About Plasser & Theurer
Plasser & Theurer is the world market leader in the production of track-laying machines and associated maintenance vehicles. The company is a full-range supplier and is unique within the industry as it focuses, among other things, on the development, production and servicing of special vehicles and custom-built products. Plasser & Theurer focuses on continuous improvement through innovation while retaining the tried and tested, thereby revolutionizing the range of products and services within the industry. It currently holds up to 2,000 patents which have been created by this dynamic corporate philosophy.
Digitization success story of Plasser & Theurer Linz.
When production is distributed over different locations, coordinated processes and cooperation in quality management are crucial. Plasser & Theurer Linz digitalized these processes and thus saves time of up to one worker per vehicle. Digital quality control during production is also possible for the customer.
How it works at Plasser & Theurer Linz.
At the main plant in Linz, the machines and testing procedures have to be specially adapted for individualized customer orders. Plasser & Theurer attaches great importance to close coordination with the customer. In order to further develop the processes and make them even more efficient, the main plant decided after a test phase to use Testify as a digital tool to master the current challenges.
The challenges at the beginning
Consistent documentation and quick coordination required.
Before Testify, the quality acceptance was carried out in an elaborate process using paper, pen and photo documentation. Differences in the level of detail of the documentation and paper-bound records slow down the processes and cooperation, especially when different production sites are involved.
Control by the customer is requested.
For a special customer order, an inspection during production is requested by the customer. This requires quick updates and comprehensible presentations of the current production status and the involvement of the customer in the quality acceptance process.
Proof of Concept in a small setting.
A team from the QM department at the Linz headquarters experimented with Testify for 3 months. Gradually, other employees were integrated. In the PoC package, there is a close exchange with Testify in order to adapt the service to the specific requirements of Plasser & Theurer Linz and to actively take up customer feedback. Testify can be adapted to individual processes and continuously develops its services through customer feedback. This allows an individual and optimized use of the Testify (web)app for the organization.
The foundation stone for the digital infrastructure is laid.
After the training workshop, Plasser & Theurer Linz equipped its employees with smartphones or tablets. Now, defects can be digitally documented directly when inspecting the machines. The QM team incorporated the tried and tested processes and quality checks into the easy-to-use Testify (Web) app. The entirety of the individual processes is now visible. Looking at the big picture offers potential to add fine-tuning between the individual checks, build categories of quality checks and continuously improve the processes.
Organize collaboration efficiently.
Sets of checklists and defect categories are now available for production staff. These are used to process the quality inspections and at the same time document them in a structured way via the Testify app. This standardizes the documentation of the acceptance tests and saves time, since no individual protocol has to be created manually. The automatically generated reports and lists of defects to be remedied are distributed by the employees themselves and assigned to individual tasks via app. In this way, work steps can be quickly coordinated and the current status is visible to all employees in the Testify Task Cockpit on their smartphones.
Plasser & Theurer produces across locations. For the acceptance of the products in the plant in France, the employees now only need to take their smartphone with them to view all protocols and reports at a glance.
Integration of the customer into the value-added process.
The reports and protocols are shared with the client by e-mail. In this way, customers are quickly and easily integrated with clearly prepared documents about current events in production. However, this does not represent any additional effort, because the reports are generated automatically as soon as the employees process the quality checks assigned to the customer's product and thus note the current status.
Awareness for quality management was created.
Among the employees of Plasser & Theurer, Testify has manifested itself as an integral part of their work processes. "There is more cooperation", says Ing. Peter Ruff, head of quality assurance.
Next steps with Plasser & Theurer.
Testify has established itself as an integral part of quality management workflows. The next step will be the audit logging with Testify. Plasser & Theurer Linz has already successfully tested the first attempts at this and the processes for the actual audit are currently being developed. In addition, further protocols are to be converted to completely digital processes.
Further areas of development are a customer access to the Testify app, which enables the real-time tracking of quality tests during production. This promotes the further integration of customers into the production processes and enables even closer exchange and collaboration in real time.
It is not only that handling has become extremely easy - we no longer have to record a single protocol by hand - but employees have also become more aware of the quality and safety of our products and actively exchange information about them. This has brought them together more.