SAP Integrates PLM, Design Solutions

Says mySAP, CATIA integration improves engineering collaboration with other functions

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Walldorf, Germany — May 27, 2003 — German e-business giant SAP has integrated its product lifecycle management solution with product development solution CATIA in a bid to help manufacturers link design, production and business processes throughout the entire value chain.

By integrating its mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM) solution and CATIA V5, SAP said it is offering manufacturers the ability to improve collaboration between engineering, procurement, manufacturing and customer relationship management.

With the integration, design and production data can flow across all mySAP business suite solutions, providing product information and process-oriented integration and functionality for all parties across the enterprise, SAP asserted.

As an example, SAP said that the integration would streamline the work of engineers, making it easier to draw on information from various business areas of the enterprise. Engineers will be able to import data from other applications and work with them in the context of CATIA V5 to adjust blueprints according to product-related feedback from customers.

In turn, information generated by CATIA V5 will be available in all business applications throughout the extended enterprise, allowing, for example, procurement and manufacturing departments to directly adapt purchase orders and production sequences according to engineers' specifications.

One SAP customer already taking advantage of the integration is ALCAN Mass Transportation Systems (ALCAN MTS), a subsidiary of the Canadian ALCAN corporation that designs and develops buses and rail vehicles. When ALCAN MTS deployed CATIA, the company also needed an integrated product data management system and chose mySAP PLM to centralize all customer- and project-related information in one system.

"Our business is delivering efficient assembly technologies for custom-tailored transport systems in the shortest possible time with the lowest possible lifecycle costs," said Reto Bachmann, information technology manager at ALCAN. "To achieve this we've got to seamlessly integrate all business processes, from development to support, including technical, logistic and financial processes. mySAP PLM Integration for CATIA V5 directly links our project management with budgeting, cost monitoring and POC [percentage of completion] accounting, enabling seamless engineering processes and ensuring that key data in the value chain remains available throughout our extended enterprise."

Developed by CENIT AG Systemhaus, a PLM service and consulting company, the integration product is connected to mySAP PLM via the CAD Desktop user interface. SAP says that it will sell and maintain mySAP PLM Integration for CATIA V5, which is available now for customers.

For more information on the PLM market, see the Global Enabled Supply Chain Series article "Product Lifecycle Management" in the October/November 2002 issue of iSource Business.

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