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PROSTEP migrates the ACO Group's Teamcenter installation

By Jens Steinbuß

The ACO Group, a global leader in drainage technology, is establishing Teamcenter as its strategic PLM platform in parallel to the company-wide implementation of SAP. The current, highly customized Teamcenter version needs to be replaced by a new version to provide business processes with targeted support and make it easier to integrate new locations and subsidiaries. PROSTEP is responsible for migrating the PLM data.

The ACO Group was founded in 1946 in Rendsburg/Büdelsdorf on the site of the Carlshütte foundary, Schleswig-Holstein’s first industrial company, which dates back to 1821. Today, the family-owned company, which has 37 production sites in 18 countries, is one of the global market leaders in drainage technology. A classic "hidden champion" that employs 5,200 people worldwide and generated revenues of one billion euros in the 2021 fiscal year. Thanks to its global presence and diversification, the group is well able to cushion the impact of regional and cyclical market fluctuations.

Among other things, ACO develops and sells comprehensive solutions for the professional drainage, efficient cleaning and controlled discharge or reuse of water. Products include drainage channels and drains, oil and grease separators, backflow stop systems, light shafts for cellars and intelligent system components for water management in the civil engineering sector.

In recent years, the family-owned company in Schleswig-Holstein has grown not only organically but also taking over smaller competitors. Just a few weeks ago, it acquired the largest Dutch manufacturer of separators, Aquafix.

Due to the heterogeneous corporate landscape comprising different ERP solutions, connecting new locations and subsidiaries to the existing Teamcenter installation became an increasingly complex task. In addition, updates involved a considerable amount of time and functional enhancements were becoming increasingly difficult. Corporate management and the specialist departments therefore decided to set up a new strategic Teamcenter instance based on Active Workspace with systematic SAP connection and to align the application more closely to the business processes.

ACO brought PROSTEP AG on board to automate and speed up migration of the PLM data. One of the reasons for choosing our migration specialists was that we had already successfully realized a CAD data conversion for the company a few years ago. "In addition to its expertise in presales, we were also persuaded by the fact that PROSTEP has a large number of customer references that involve complex migration projects in a Teamcenter environment," says project manager Jochen Bardonner.

Preparations for migrating the data are currently underway, and the data migration should be completed by the beginning of May. The challenge when it comes to Teamcenter-Teamcenter migration is automatically mapping the structure of the PLM data from the old instance to the new data model so that users can take advantage of the extended functionality that the new Teamcenter version offers. ACO wants to make greater use of the collaboration and project management functions in particular.

Another exciting aspect of this migration project is the integration of the subsidiary in the Czech Republic, the largest stainless steel production facility in the group. It is currently still managing its product data with Autodesk Vault. Here again, the structures need to be mapped and attributes filled correctly, a process that can be automated with PROSTEP's OpenPDM integration platform and the appropriate connectors. ACO expects introduction of Teamcenter at its Czech subsidiary to provide excellent support for managing the predominantly customer-specific projects as an end-to-end process from the customer request to the production machine.

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