In 1926, five individual companies joined forces to form Südzucker AG in Mannheim. With roughly 18,500 employees, the company is now Europe's leading provider of sugar products and holds significant market positions in the specialities, CropEnergies and fruit segments. In 2011, Südzucker sought a cross-disciplinary system for the documentation of its engineering processes and maintenance. The company required a system which would clearly consolidate all disciplines from the 2-D representation of process engineering via piping lists and measurement and control technology overview plans up to electrical detail engineering. Following comprehensive analyses, the decision was made in favour of Engineering Base (EB).
The challenge which the company faced was widely varying documentation with the most diverse formats and quality. It amassed over decades in various production locations throughout the world due to the use of various tools and standards. "As well as lacking commitment, we also had no central documentation storage and we wanted to secure our wide-ranging expertise", explains Josef Jakob, Project Manager in the Central Engineering Department at Südzucker. Prior to EB, all information was at times in small individual databases and drawing files that were maintained separately. The Design, Process Engineering and Electrical Engineering Departments spent a lot of time consulting, which is now unnecessary due to EB's central data model.
"The holistic approach of EB was the most important criterion for us. Added to that is the fact that the database is absolutely consistent - this is unique", says Jakob. EB also optimally meets the requirement to be able to integrate and use older graphics and data as well as support multi-site work. That the platform also allows close connections to all standard process control systems and has already provided experience from the process industry as an established system were further advantages.
From the initial idea to the sensor in the field
"Thanks to Citrix technology, we now need only one central installation in the Data Centre, one database, one training session," reports the project manager who is responsible for the planned implementation in all European plants, "which sets universal standards. Multilingualism is also a major help." He sees the central maintainability of plants as a particular advantage also. "With EB, we cover the entire spectrum of engineering from the initial idea to the final sensor in the field!" Integration in terms of SAP and 3-D is planned. "EB's openness is ideal for this process", concludes Josef Jakob.