Digitisation brings us many advantages as Arbonia. Amongst others, it simplifies the cooperation at construction sites – for example, thanks to building information modelling (BIM) and product information management (PIM). These and other digital processes eliminate sources of error and reduce the manual effort for employees. This affects the entire value-added chain – from development to production and logistics up to administration. Basically all processes can be digitised and thereby improved. The individual companies become more competitive and attractive as a result.

Direct access to information and services as well as easier processes and shorter processing times are increasingly expected by customers, partners and employees. This helps us to work faster and more accurately and to use the time gained for activities with added value. In addition to decarbonisation, digitisation therefore impacts the operating activities the most. For example, by using all relevant SAP modules for each order, we ensure a completely automated handling process.

Digitisation therefore offers an opportunity to distinguish ourselves from the competition. The responsibility for the digitisation process lies with the divisions. Their implementation of the corresponding projects is guided by the requirements of the users. Agile working methods and the principles of lean management are applied in this process. The digitisation process already has an impact: Our digital competencies are increasingly being noticed by customers, partners and employees.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Division

Digitisation as a competitive factor

In manufacturing, digitisation is constantly being driven forward – for example through the increased networking of the production machinery through control centre technology. Industry 4.0 and Logistics 4.0 lead to considerably increased efficiency with reduced use of resources. In product development, digitisation is also very relevant because products are increasingly networked within the division, thereby improving energy efficiency further.

In administration and sales, processes are also being gradually digitised and automated. The Kermi company, for example, is establishing a multi-channel distribution. The use of social media and the development of in-house programmed product apps is just as natural for the company as using the Intranet as a central information platform.

Digital in development and production

The Corbetta (IT) site has successfully completed the internal configuration and implementation of the new manufacturing execution system (MES) in the entire production as well as the computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). The introduction of a new production process control (digital kanban) to reduce inventories, the introduction of a warehouse management system (WMS), as well as the introduction of a new production planner and a code configurator remain objectives. By 2023, digitisation is also to be implemented in logistics. In Dilsen (BE) an upgrade of the ERP system has been started; the go-live is planned for January 2023. Afterwards, the site intends to devote itself to implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) while continuously increasing security in the area of information and communication technology at the same time. The intended objectives are checked with regular feedback from the stakeholders, comparisons with competitors and a semi-annual assessment.

Doors Division

Harmonisation of the digitisation roadmap

In addition to the comprehensive investment programme into the modern production plants, digitisation is also a focus of the Doors Division. This offers many opportunities, such as simplifying work processes and reducing errors through automation. In 2019, the Wood Solutions Business Unit initiated a digitisation roadmap along which it has since been substantially renewing the existing IT landscape, in order to make the systems ready for the future.

The core of this IT strategy is the introduction of SAP S / 4 HANA as a modern and harmonised ERP system for the entire Wood Solutions Business Unit and the associated automation of the core business processes – from paper to digital. With the changeover to this uniform "foundation", the division is creating a solid basis for future growth and for further digitisation efforts (see introductory interview in this chapter). A significant advantage of this uniform system is that additions and new developments only have to be created once instead of having to develop individual solutions for each company of the Wood Solutions Business Unit (e. g. MES for the production, web shop, etc.). In the reporting year, the division finished changing over the system landscape of Invado in Poland. The two German companies Prüm and Garant will now follow; their changeover was initiated in the reporting year.

Networking of machines and processes

In the course of the SAP introduction, Invado introduced a system for operating and machine data logging (MES) during the reporting year. This ensures a seamless networking of machines and business processes and increases efficiency as a result. In addition, the existing web shop of Invado is being replaced by a new, modern solution that is directly connected to the new SAP system, thereby reducing internal workload.

Efficient door calculation tool

With the introduction of DOORIT, the Prüm and Garant companies will completely digitise the offer process for their customers in the future. This is a web-based door calculation tool which is backed by up-to-date details and data. This significantly reduces error rates and time expenditure for the customer as well as for the companies (see introductory interview in the chapter).

The digital twin

RWD Schlatter was able to launch a digital interface to increase customer integration in the maintenance business. The intended solution allows the customer to see the possibilities and the condition of a door online. The customer also has access to all records and documents at all times. For example, information on opening and closing cycles, moisture, vibrations and temperature can be read to determine the ideal time for maintenance.