Elbe Gets Off to a Flying Start with SAP SI

As a result of the tough safety requirements in the aircraft sector, all business processes need to be documented precisely – a task that leads to huge quantities of data and documents. In view of the fact that maintenance was no longer provided for the legacy system, the management decided to team up with SAP SI to replace the application and integrate all logistics processes into the companys business environment. In addition, the new solution was to be connected to the Airbus ERP system. The new system went live in April 2004, with the legacy data having been migrated in just five days.
In September 2001, SAP SI and EFW began analyzing the feasibility of migrating the companys data to the SAP system, after which they developed a prototype and drew up a detailed strategy. The task of analyzing and documenting the actual processes presented a challenge because individual further developments had regularly been added to the legacy system. On top of this, it was necessary to migrate 120,000 sales order items, 96,000 maintenance orders, 120,000 document records, around 5,000 maintenance plans, and 65,000 reports.
SAP SI and EFW drew up a strategy for implementing a solution that would map the complex processes for aircraft conversion, aircraft maintenance, and component production as well as for a system for planning capacities, usually between two and three years in advance. In addition, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH wanted to carry out preliminary costing for conversion projects and keep track of costs while the work is being done.

New solution allows uniform view of all information

The implementation of the SAP modules and the industry solution commenced in September 2002, with the business processes for aircraft conversion and maintenance being realized by using the Project System and Plant Maintenance (PM) modules in conjunction with project structures, general maintenance task lists, and maintenance orders. Based on the Quality Management, Plant Maintenance, Sales & Distribution, and Project System modules of SAP, a solution was created for dealing with non-routine processes and mapping the learning curve factor. This means that if someone notices during repair work that parts other than the standard ones have been mounted, the system documents the changes that this will mean for subsequent work. The advantage of this is that all processes are consistently defined in the SAP solution and are integrated into budget monitoring and billing. What is referred to as the learning curve factor was mapped by SAP SI using complex logarithmic functions. It describes how much more efficiently follow-up maintenance is carried out compared to the first order for a particular aircraft type and takes care of incorporating the data into scheduling and planning.
A special solution was developed for cross-module event reporting. In addition, SAP SI worked together with EFW to implement mobile picking terminals, connected via a WLAN, for the purpose of allowing data to be entered on site without errors and without redundancy. At the same time, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH’s suppliers were connected to the ERP system and the automatic high-rack storage area, which registers around 350,000 movements each year, was integrated into the applications. When it came to familiarizing users with the new software, SAP SI supported the Dresden-based aircraft manufacturer with more than 120 different training seminars. “Thanks to the new solution, we now have a uniform view of all information flows throughout the company. This puts us in a position to respond speedily to changing situations and states,” sums up Sylvio Reh, project manager at EFW for the SAP implementation.

Source: SAP SI