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    Altmühltaler aims to have the most advanced integrated IT concept

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    To accomplish that goal, they’ve opted for an updated SAP infrastructure and an upgraded, integrated package of Krones software solutions across all production lines.
    • Alexander Pascher, Managing Director of the Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen Group Image credits:

      Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen

    • As one of Germany’s largest mineral water bottlers, the group operates four production sites.

    As one of Germany’s largest beverage groups, Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen knows exactly how to make its production environment ready for the future – by systematically updating both the machinery and the IT infrastructure. And for both of these topics, Krones has proven to be the ideal full-service partner.

    “At our four plants, we mainly produce mineral water and non-alcoholic beverages for numerous private-label brands. In order to reliably handle the different discounters’ orders, we have to ensure that our production is as efficient as possible,” explains Alexander Pascher, the group’s managing director. For this reason, the company relies on state-of-the-art machinery and a high level of automation at each of its four bottling operations.

    Altmühltaler has often put its trust in the expertise of Krones. And for good reason: The combination of machinery knowledge, practical experience, and IT expertise is the ideal basis for reliably connecting machine data and production systems. And Krones will be demonstrating precisely this expertise from 2023 onward at the group’s Breuna plant. But that wasn’t the only order the Altmühltaler Group has placed with Krones in the last three years.

    2019: New multifunctional PET line in Breuna

    The Vitaqua plant in Breuna now has seven PET lines up and running – and every one of them is from Krones. The most recent addition went into operation in mid-2019. Read more about this multifunctional line in this magazine article.

    Image 27909
    There are now seven PET lines from Krones in operation in Breuna.

    2021: New SAP environment in Treuchtlingen, expanded to all of the group’s sites

    The Altmühltaler plant in Treuchtlingen is the group’s main plant. Here, three filling lines and a logistics center erected in 2018 reliably do their jobs. In terms of machinery, Krones most recently updated the palletizing area in 2019.

    And then Altmühltaler began to seek even more potential for optimization, taking a long hard look at its processes. And the ERP environment repeatedly came up as a bottleneck of sorts, not only in Treuchtlingen but across the group. “The setup was outdated, and sometimes had limited functionality. And so we started looking for an integrated solution that was designed specifically for the beverage industry. If at all possible, we wanted to bring all of our needs under one roof and keep interfaces to a minimum. We also wanted to be assured of support well into the future,” is how Alexander Pascher sums up the group’s reasons for the upgrade.

    Before the project launched, Altmühltaler first optimized the processes already in place within the existing ERP system and then worked with Krones’ SAP experts to devise a consolidated SAP strategy. It was especially important here that the system be able to cover the entire operation. Just 18 months passed from the first talks with Krones to the implementation kickoff in October 2021.

    Project: New SAP environment
    Client: Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen
    Implementation: End of 2021
    Scope:  

    1. Update of the existing ERP infrastructure, to include the following modules:

    • SAP SD (fast, easy order and shipping management)
    • SAP TM (targeted transportation management)
    • SAP FI/CO (integrated accounting/financial reporting and controlling)
    • SAP Group Reporting (consolidated reporting)
    • SAP MM (efficient procurement)
    • SAP HCM (HR administration and payroll accounting)
    • SAP Reporting with SAC (simple presentation of reports)

    Benefits: 

    • An integrated system of interconnected SAP modules with no interface issues
    • Business processes simplified: The same processes apply across all sites

    2. Transition to SAP S/4HANA in three plants 

    • Consulting that spans across processes
    • Technical implementation of company-specific processes
    • Training of users

    Benefit: An SAP-standard template developed and preconfigured by Krones specifically for the needs of the beverage industry

    “Although the coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to speak face-to-face, the project team did an excellent job. Communications were always open, honest, and uncomplicated,” sums up Alexander Pascher. And even though the first positive effects likely weren’t immediately apparent – taking perhaps six months to emerge – Pascher and his employees are already pleased with the successful first step towards updating the IT environment.

    The new SAP S/4HANA system was rolled out across all sites at once. In preparation for the rollout, extensive tests were conducted across the entire system to minimize potential risks during the implementation, which would occur while production was ongoing.

    2022: Upgrade of the plant-wide IT solutions in Breuna

    To those who know the Altmühltaler Group well, it will come as no surprise that more changes are in the works. In fact, the group is now kicking off an IT upgrade project in Breuna together with Krones, with the aim of using this project as a model for all other sites.

    Until now, all seven lines in the plant have been using a solution that was specially designed to the specific needs of Altmühltaler. But this also came with some problems: Not only was the old system highly complex, which made supporting it increasingly complicated. The system’s long-term viability was also severely limited. There were no longer any updates available at the IT system level, and it was not compatible with the latest machine technologies.

    Image 27924
    The Altmühltaler Group and Krones are working together to develop a concept for a plant-wide IT environment in the Breuna plant.

    Now, Krones is merging these siloed solutions into a single, integrated concept. The legacy systems will make way for the latest systems, including interface technologies. And where it makes sense, some solutions will be replaced with SAP modules and merged to suit an overarching SAP strategy. The new systems are set to go live in May 2023. What makes this project special is that Altmühltaler and Krones plan to implement the entire transition during ongoing operations and so practically switch the new system on overnight, at the push of a button.

    Once the project is successfully implemented, the Breuna plant will have the most advanced integrated IT environment for beverage-plant production in the world. But Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen has even bigger plans: The new IT environment in Breuna is meant to serve as a model for the group’s other three plants and be implemented there as well, one after the other.

    Project: Plant-wide IT environment for production
    Client:  Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen/Vitaqua plant
    Location: Breuna, Germany
    Implementation: Slated to go live in May 2023
    Scope: Complete upgrade of all IT systems in the Breuna plant
    • Upgrade of the production data acquisition system (from existing line diagnostics system to SitePilot Line Diagnostics), for eight lines
    • Upgrade and interface adjustments
    • Replace the existing quality management system with SAP QM
    • Centralized batch tracing in the new SAP ERP system (SAP CV, SAP SAC)
    • Replace the Krones bus system with a single, standardized interface (MIA): This will require reconfiguration of all interfaces
    • Complete update or replacement of all hardware (this will be done by Altmühltaler)

    You can easily send a request for a non-binding quotation in our Krones.shop. 

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