Product data management system for chemical materials, laboratory measurements and market standards.
The international company in the chemical industry specializing in engineering and production of high-quality materials such as plastics, nylons and petrochemical products generates a lot of technical and measurement data related to its products, which is continuously compared with market regulations and specifications defined by its clients. This process is done mainly manually, time-consuming, prone to errors and involves different business units.
During the engineering and production process, each material is examined in the laboratories and described by a technical data sheet (TDS). Depending on materials, the technical parameter structure and measurement protocols were different and verification of data was done manually.
Complex excel spreadsheets were shared between the Sales department, R&D department, and Laboratories and used to find or develop product meeting specific internal customer standards or/and certain market standards (e.g. ISO). This process was extremely time-consuming and prone to errors. Because of that quoting process was too long and confusing for clients.
The main goal was to design a system that would gather, store and share information about products, laboratory measurements and market standards and allow for mapping all relevant data to automate the work of involved departments. Additionally, it was expected to automate the generation of technical data sheets (TDS) and made them available for clients through the company’s web page.
The company expected a system, for which the substantial part consisted of complex search modules, product and measurement data management, dynamic generation of technical data sheets (TDS), which would be integrated with the laboratory workflow. In order to analyze and present data from other, external sources, it was also necessary to secure data integration with external systems (e.g. CAMPUS®).
Taking into consideration the complexity of data, it was crucial to perform the feasibility study and based on the results, design an adequate solution which included:
- design of system architecture having regard to the company’s existing IT environment and security;
- unifying technical parameters into consistent, reusable vocabulary;
- mapping of customer standards with technical parameters vocabulary;
- importing market standards into the system;
- importing existing product database into the system from existing Excel files;
- importing measurement data into the system from the files.
The system included an advanced Product Management System (PIM) with dedicated Laboratory Data Management (LDM) module and allowed for data creation and management of all types of data related to chemical materials including marketing, technical, standards and measurement information. The system supported the business flows of the company supporting efficient internal collaboration.