For several years now, a Swedish carmaker has been using the PLM software Teamcenter to depict the lifecycle of its extensive fleet of vehicles in electronic form – from the initial development idea right up to after-sales service. Leading PLM specialists PITERION supported the manufacturer in the area of Requirements Engineering for components, improving the software’s usability and increasing process security and efficiency.
Too many clicks to get a quick overview of certain items. Impractical lists instead of clearly laid-out tables with smart editing features. And too much time creating folders, copying, and deleting to ensure audit-proof transparency for a development. PLM software Teamcenter should actually be helping company`s worldwide development and engineering teams to work with the millions of components in Requirements Engineering. Instead, when they received Teamcenter, it was anything but user-friendly, despite the software providing all the options needed to make it easy to use. Process revisions were also necessary, but the feature the customer required doesn’t come as standard in Teamcenter. Not only was this all pretty frustrating for the user, but it was also inefficient and – in some cases – prone to error.
That’s why the Swedish customer tasked PLM specialists PITERION with optimizing the software’s usability – in particular the Rich Client user interface for Requirements Engineering – and with bringing the program’s look and feel into line with that of the rest of the company. “The fact that our PLM experts are able to apply and easily customize solutions developed in-house is a real benefit and helps us to ensure that projects are carried out efficiently,” explains the responsible software developer at PITERION.
Fast overviews, smart tables, simple revisioning
The customer asked PITERION to add two new tabs to Teamcenter’s overview panel for Requirements Specifications, which provides a precise description of the requirements for each component. Clicking on these tabs – which are similar to those in Excel – now opens one of two views that are important to the customer. The Requirements Overview in tab 1 allows the user to see the relevant item at a glance. Tab 2 displays schedules related to the item in what’s called a Schedule Overview. “Before, users had to cobble this information together by opening several views, which was a lot of effort,” says the developer from PITERION.
In addition, certain tasks with tables that required several steps in Teamcenter’s standard version are now far easier to complete. Here, Teamcenter’s characteristic lists were initially customized to the customer’s specific data structure. “We have developed an intelligent smart-table feature with basic functions, for example the option to group items according to date or size or to filter according to particular item properties. We’ve also made it possible to highlight individual table values or several processes with one click and then set them to ‘completed,’ for example,” says PITERION.
In Requirements Engineering, the scope of which includes requirements analysis (i.e. determining, outlining, and validating requirements as well as requirements management for all components), PITERION programmed specific workflow handlers for automation and revisions. These replace time-consuming manual steps, such as copying and creating new folders, and ensure that processes are audit-proof and in line with strict company guidelines. “Today, users can simply move their edited items from the old folder into a new one. A workflow running in the background takes care of all the steps that had to be done manually before,” explains PITERION.
Safeguarding process quality and employee satisfaction
It may come as a surprise that savings in working time and improvements in efficiency – factors that are stressed by companies again and again – weren’t even the project’s primary objective. Instead, the customer found it far more important to reduce workloads and safeguard process quality, in particular in the area of revisions. At the same time, the fact that work tasks are now significantly more straightforward, thanks in particular to the new steps introduced to the software, has led to a rise in employee satisfaction.
PITERION is an international PLM service provider headquartered in Germany with branches in the USA, India, Tunisia, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland. Our highly qualified staff offers solutions and services independent of system manufacturers. We always follow the provisions of the EN 9100 (aerospace), ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality management standards. We have set up internal standards and processes that enable us to maintain a consistently high quality of service across our sites throughout the world.
We constitute a competent and independent partner of our customers providing tailor-made solutions and services. Jointly with our technology providers we may therefore support the PLM strategy of our customers in the best way possible.