Published on 01-Feb-2008
Validated on 02 May 2013
Meyer Werft GmbH
Product Lifecycle Management, Enabling Business Flexibility, Openness, Service Oriented Architecture
The company's existing product life cycle management (PLM) process and system landscape lacked flexibility and scalability to meet current and future business demands.
To make proper decisions, the engineering and production departments needed consistent and integrated design information and production data.
IBM Global Business Services handled the project management, solution design and implementation of a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based infrastructure based on loosely coupled Web services to access the client's legacy applications and ENOVIA PLM components.
The solution has improved execution of all business-relevant process steps, and legacy and new applications now work together in a flexible manner. Necessary information is available in each process step to support decisions, with end-to-end processes becoming transparent. The infrastructure is now reusable in future application development.
Meyer Werft GmbH is a shipyard that was founded in 1795 and has been owned by the Meyer family for six generations. The company specializes in cruise liners; luxury cars and passenger ferries; roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) and passenger ships; and gas tankers and livestock carriers. Meyer Werft employs approximately 2,300 people.
The company's production capacity is 2.5 cruise liners per year. Sharp competition is driving time and cost pressures to achieve order to delivery in less than 30 months. A closely interlocked process between the company and its suppliers is necessary, as 75 percent of the company's material and components are sourced externally.
The company's existing product life cycle management (PLM) process and system landscape was historically grown and lacked flexibility and scalability to meet current and future business demands, and the applications were tightly coupled, which resulted in an inflexible infrastructure. The company's applications were data-focused, less process oriented, so that the end users often needed to access various applications to complete one business process. Data was duplicated without a mechanism for consistency. This situation did not provide a solid base for both engineering and business decisions. Further, a lot of the company's application interfaces were based on an error-prone file transfer mechanism.
Change management between manufacturing and engineering departments is the most critical task. The automated lines are very sensitive to changes, which makes engineering change management a specific challenge. To make proper decisions, the engineering and production departments needed consistent and integrated design information and production data.
Working with IBM, the client defined a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based infrastructure based on loosely coupled Web services to access the client's legacy applications and ENOVIA PLM components. In addition, the company came up with a common logical data model to enable a flexible data exchange between clusters in terms of mapping, routing and process adoption, leading to lower maintenance costs. The company modeled and implemented its processes using IBM WebSphere Process Server software.
The company selected IBM Global Business Services for the project management, solution design and implementation. The project was delivered by the proven IBM Global Services Method approach.
The new SOA based on IBM WebSphere Process Server software provides clear business and IT benefits, including:
- Improved execution of all business-relevant process steps (automated and manual)
- Expert process know-how is consigned to the system
- Users are provided with the needed information in each process step to support decisions
- End-to-end processes are now transparent
- Legacy and newly installed applications work together in a flexible manner
- The approach provides the opportunity for the client to reuse components in future processes and applications