The Power of PLM:
How Food And Beverage Manufacturers Can Improve Communication From Idea to Cash

For food and beverage engineers, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the industry than right now. There were more than 20,000 new products introduced to the market in 2020, and consumers are still hungry for new trends. But it takes more than creativity to succeed in these demanding idea-to-cash cycles — it takes a coordinated, company-wide effort for every single product.

With an overwhelming amount of data and complex regulations to navigate, the lifecycles of F&B products are notoriously challenging to manage. Not only is it labor-intensive, but it’s also hard for everyone to be on the same page, preventing different departments and team members from communicating effectively.
That’s where product lifecycle management (PLM) software comes in.

How PLM Software
Improves Communication

Product lifecycle management platforms help users organize valuable product information and make it accessible for every stakeholder in their organization. This dramatically improves communication by:

All product data is stored in a single system on the cloud, so different departments can build effortlessly on the work done before their part in a project. This catch-all database also prevents documents from being lost in the shuffle, so a map of the complete product journey remains intact.

PLM can be used to manage the workflows associated with every process in the lifecycle, clarifying every task that needs to be completed, by whom, and when. This not only helps each department and team member stay focused, but it also helps direct employees to the correct people if they have questions.

The automations PLM software enables can take a lot of mundane, manual labor off of employees’ plates, especially in terms of data entry and distribution. With less grunt work to be done, workers have more time and energy to be creative and collaborative.

The relationships that blossom in such a collaborative environment can form the basis of cross-functional teams. Engineers and marketers can work together to ensure the promotional messaging actually represents the physical product, and that the physical product measures up to everything that’s promised by marketing. Best of all, PLM will help everyone keep track of the data, insight, and action items that come out of these collaborations.

How to Reap the Full Benefit of PLM Software

After years of managing product lifecycles manually, it may take some effort to integrate PLM and change your team members’ deeply ingrained habits. This means it’s important to get buy-in from leaders who see the big picture and believe the struggle is worth the benefit to their organization. They need to advocate for the operational changes and cultural shifts to ensure its full implementation and organize all of the training it takes to help workers adapt.

That’s why it’s imperative to choose the right PLM software. Revalize is one of the most advanced platforms in the market, helping manufacturers with every aspect of product design, quoting, sales, and beyond. It’s also one of the few PLM solutions designed specifically for the challenges and nuances of the F&B industry.

Effective communication is critical for manufacturers to take advantage of this incredible boom in demand for new products. If you’re looking for a one-stop solution to organize all of your data, manage the entire lifecycle from ideation to retirement, and help your teams sync more efficiently, Revalize can meet all of your needs.

Experience the platform in action. Contact our experts to schedule a demo.

Revalize software offers some of the most comprehensive PLM capabilities on the market. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to see how it can help your organization create better products.

4 Tips For Implementing And Managing A PLM Solution

The digital transformation is sweeping through every industry — even those that are resistant, like food and beverage manufacturing. But with the quickening pace of the market, supply chain disruptions, and lower profit margins, it’s imperative to adopt technology that will improve resilience. Product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms can help manufacturers meet the demands of the moment, as well as thrive in the future.

Not all companies are ready for such a major investment. And those that are may need to make significant changes to their operation in order to successfully implement the technology. Here’s what to keep in mind:

When Is It Time For a PLM System?

Are your Excel spreadsheets no longer enough to keep track of product data? Are employees constantly struggling to track down specific files and information? Is development taking too long, even as competitors release more innovative products on an accelerated timeline? All of these could be signs it’s time to invest in a PLM solution.

PLM replaces manual spreadsheets with a comprehensive database that encompasses every single stage of a product’s life from ideation to retirement. These platforms eliminate data silos by allowing users to keep all product information, documents, workflows, and communications on one single platform. Workers no longer need to spend time manually sending information to other team members or agencies requesting it — it’s all available live and in real-time for anyone who has access through the cloud network.


