Sollich KG

3D Spare Parts Catalogs: A Sweet Spot for the Confectionery Industry

No two machines are alike in confectionery production. When it comes to finding replacement parts, 3D views and hotspots are a great help in spare parts catalogs. Machine manufacturer Sollich is using Quanos to create 3D catalogs efficiently and equip them with online shop functions.

Sollich: High-quality systems for sweet results 

For more than 100 years, Sollich has been making sure that anyone with a sweet tooth anywhere in the world always has a reason to be happy. The third-generation family business based in Bad Salzuflen, Germany, has almost 500 employees manufacturing special machines for the confectionery industry to produce tempting chocolate candies, delicious ice cream specialties, and delectable cookies.

It all started in 1920 with a vacuum sugar cooking machine. Today, the manufacturer's production program includes tempering machines, forming and depositing systems, cooling tunnels, and enrobing systems. These machines are used by famous brands such as Mars, Nestlé, Delica, Mondelez, Ferrero, and McKee Foods.

Given the wide diversity of confectionery products, series production of these machines is almost impossible. Sollich responds by taking individual customer requirements and specific product needs into account in the design—as well as extensive expertise on a wide range of production methods.

The manufacturer's modern technical center guarantees high technical and quality standards. To ensure long-term customer satisfaction, Sollich also has a global sales network, offers first-class customer service—and relies on Quanos as its technology partner for the sale of spare parts.

From E-BOM to Excel to the spare parts catalog

Sollich had already introduced Quanos PARTS-PUBLISHER in 2010 and used this solution to supply spare parts catalogs for its different systems. However, the catalog was still being created manually in Excel sheets. In the past, Sollich employees would input an engineering bill of materials (E-BOM), edit individual drawings, and modify the bill of materials to create a sales bill of materials (S-BOM) in some cases.

Over the long run, this process was no longer able to meet the company's high standards for excellent customer service, as Günther Nuyken, a project engineer at Sollich recalls: "Creating catalogs manually was a waste of important resources. And it wasn't always possible to deliver the catalogs together with the system; they were created afterwards."

Challenge: Reducing manual work

Nuyken and his team wanted to find a way to create their spare parts catalogs more efficiently. The catalogs were also meant as a reference, to help customers and service employees with ordering.

To make it as easy as possible for users to find their way around a machine, and quickly identify the parts they were looking for, the manufacturer wanted the spare parts catalog to take advantage of 3D data.

Solution: Same software basis, new functions

As Sollich wanted to keep working with Quanos, the solution was to update the existing solution to Quanos This made it possible, for example, to easily implement the desired 3D workflows. Sollich uses an XV2 converter for the 3D drawings, as this is the most efficient format for the company's needs.

The hotspot editor was also crucial for the update: "Our systems usually comprise several modules. As not all design drawings exist as 3D models, we often have to work with 2D drawings," says Nuyken. "It is essential here to identify the hotspots as accurately as possible, and assign the bill of materials accordingly."

The new approach consistently uses an automatically filtered E-BOM, which is supplemented with design data on a fully automated basis to create the visualization. The result is a digital twin of the supplied machines that can largely be displayed in 3D format. It only takes a few clicks to create this at any time, such as after the site acceptance test.

Efficient and intuitive spare parts catalogs

The Sollich team significantly reduced the effort involved in creating catalogs with the new setup. "Having the catalog available online is also a major advantage for us and for our customers," Nuyken notes. Integrating the catalog system into Sollich's SweetConnect portal was part of the change from offline to online distribution.

Operators have all the production-relevant data and individual spare parts catalogs available to them at a central location on the multi-vendor machine platform. Sollich wanted to be able to create separate, customer-specific spare parts catalogs before the platform was presented publicly for the first time at Interpack 2022. "Thanks to the professional support from Quanos, we were able to achieve this challenging goal," Nuyken says proudly.

Seamless collaboration

"Our contact at Quanos, Hermann Arya, was able to get us up to speed on both a technological and personal level. We always had the feeling we were backing the right horse," Nuyken is pleased to note.

"The handover to Mr. Aryas' colleague Patrick Milisterfer in the course of the project was also seamless. The delivered milestones had a consistently good standard of quality. It was a pleasure to work with such professional colleagues."

Customers' reactions to the new catalogs were equally positive: "The interface is extremely easy and intuitive to use, with no special training required, and only very few customers still ask for a paper copy of the catalog," says the product engineer.

Support for more than just one department

The IT department at Sollich was in charge of creating the catalog in the run-up to Interpack. After the trade show, the specialist departments were trained in the use of the new system. Since then, they have been busy creating spare parts catalogs for customers.

Because the catalogs are so easy and intuitive to use, they also benefit the service department, which is happy to use them as a search tool. Even more users are set to join them in the future, as Sollich's sister company Chocotech will soon be using the system as well based on the positive experiences with Quanos

Quanos Kunde Sollich Logo

Sollich KG

„Our contact at Quanos, Hermann Arya, was able to get us up to speed on both a technological and personal level. We always had the feeling we were backing the right horse.“

Mechanical and plant engineering

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