The Siemens E – Content Classification Portal implements a central product master data server for cross-system classification that is standardized across the sector and also description of product master data and structures on the basis of the eptos™ solution from Paradine.
“Whoever believes that master data management is just incidental work should keep away from it. It is not for nothing that ISO13584 and IEC61360 are based upon a solid mathematical foundation. Deviating from this foundation involves the danger of being incapable of explaining and creating in-house non-coordinated solutions with a great deal of outlay and many compromises.” Gerd Koziel, Head of Classification
Status Quo and problem definition
As one of the leading players in a global market, the Power Generation Division of the Siemens Energy Sector offers its customers with world-class technologies, services and solutions to improve their flexibility, efficiency and profitability in the Power Generation business. In recent years, the Division has acquired a range of companies (e.g. Westinghouse, Delaval, Mannesmann Demag, Alstom, KK&K, HV-Turbo, Bennex and Poseidon, etc.). Each of these companies brought its own culture and its own products and business processes. Since 2007, the Power Generation Division has been consistently pursuing the goal of harmonizing the heterogeneous process and system landscape. Globally standardized orientation will make business processes faster, more flexible and more productive and considerably improve collaboration, especially between individual sites. The data management processes are to be reworked within the framework of projects and adapted to the strategic orientation of the entity.
- High level of site-specific maintenance outlay for material master data
- No comparability of information – own interpretation was necessary
- Ambiguity of classes and property naming
- Many individual classes, based on internal needs
- High number of duplicates
- No sector-wide bundling options in procurement
- High outlay with cross-site product documentation
A high sustainable savings potential results from this situation due to longstanding service contracts with customers (up to 30 years).
The Siemens E – Content Classification Portal Solution
Within the framework of this project, a central product master data server – the “Siemens E – Content Classification Portal” – was established, based on the eptos™ solution from Paradine, as well as a central office for the classification and maintenance of master data. The basis for consolidated classification of material master data is formed by eCl@ss, as an established, cross-sector and multilingual classification standard. A class structure adapted to the requirements of Siemens is derived for consistent classification and description of material master data based on the eCl@ss standard. In doing this, non-required classes are set as inactive, properties and values used are defined and creation rules for the automatic generation of short texts and procurement texts (long texts) were specified.
The “Siemens E – Content Classification Portal” fulfills the following functions:
- Central product master data server to establish a consolidated classification structure based on eCl@ss
- Restriction of eCl@ss classes to those classes that are actually used and extension by own classes where needed
- Generation and maintenance of class-specific templates for specification of (different) description detail of the material master data for target systems (SAP, Teamcenter, etc.)
- Provision of classification and material description information for further company applications (e.g. Comos, TDM, etc.)
- Mapping to old classifications
- Mapping of units of measures for target systems
- Multi-lingual terminology database for naming catalogs and values lists
- Support for automated upgrade to higher eCl@ss releases
- Reference system for transfer of supplier catalog data
- Platform for capturing change and extension requests for classification, material description and terminology
Results and Benefits include:
- Roll-out of the new classification structure has already taken place at the German sites of Duisburg, Görlitz and Nuremberg. International roll-outs have taken place at the sites of Finspong (Sweden), Brno (Czech Republic), Hengelo (The Netherlands) and Perm (Russia)
- Almost 1 million material master records have already been classified and about 450,000 record sets have been evaluated with properties
- Material master record preparation for the target systems has been carried out in German, English and Czech language. However, 16 languages are already currently available for searching within the Siemens E – Content Classification Portal
- Overall, about 2,500 eCl@ss classes are required, of which approx. 900 eCl@ss classes are currently being actively used
- It has been possible to reduce the private classes to approx. 2,400 classes at present
- Overall, there is a reduction from approx. 7,000 proprietary classes to approx. 4,900 classes in accordance with the eCl@ss standard
About Siemens AG – Energy Sector
The company Siemens AG is a global leader in electronics and electrical technology. The Energy Sector is one of the world’s leading suppliers of a wide spectrum of products, solutions and services in the sector of Energy Technology. Siemens Energy employs almost 86,000 staff around the world. In the 2012 financial year, the sector achieved a turnover of about 27.5 billion Euro and a profit of about 2.2 billion Euro.