What Does It
Take To Manage a PLM?

Food and beverage manufacturers can only reap the benefits of a PLM if they prepare for success. A company has four needs to keep in mind:

1. Resources For a Software License PLM platforms help some of the biggest companies in the world manage every aspect of their product catalogs. Small, family-run businesses don’t need this kind of capability — nor do they have the resources to manage it. In fact, for companies that have less than $10 million in annual revenue, it may not be worthwhile to pay for a PLM software license. Data silos and communication difficulties in companies with less than 50 employees can usually be resolved with simple technology fixes.

2. An Implementation Strategy For companies ready for PLM, developing an implementation strategy is key to seeing tangible benefits. Establish specific goals you hope to achieve with the new system, such as improving development cycle time or increasing the number of products in production. Identify a timeline for moving all of your data into a platform and outline exactly how it will be used in your processes.

3. Project Leads And Stakeholders No new technology investment will be worthwhile without effective leaders. Determine who will ultimately be responsible for overseeing implementation, as well as its ongoing use in daily operations. Someone, usually a project manager, will need to ensure employees are consistent in how they use the platform. This includes correctly updating databases, communicating with other team members in the system, and completing tasks that trigger workflow automations. They also need to be able to serve as a resource for employees with questions about the PLM and how to use it.

4. A Well-Trained Team Finally, leaders need to solicit buy-ins from the employees expected to use the platform every single day. This includes training on how to use the software, as well as education on why it’s so important to follow protocol. Employees need to see a personal benefit to their organization, productivity, and clarity in order to change their behavior and fully adopt the technology.

Revalize’s software offers a suite of solutions to manufacturers encompassing every aspect of product lifecycle and data management, including design, quoting, sourcing, and even sales. With one of the few PLM solutions specifically designed for the F&B industry, Revalize’s advanced technology also provides implementation and training services for a seamless transition. See how the platform can help your company by scheduling a free demo with one of our experts.
Revalize software offers some of the most comprehensive PLM capabilities on the market. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to see how it can help your organization create better products.

How Food And Beverage Manufacturers Can Optimize Their Idea-to-Cash Workflow With PLM

The food and beverage industry has never provided more options to consumers than now. That means there’s never been more competition for manufacturers. According to Research and Markets, the global value of the food and beverage (F&B ) industry reached a whopping $5.9 trillion in 2019. By current estimates, it will grow to more than $11 trillion by 2030.

There’s a lot of money to be made in the market, but this massive opportunity for F&B manufacturers is also a curse. The urgency to create new products and release them to market has reached a breakneck pace — even as food safety and labeling regulations tighten around the world, demanding greater care in sourcing, quality, and transparency.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software is a lifeline for companies struggling to keep up with the speed of today’s market. By tracking a new food or beverage offering from the conception phase to the packaging, marketing and eventual retiring of the item off the shelves, a PLM system stores the entire product lifecycle in one location.

These platforms can help manufacturers meet compliance, create more transparency, and manage the massive amounts of data demanded by both consumers and regulators. It can even help streamline one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers: bringing new concepts to market

Optimizing the Idea-to-Cash Journey

More than 20,000 new F&B products were introduced to consumers in 2020. Each of them had to undergo intense development, testing, marketing, and inspection to ensure regulatory compliance before ever hitting the store shelves. An effective PLM platform will serve as an all-in-one solution for manufacturers to navigate each stage of the lifecycle, accelerating the time to market.
Here’s how:

Better Data
Management And Collaboration

The growing complexity of product attributes and regulations translate to a growing volume of product data. PLM software allows manufacturers to digitize all product data and store it in a single system, eliminating data silos. This gives every user access to the complete history of a product’s development, including recipes and formulas, ingredient sources, test reports, and more, allowing the work of each department to organically build on what came before, without
any info getting lost or overlooked.

