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14 December 2019


  • The innovative solution makes it simpler for mechanical engineering companies to work together with suppliers
  • This reduces the amount of work involved for developers, with the system independently offering alternatives if a part has been discontinued.

A comprehensive database developed by Körber Digital simplifies the important process of obsolescence management in the mechanical engineering industry. The MBO group is now putting this solution to good use.
One major challenge in the mechanical engineering industry is that machines are becoming increasingly reliant on electronic vendor parts. The issue is that these components have short innovation cycles, yet users require a solution for replacement parts for decades to come. This is why mechanical engineers have to keep this development in mind when performing obsolescence management (OM). Experts request the current delivery status of an assembly from their suppliers during the development phase and work out replacement solutions in the event of product change or end-of-life notifications.

“However, these notifications are rapidly increasing, as the rate of development for electronic assemblies is so high,” explains Berthold Zinth, Supply Chain Manager at the MBO Group (based in Oppenweiler, Germany). The company is one of the largest producers of folding machines, innovative delivery solutions and peripheral devices. These products are used for the production of books and flyers in the printing industry and in book-binding workshops. “The amount of time and personal effort required for OM at our company has risen rapidly in the last few years. In the past, it always required more effort to respond to the situation at an early stage and to maintain an overview of everything. However, this is essential for our products, which have a long service life. This was the situation we were in, which is why we started looking for a comprehensive OM digitization solution. We found it thanks to Körber Digital,” states Zinth.

A focus on new product development and replacement part management
The MBO Group develops high quality, high performance machines and automation solutions intended for industrial-scale production for the print processing and pharmaceutical sectors. As a result, the machines are designed to be robust. “MBO’s top priority is to be able to deliver replacement parts when they are required – even if the machine is very old. It is just as important for MBO to identify components that may be discontinued down the line – and to do so while developing the new product. Thanks to the early warning system developed by Körber Digital, MBO is now able to look for alternative components or suppliers in good time. Another advantage is that we can promptly inform our distribution partners if it appears that a part from a supplier will no longer be available in the near future. In this sense, it was essential for us to upgrade the OM,” states Zinth.

MBO can now streamline its entire process using the smart database designed by Körber Digital. At present, the database contains around one million parts from suppliers. With more and more suppliers signing up and adding their data, the figure is growing all the time. Mechanical engineers can now directly access ‘their’ parts and parts lists. The system checks the delivery and discontinuation status of the parts. If a certain part is only available for a limited period, the database will offer alternative proposals. If the delivery status changes, the database sends information to the user. “This solution has our full support. It is available to all mechanical engineering companies,” explains product owner Nizar Manzli at Körber Digital. “All the user has to pay is a low monthly flat-rate fee, and the first 12 months are free. All in all, it enables us to turn a complicated, arduous task into a smart process where all involved can reduce the amount of work involved and be more efficient.”

About Körber
Körber AG is the holding company of an international technology group. The group comprises leading technology companies with more than 130 production, service and distribution companies. At its sites around the world, Körber combines the benefits of an international organization with the strengths of a highly specialized, flexible medium-sized enterprise that offers its customers solutions, products and services in the fields of automation, logistics systems, pharmaceutical systems, tissue production and tobacco, along with company shareholdings and Körber Digital.

About Körber Digital
Körber Digital designs and fosters the ongoing digital development of the Körber Group. This field is a catalyst for digital innovation and new digital business models – and a starting point for all matters relating to the digitization of the Group. Situated in the German start-up hub of Berlin, Körber Digital combines the speed and entrepreneurial spirit of a start-up with the long-term strategic plan of the Körber Group. Körber Digital’s goal is to be a leading light in the industry as the digital revolution continues.

SIKO group of companies is the exclusive dealer of MBO  group.

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