One simple click, no more long searches
Smart factory | The easy way to order spare parts online – one that saves the customer a lot of time and lost production. Young engineer Ramille de Castro is overseeing the PSPN rollout in Brazil.
The young Brazilian engineer, Ramille de Castro, is all the proof you need that women are just as capable as men when it comes to knowing their way around heavy machinery. This was fully demonstrated when 27-yearold de Castro, who works at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions in Belo Horizonte, presented her department’s latest project.
“What you see here is a large machine built by our company. It is capable of lifting a fully loaded freight car, turning it, and unloading its contents onto a conveyor belt,” says de Castro as she moves the cursor precisely across a complex design drawing projected onto a screen in the conference room. She clicks the mouse to zoom in on one particular part of the massive piece of equipment. “And this is one of many specially hardened steel plates that protect the machine from being damaged by jagged or sharp chunks of material.” These are typical wear parts that the customer can click on to order more of with the aid of the software.
The heavy cost of idle machinery
Professional Spare Parts Navigator (PSPN) is the name of a computer program developed in Germany that de Castro is in the process of presenting. It saves times, and makes it easier for Industrial Solutions and its customers to order spare parts.
“Our focus here in Brazil is on developing large systems and machines for customers operating in the mining industry and other sectors,” explains de Castro. “This includes complete belt conveyors, overhead traveling cranes, and grinding plants that weight several thousand tons and are made up of thousands of parts.” In the past, if one of them were to break, customers needed to wade through piles of documentation or search long and hard to find the information they needed to order a replacement. This could mean entire conveyor sections standing idle, and massive costs accruing.
The new program now makes it possible to view detailed blueprints of any large system or machine on the monitor, where it is easy to identify individual parts, call up corresponding information, and order spare parts quickly with the click of a mouse.
Industrial Solutions can also add information about any part to this digital catalog, and that information can then be viewed by the customer. This includes the average service life and the standard number of units required. A customer can also order parts before components fail, in order to prevent unscheduled machine downtimes. This allows Industrial Solutions more accurately to calculate delivery times and quantities.
Well-trained employee required
“To ensure that everything works smoothly, it is necessary to have at least one well-trained employee at a branch, someone who specializes in the program and who works with it all the time,” says Project Manager Jörg Brauckmann from the Münsterland location of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions in Neubeckum, Germany, where he is coordinating the global rollout of the software.
According to Brauckmann, this person must have the necessary skills to achieve a comprehensive understanding of every piece of machinery that is ordered by customers – someone who knows the specifications of all the spare parts, as well as the mechanical loads, steel qualities, and function of each component. “Ramille de Castro brought exactly the right set of skills to the table, her being a young engineer specializing in materials engineering and science.”
De Castro is clear that she feels completely at home in her work. “Do you know, I was only seven years old when I took apart my alarm clock because I just had to know how it worked? I wasn’t able to put it back together again, but at that point I didn’t yet have my degree in engineering,” she says with a laugh.