Faster Product Development

Traditionally, research and development teams had to manually test every single ingredient combination and formula and carefully adjust variables until the desired outcome was reached. With PLM, users can easily run virtual simulations on base recipes and their variations to improve a formula in a fraction of the time. When final testing is conducted in a real kitchen or laboratory, the recipe can already be close to perfection, only needing a few tweaks that simulations couldn’t address.

All-In-One Project Management

In addition to centralized data management, PLMs can also house
end-to-end workflows. Each department can map out tasks in the form of checklists for complete clarity and visibility about who needs to do what and by when.

When each task is completed, automations can alert the next user in the workflow that it’s time to make their contribution. Best of all, any supporting documents needed for their leg of the journey are readily available in the system, without the need to hunt it down or send an email request.

Automated Publishing

Every regulatory agency, distributor, retailer, and other third party needs detailed product information in certain formats and submitted through specific channels. Doing this manually can be almost as time consuming as testing recipes. Since PLM systems digitize all product data, users can develop form templates for each third party they need to submit information to and send it at the push of a button.

A PLM system is one of the most important tools F& B companies can have in their arsenal — but not all of them are created equally. Revalize brings together the widest array of capabilities in the market into one comprehensive, end-to-end platform, and even offers a specialized solution tailored to the needs of F&B manufacturers.

Want to experience the impact our solution can have on your idea-to-cash pipeline? Reach out to scheduling a demo.

Why ERP Isn’t Enough For Food And Beverage Manufacturers

The food and beverage industry is worth more than $5.9 trillion, but the truth is that profit margins are razor-thin. F&B manufacturers need every conceivable advantage to thrive in an exceptionally competitive marketplace. But the industry is plagued by issues that are only increasing in number and complexity. Smart manufacturers are expanding their market share by participating in global distribution, but stringent regulatory compliance challenges can make exporting products an adventure in frustration. Add to that the growing challenge of managing fragmented product data, coupled with consumer demands for detailed, clean labels. It becomes even more challenging to focus on new product development and maximize the lifecycle of a recipe. Antiquated product workflow management tools — like spreadsheets — put food producers at a distinct disadvantage. Automation, and comprehensive, integrated process management solutions are a necessity for survival. Many F&B manufacturers turn to enterprise resource planning (ERP) as a solution to solve these workflow and data management issues, but it may not meet all their needs. Integrating AI-enabled product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms are key to solving the most pressing problems.

Why ERP is Not Enough

While some ERP solutions can transform specific components of business, F&B manufacturers cannot depend on them as an end-to-end process solution. It’s simply not what this product was designed to do. Of course, ERP software has value. It provides opportunities for organizations to integrate and automate back office functions — think QuickBooks or reporting. ERP simplifies purchasing, human resources, financial planning, and distribution — mostly day to day work and transactions — but leaves huge gaps in research and development and new recipe creation. Say a recipe-based food manufacturer produces spices, seasonings, and herbs, and they want to use the highest quality ingredients and deliver custom products for retail and commercial use. Product quality, speed to market, and food safety are their biggest challenges. Salt, vinegar, and sugar are included in the recipe for most of their products, but their ERP will not allow them to support the information required to experiment with additional flavors and spices. Your ERP will provide all the material data for your raw ingredients, but it cannot support additional information, like a dry rub made with organic chili peppers, or sustainably sourced oregano and garlic, gluten free meatloaf seasoning, or vegan all-purpose spice mix. No recipe management, no specific food support, no specifications, no recipe development, trials, or simulation data — just the basic materials data. So even with an expensive ERP onboard, you are back to spreadsheets.

The Best of Both Worlds: Integrating PLM and ERP Together

PLM solutions integrate perfectly with ERP systems to manage and enrich product data, and
add functionality. Revalize is the premier PLM process solution that customers around the world have used to optimize their data. When used with ERP, it gives a distinct competitive advantage over manufacturers who rely on single-solutions or manual spreadsheets to manage their product lifecycle.

