might well be the next joint project.
“The cooperation with Roima over the years has been straightforward. At times, we have been working together very actively to solve pressing challenges, and at other times, there have been long periods during which we have not been working on anything”, Mika sheds light on the cooperation.
“We have been using the PLM for so long that it has become an integral part of our processes. It is very hard to imagine engineering work without a PLM system integrated with CAD. This has also been noted elsewhere at Knill Gruppe, and the engineering departments from other country units have visited us in Finland to learn about the functionalities of RoimaSoftware Aton. When considering implementing a PLM system into your company’s processes, I recommend doing the groundwork properly. Today’s systems are relatively easy to configure in the implementation phase, and it is often tempting to cut corners to save time. However, I can say from experience that once people learn a habit, its sticks, so it is good to plan the use of the tool as carefully as possible already at the outset.”