Aras Corp > Case Studies > IWT's Transformation: Customizing with Efficiency in IoT

IWT's Transformation: Customizing with Efficiency in IoT

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Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Application Development Platforms
Applicable Industries
  • Life Sciences
  • Pharmaceuticals
Applicable Functions
  • Product Research & Development
  • Quality Assurance
Use Cases
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Process Simulation
  • System Integration
  • Training
The Customer
About The Customer
IWT is a company that has been specializing in the design, manufacture, and installation of washing systems for the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries since 1992. The company is based in Varese, Italy, with a facility that includes 129,000 square feet of production areas, design studios, training, and showroom facilities. Originally, IWT's systems were used exclusively in facilities that housed lab animals. However, in recent years, the business has expanded into washing systems for the pharmaceutical industry, which now comprises a large portion of the company’s business. IWT manufactures 45 different models, 60% of which are customized to some degree.
The Challenge
IWT, a company specializing in the design, manufacture, and installation of washing systems for the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries, faced a significant challenge in managing its wide product portfolio. The company manufactures 45 different models, 60% of which are customized to some degree. This high level of customization, combined with limited production quantities, necessitated a controlled process for managing the release of engineering changes. The goal was to achieve efficiency, reduce process time, and better coordinate production throughout the organization. The need for strict compliance in heavily regulated industries further complicated the situation. IWT's existing PLM journey with Dassault Systèmes’ SOLIDWORKS for 3D CAD and Enovia for managing CAD data and Bills of Materials (BOMs) was proving inadequate. The system had limited part classification, no workflow, and no tool to ensure data consistency. The management of non-CAD documents was also a challenge, with information often difficult to find and access.
The Solution
IWT adopted the Aras Innovator platform to develop an engineering change order (ECO) workflow that covered the entire process. The engineering BOM organization was separated from manufacturing needs, and industrial engineers were assisted in manipulating the structure and verifying data consistency when releasing changes to production. The entire process was managed in a single workflow, allowing priority management for changes affecting delivery of critical projects. The ECO workflow project was managed with a focus on business needs rather than on software development. Functionalities were tested early on, allowing IWT to have the platform quickly accepted by the users. IWT was able to see immediate results in the reduction of reworking activities and in improved management of priorities. Using the same approach, IWT is now incrementally extending the use of the Aras Innovator platform to create an integrated infrastructure to manage products throughout the organization.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of the Aras Innovator platform has brought about significant operational improvements for IWT. The ECO state is now constantly monitored, and release priorities are managed based on the business needs. Delays due to poor planning of ECO priorities have virtually disappeared. The company has also seen a significant reduction in information requests. When requests do occur, they have changed from “Can you answer this question for me?” to “Can you help me understand the information I found in Aras?” This shift indicates that employees are finding the information they need more readily available and easier to understand. Furthermore, when the COVID pandemic hit, the company was able to make the ECO release process completely paperless, enabling those working remotely to continue without missing a beat.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Design activities reached normal operations within two weeks of going live
  • Production engineering reached normal operations within four weeks
  • 25,000 parts were processed in a single year with additional product data, increased flexibility in the MBOM management, and no increase in the workload

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