Even customized ERP software will not provide the benefits of an integrated PLM platform. Great things happen when these two solutions team up:

Food and beverage manufacturers must go from idea to shelf as quickly and cost effectively as possible. PLM software delivers transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain — creating a single source of truth for your products. With proper training and support, an integrated PLM solution with an existing ERP can be simple and seamless.

Once PLM is in place, users can access, upload, and manage any kind of data or document used throughout the product lifecycle. PLM houses everything from concept and design documents, to bill of materials, to product files, all in real-time.

Revalize is the only PLM process solution that has tools dedicated to the F&B industry. Already, it’s transformed customers across the globe from struggling F&B manufacturers to thriving businesses leading the way on retail shelves. To see what Revalize can do for you, schedule a free demo with one of our automation experts.

How PLM Can Help Manufacturers Capture the Health Food Market

“Healthy eating” has been a part of the zeitgeist for as long as anyone can remember, but its definition has shifted dramatically over the decades. Food trends, social esteem, scientific breakthroughs, median income, and other variables have all played a major role in shaping each era’s idea of quality food. New elements impacting society, like climate change, environmentalism, and social responsibility have created a new range of quality attributes we give to food.

Now, “healthy foods” are no longer just defined as being low in fat or calories. They have other attributes designed to meet increasingly complex consumer needs surrounding dietary restrictions and social responsibility. Food and beverage manufacturers have the heavy burden of not only creating new products that have these attributes, but also accurately labeling them for consumers and maintaining supply chain transparency.

Achieving this can be more complex than it sounds. Fortunately, product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) provide a systematic approach for all of it.

Intrinsic vs.
Extrinsic Attributes

Intrinsic attributes are the physical aspects of a food product that are innate. This includes sensory attributes such as taste, smell, and visuals. One of the easiest intrinsic attributes of food quality to illustrate is the redness of an apple.

Extrinsic attributes of a food product generally cannot be verified even after purchase and consumption. Also called credence attributes, these cover non-sensory dimensions of quality, like nutrition, dietary requirements, food safety, ethical concerns, geographical origin, health, and the types of production methods. Since credence characteristics are not verifiable, credence attributes require standards or certifications to be communicated to consumers.

Currently, healthiness and sustainability are among the most important and the most preferred credence attributes of food products. Consumers are not only aware of the connection between food and health, but of food and environment, so they are making conscious choices about their food products.

What Are The Credence
Attributes of Sustainability?


Ethical veganism is no longer just a trend but a mainstream way of life. Livestock farming, especially beef, is responsible for a high proportion of greenhouse gasses, causing climate change. By preferring vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian (or plant-based) choices, consumers are opting for food items that are healthy for their body and the earth. Thus, the demand for plant-based food products that are rich in protein and fiber is skyrocketing.


Organic foods are free of genetic modification, synthetic pesticides, and fertilizers. Consumers that demand these products do so because they cause less environmental toxicity to create, and are associated as being more healthy as well.

Any food produced locally has less distance to travel from origin to market, dramatically reducing carbon emissions involved. Consumers that opt for these products do so to fight climate change, and support regional farmers. There is also a perception that local foods are more fresh, natural, and nutritious.
Fair Trade

When food products have fair trade ingredients, it means that farmers and suppliers have been ethically compensated for their work rather than ripped off by large corporations. Consumers purchase these products to support independent farmers and contribute to an equitable global economy.

The credence attributes of sustainability are becoming increasingly important for food and beverage manufacturers to achieve product differentiation in the marketplace. They have a significant impact on consumer satisfaction, loyalty, and purchasing intention as well as a direct and indirect effect on the perceived quality of a product, which ultimately influences a consumer’s willingness to pay.

