Hirschmann centralizes its SAP printing processes
Hirschmann Automotive has standardized and harmonized its SAP printing processes with the output management solutions UniSpool and PrinTaurus. In addition to harmonization of the printer fleet, substantially greater transparency and stability of the printing processes was also achieved.
Hirschmann Automotive GmbH has been working on advancing the progress of the automotive industry for over 50 years. Movement and safety on the roads are the number one priority for the Austrian company headquartered in Rankweil, Vorarlberg. Flexibility, reliability and innovation are the trademarks of Hirschmann Automotive, which employs 4,900 people at six locations worldwide. The products from the automotive business unit are developed in collaborative research with renowned vehicle manufacturers and tested in the company’s own test laboratory, a concept that has taken Hirschmann to its position today as one of the leading and reliable partners to the automotive industry.
Hirschmann products provide reliability under the most extreme conditions and in critical high-stress areas of vehicles. The product portfolio includes plug, contacting and sensor systems, as well as special cable solutions and plastic overmolding technologies.
The initial situation
At Hirschmann Automotive, each technical department had its own types of printers, which made standardized and straightforward management difficult. The company also wanted all its foreign sites to be administered from the IT department at the headquarters in Rankweil. The reason for this is the centralized SAP system, which integrates all the production sites and is used for printing all the shipping, production and purchasing paper documentation.
For simple tasks, however, limited rights should be assignable to employees at the foreign locations for local management of the printers, for example for rerouting print jobs to other target printers or correcting local document settings.
Printing from the SAP system should take place directly at the printers, instead of via additional print servers, to enhance the transparency of the printing paths and eliminate potential sources of error. With these measures, Hirschmann Automotive wanted to cut the downtimes for troubleshooting and instable systems, and reduce the administrative burden of managing a complex multitude of printer models and types. The ultimate goal was to attain a simple, stable solution that works reliably and free of failures.
The UniSpool print management solution was already introduced for the Unix servers in 2013. The printing processes implemented proved to be less than ideal for handling the requirements of a growing company with several more production locations planned for the future.
UniSpool had already demonstrated its suitability over the preceding years, and was upgraded with the PrinTaurus management interface for SAP printing processes. The capability for printing at the foreign sites via WAN links gave the impetus for using the software from AKI: absolute stability, reliability and performance made the solution stand out.
The printing environment for the sites can be set up centrally from Rankweil in just a few minutes – a significant time advantage for the IT department. The deployed printer models could be limited to standard models from just two manufacturers, dramatically simplifying the printer management and slashing the printer maintenance costs. The printers fulfil the PostScript and network capability requirements.
All documents for the HR, finance and procurement departments, as well as the shipping and production documentation, are printed from the centralized SAP system via the UniSpool output management system. The output is sent directly at the target printers at each location without any additional printing paths. This leads to greater transparency in the traceability of documents and decreases the number of unnecessary error sources.
Not only that, but the device status of the target printer is always indicated in UniSpool, which prevents printing problems. Exact logging of the printing processes from within UniSpool allows for precision checks.
The result: greater transparency, stability, and high reliability.
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