Success Story

Telegärtner is digitalizing and optimizing processes on the shop floor with ORBIS MES

ORBIS Solutions: ORBIS Manufacturing Execution System
Sectors: Electro and electronic industry
Processes: Manufacturing
References: Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH

Telegärtner is increasing transparency and the degree of digitalization in its production activities with the ORBIS Manufacturing Execution System (ORBIS MES) – which integrates seamlessly into the SAP S/4HANA ERP suite introduced at the same time. The connectors manufacturer is thus creating a key condition for further optimizing its shop floor processes, at the same time as laying the foundation for creating a Smart Factory. The company placed its trust in ORBIS SE’s expertise to implement and expand the MES.

In today’s increasingly interconnected global business world, where digital solutions provide the infrastructure for the economy, establishing connectivity through the transfer of data, voice and signals is absolutely essential. This is true for the likes of implementing home and office networks, on production lines in factories, and in intralogistics – not to mention in Industry 4.0 scenarios, and also in data centers or in mobile communications. What many people do not know is that – when it comes to establishing futureproof connections – the Telegärtner Group’s standard or special solutions are the go-to products in many places.

Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH

Head office: Steinenbronn, Germany
Products: Coaxial connectors, network components and preassembled cables
Sites: international at 11 sites
Employees: > 1,000 employees

The market leader for coaxial connectors

The core competence of the owner-managed and family-run company is developing and manufacturing innovative and high-quality coaxial connectors. The corporate group – which is headed by Steinenbronn-based Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH and generated a turnover of EUR 100 million in 2022 with a workforce of around 700 staff at 11 sites around the world – is one of the market leaders in this field.

It produces several million coaxial connectors per year – from miniature connectors for electronic devices, to precision connectors for laboratory measuring instruments. Telegärtner also assembles cables and manufactures cable systems and assemblies – not to mention network components, plastic injection-molded parts and industrial electronics.

To ensure that the company can continue with both its successful market operations and its growth trajectory in the future, it needs to significantly increase the degree of digitalization, automation and standardization of its business processes in all areas (also with a view to continuously optimizing them).

ORBIS MES on Telegärtner shop floor

Generating significantly more sales with the same number of employees

The simultaneous introduction and launch of SAP S/4HANA and the ORBIS Manufacturing Execution System (ORBIS MES) – which is seamlessly integrated into this ERP suite – at Telegärtner Karl Gärtner has set the stage for this development. The reason for the parallel implementation process was because – from the SAP S/4HANA go-live date – the processes required for production data acquisition (PDA) and machine data acquisition (MDA) were also to be used on the shop floor.

The ERP suite from SAP and ORBIS MES form the foundation of a homogeneous IT landscape with harmonized master data, plus standardized and transparent processes – from the customer order, material ordering and production to invoicing. The applications replace an ERP system and a PDA solution that came from different vendors, were not integrated, and were also outdated.

Source Photo: © Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH

MES is increasing the degree of digitalization on the shop floor

The benefits of the seamless integration between SAP S/4HANA and MES from ORBIS quickly became apparent. On the whole, since these solutions were introduced, processes at Telegärtner Karl Gärtner have been significantly optimized and internal throughput times have been shortened so much that sales have significantly increased even though staff numbers have remained the same – generating genuine added value.

In this respect, MES from ORBIS is providing us with very effective support in setting up digital processes that are standardized across all our plants on the shop floor,” commented Andreas Schäfer (Operations Director at Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH). At the same time, it forms the starting point for a Smart Factory (where all the players involved in production are networked) and is characterized by automated and bidirectional “real-time” processes – from the ERP system right down to machine control.

The presently 120 end users in Steinenbronn are benefiting greatly from the introduction of MES. Recording production quantities is now quick and easy at terminals on a user-friendly interface in MES, which transfers the figures directly to SAP S/4HANA, where they are processed immediately. Product data (finished, yield and scrap quantities, plus throughput and cycle times) and process data (idle, operating, production and setup times, scheduled / unscheduled downtimes) are automatically incorporated into ORBIS MES, which is linked to the installations over the ORBIS Multi-Process Interface (ORBIS MPI). This information is evaluated promptly using the solution’s reporting functions, and the result is clearly visualized in chart format. This establishes the transparency needed to quickly and specifically optimize both machine and staff deployment and capacity utilization.

Telegärtner placed its trust in ORBIS SE’s expertise to implement and further expand the MES. The biggest challenge was meeting the tight schedule, since the production control system had to be available at the same time as SAP S/4HANA. But this was also successfully overcome – largely thanks to the cooperative partnership forged between key users, contacts from the specialist departments and ORBIS consultants, not to mention the outstanding commitment of everyone involved.

Mapping individual process requirements

The effective teamwork meant it was also possible to make necessary adjustments to the MES to meet Telegärtner’s process requirements (such as automatic break time accounting) on schedule. This ensures that employees who are logged on to the MES when their break is scheduled to start are logged off in a system-supported manner, then logged back on again as soon as their break ends. This saves valuable time, since it eliminates the need to physically go to the terminals to log out and back in again.

Processing of production orders was also adapted to the company’s specific requirements. Separate processes for the foremen or supervisors and the workers – including an additional status release – ensure that the workers do not perform work processes until they have been released by the foremen / supervisors. In addition, a mobile scanner solution from the ORBIS Logistics portfolio that now allows kanban containers to be set to empty directly at the terminal was integrated into the MES.

Andreas Schäfer summed up the experience positively: “Since ORBIS MES was introduced, both transparency and the degree of digitalization on the shop floor have increased significantly, allowing us to further optimize processes in Production and, at the same time, to take an important step on our journey towards the Smart Factory.” And the process continues. The MES will be further adapted and optimized with Telegärtner’s requirements in mind. This includes the likes of directly connecting installations to SAP S/4HANA with an updated daily view of production KPIs such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

„Since ORBIS MES was introduced, both transparency and the degree of digitalization on the shop floor have increased significantly, allowing us to further optimize processes in Production and, at the same time, to take an important step on our journey towards the Smart Factory.“

Andreas Schäfer, Operations Director at Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH

Andreas Schäfer, Telegärtner Karl Gärtner GmbH

There are also plans to roll out the system to the Telegärtner Gerätebau plant in the Höckendorf district of Klingenberg and to connect additional semi-automatic and fully automatic machines over the ORBIS MPI.

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