Growing consumer awareness on the role of food in the climate change crisis is leading to more focus on sustainable and healthy attributes in food products. The increasing importance of product attributes in consumer food decisions has led to increased pressure on product development in F&B manufacturing. So, how do F&B manufacturers not only create products that adhere to sustainability attributes but effectively communicate them to consumers?

to the Rescue

PDM utilizes database software to capture and organize all product and process-related information in a single location. PLM provides the framework and tools for F&B manufacturers to capitalize on data when making decisions about how to develop, test, package, and market products. And perhaps most importantly, these software tools make it easy to label products and convey their sustainability to consumers in compliance with all regulations.

Revalize’s formula-based lifecycle management software helps manufacturers face these challenges with a holistic approach — empowering them to accelerate innovations, leverage new product trends and introductions, streamline costs, and deliver better-quality products with less time and effort. Schedule a demo to see how Revalize can help you on your journey to create more sustainable food products.

Dr. Oetker

Its products with PDM,
because the software is
efficient, easy-to-use and
covers all the needs.

40+ countries in
Europe, US, Asia,


Suppliers Guide



The SpecPDM application platform supports Dr. Oetker in putting its corporate philosophy Quality is the best recipe into everyday practice. With its modern product development and administration solution PDM, SpecPage offers what Dr. Oetker needs for its consistent commitment to quality for its products across the globe. This quality goal has always been a deciding factor for the brand and the products of this company based in Bielefeld.

Even in the fourth generation, the company Dr. Oetker is characterized by the family of its owners. The corporate strategy stands for sustainable growth and is future-oriented; the products and branches of the company are spreading their wings at breathtaking speed. This progress in the field of product development is associated with continuously increasing demands of the consumers.

Oetker began more than a hundred years ago in the antechamber of a pharmacy in Bielefeld. The revolutionary product of young Dr. August Oetker was the baking powder Backing – he promised that this powder would immediately make each cake a success. Even at that time, the young pharmacist knew that only his name could stand as a guarantee on the product and would be the hallmark for best quality – one of Germany’s first branded products was born. As a leader of his times, Oetker very soon tried to step into overseas markets. Oetker was known for pioneering work; hence, it was no surprise that in 1970 Oetker brought Germany’s first deepfrozen pizza into the market. Values such as continuity, reliability and solidity are the fundamental guiding principles for the company Oetker. The corporate philosophy Quality is the best recipe just bears testimony to this.

One of the basic prerequisites for the success of the Dr. Oetker brand is that conformance to quality and safety standards in the products can be taken for granted. The aim is to identify risks in development, production, transport and preparation of the products and minimize hazards. The software application was not geared to meet the growing requirements in the nineties in the field of product development. The cooperation with SpecPage was initiated shortly before the turn of the millenium. PDM was a standard program of the Swiss software vendor but with the help of Dr. Oetker, the system was expanded to perfectly meet the requirements of the company. We could bring in our requirements and requests in the best possible manner, highlights Thomas Schäfer, Project Manager, Research and Development Division at Oetker. We wanted to have an easy-to-use tool in the company that would simplify many things; for cost reasons, we did not want it to be a specific development but a standard program.

Dr. Oetker – Quality is the best recipe

SpecPDM allows us to respond to queries about allergens and food laws from consumers and associations or other authorities in a speedy and convincing manner. Exhaustive reporting structures offered by SpecPDM have brought about many positive results for our company.

Thomas Schäfer, Research and Development, Dr. Oetker

system security

Dr. Oetker was looking for a product that was modern and could still fulfill the special requirements well. This worked out best with our cooperation with SpecPage, says Schäfer. It was no longer necessary to rewrite each new recipe and record each change; with PDM you can easily do a fresh assignment and the work step is over. This is much simpler and much more efficient and we thus can save a lot of work. Thomas Schäfer affirms with pride and a serving of praise: «We have so far not faced a system crash; the system is functioning in a very stable manner. For us, it is a very comfortable feeling that we can rely so much on the security of our system.

Centralized worldwide

Internationalization is an important chapter in the corporate history of Dr. Oetker. Production and sales companies are functioning not only in all European countries but also in Canada and Brazil. A total of 3,500 products are manufactured and sold across the globe. Centralized data maintenance is absolutely essential to ensure a common base of all Dr. Oetker locations. Multilocation and client options of PDM offer a mature tool to meet this need. Quality assurance and production of the highest levels is crucial to all Dr. Oetker locations. With PDM, we have the data in one database and thus it is easy for each and every employee to call up this data at any time,» explains Thomas Schäfer. Especially in the field of allergens whose importance in the field of food laws is increasing, it is important to have access to certain data in a tabular format. This is an application that you need to be able to respond to corresponding queries. Using PDM, we can quickly and competently respond to queries from consumers, associations and other authorities in a speedy and convincing manner.

The goal of quality assurance of this Bielefeld-based company is to continuously improve the Dr. Oetker quality and exclude all possible risk factors. With PDM it should be possible in the future to even store the safety margins of raw materials. «Here we have some special ideas that can be well taken care of in PDM. For this, it is important to have programmers so close at hand as it is the case with the co-operation between Dr. Oetker and SpecPage

Dr. Oetker – Quality is the best recipe

SpecPDM software has been implemented at Dr. Oetker at various locations, in various countries and language versions. It is characterized by transactions and processes that totally map all phases of the product development process such as Recipe Management, Costing, Specifications Management, Declarations and the corresponding storage of data and information up to product implementation and thereafter in a simple manner.

Dr. Udo Spiegel, Head of R&D, Quality Management, Dr. Oetker

What is Product Lifecycle Management, and Why Do You Need It?

The holy grail of every food and beverage manufacturer in today’s market is complete product optimization, a process that ensures all of the investments in developing, testing, marketing, and retailing a new product is delivering maximum value.

To achieve this, manufacturers need a comprehensive product lifecycle management (PLM) plan to structure development, and manage all information and assets. In short, PLM systems ensure that everything from product inception, to sale, to eventual retirement are all handled as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Carrying out PLM manually has always been incredibly difficult, but with the growing complexities of consumer demands and food regulations, this can be impossible without dedicated PLM software. This technology replaces overwhelming spreadsheets with intuitive databases, control panels, workflow automations, and even AI, so users only have to worry about the products themselves.

PLM offers F&B organizations advantages including:

Achieving End-To-End Control With Product Lifecycle Management

The PLM journey starts when raw materials are procured from suppliers. Organizations can benefit tremendously by obtaining important information from suppliers concerning material origins and attributes. Being privy to these details will help them make informed decisions about vendors to preserve quality and save on costs, as well as pass along to consumers that value transparency.

Knowledge of raw material specifications also helps organizations eliminate wasteful and harmful processes. An F&B company must ensure standard safety protocols are met before they can even think about delivering a product to consumers. Early operational stages of PLM guarantee these necessary safety checks, which shorten time to market and eliminate the worry that products may not be up to par.

For successful product lifecycle management, organizations also need to take into account the market characteristics of the various phases of the product lifecycle. PLM processes help organizations track product performance throughout its different phases and create an appropriate strategy for each of them.

Using Product Lifecycle Management Software

It’s becoming mandatory for organizations to keep stakeholders in the loop and operate with
greater transparency for consumers. PLM software is especially useful for opening communication between different suppliers and material sources, ensuring supply chain

This gives each business partner involved in the product lifecycle unrestricted data access to help maintain products and raw materials. It can even integrate with the manufacturing machinery software for even more seamless process management.

Some other major benefits of using PLM software are:

From research and development to customer service, PLM software offers complete end-to-nd benefits for any organization that utilizes it. PLM can easily integrate with a global online database, facilitating seamless information exchange between suppliers, sellers, and even customers. Improving the efficiency of information exchange doesn’t just benefit the organizations involved, it can actually improve the entire marketplace, allowing everyone to respond quicker to customer needs.

Revalize software offers some of the most comprehensive PLM capabilities on the market. schedule a demo with one of our experts to see how it can help your organization create better products.


PRO.FILE keeps processes flowing at 2G Energy

CAD integration that benefits every designer

DMStec that makes life easier for service technicians

Project dashboards for complete visibility

The flood of digital documents and the need to control them as part of their daily routines used to cause the employees at 2G Energy AG major headaches. But with PRO.FILE, they now have a PLM solution that allows them to document even their most complex products and to control their technical and business workflows – including a number of Industry 4.0 applications. When 2G first started to look into product and document management in 2012, they only had a spare parts catalog on their list. But when they realized just how powerful the PDM/PLM solution they had chosen really is, they quickly started to explore other far-reaching applications for the entire company. After all, the system is also a fully fledged DMS solution that includes electronic invoicing workflows and archives business documents with complete audit trails.

Founded in 1995 in Germany, 2G Energy AG is one of Europe‘s leading manufacturers of combined heat and power (CHP) plants

As a solution provider specializing in development, production, project management, and service, 2G manufactures CHP plants in the power range between 20 and 4,000 kW. A publicly listed company, 2G Energy AG employs 580 employees in its headquarters and its ten subsidiaries. So far, they have installed a total of 4,000 plants in 35 countries, for which they also provide technical assistance. In order to meet the rising demand for CHP plants, 2G needs to be able to maintain accurate product master data, bills of materials, and, most importantly, a spare parts catalog. The latter is what motivated the company to start considering the implementation of a PDM/PLM system in 2012 in the first place. Without one, it simply was not possible to structure the storage of CAD models and any related product data and to derive accurate bills of materials for the parts built.

The Company used to store its product data in project folders on their servers. The main disadvantages were that this would create redundant data and that CAD models would sometimes no longer work because someone had changed a file path or moved a file altogether. This would often make it difficult to retrieve the data for the most current model. And with a large portion of the spare parts found in the designs, they also lacked a basis to create a spare parts catalog from their models. Consequently, designers had to manually enter spare parts into Excel spreadsheets, which only added to their workload.

The g-box is a profitable small-scale power plant in the electrical output range of 20 to 50 kW. It is delivered as a compact, ready-for- connection module.


DMStec is a discipline of document management – tailored specifically to the needs of technical companies. It lets them map their technical structures, be it plants, products, formulas, or infrastructures.


And so, in May 2012, 2G decided to implement the PRO.FILE PDM/PLM
system along with interfaces with Solid Works and Microsoft Dynamics
NAV and commissioned the project. Just four months later, the solution
went live for CAD purposes. “In the end, the decision was between two
vendors with a very similar range of features”, explains Arne Köster, the
head of the PLM project at 2G. “What we liked about PRO.FILE was the
look and feel it provides. The system also has a decisive advantage in
that it goes beyond simple product data management to meet the
needs of traditional DMS tasks. What‘s more, the integration with
Navision allows us to store documents from the ERP system. And a
built-in web application is available to automate the processing of our
incoming invoices.”


The ERP interface is used to store and display bills of materials from PRO.FILE in Navision. The interface is so cleverly designed that all changes to the bills of materials transferred from PRO.FILE to Navision are logged. This makes it easier for production planners to identify changes and to systematically handle them. “The spare parts catalog and the bills of materials are a direct result of the work of our designers in SolidWorks. We now even have our own spare parts catalog department within our technical documentation unit,” points out Arne Köster.


The integration with SolidWorks Routing, a feature of the CAD system for the creation of pipe assemblies, is a new designer favorite. Bills of materials for a pipe assembly in SolidWorks contain sawn parts with the same item number along with the saw length for the manufacturing department to work with. This means that they do not need to create a new item number, but rather only the pipe assembly – which to Arne Köster is a significant added value and a milestone for all users who want to use the SolidWorks Routing module. “This puts us in a position where we can plan ahead much more accurately and start production early,” he explains.

“It took no time at all for PRO.FILE to become a daily part of our marketing work

– Stefan Liesne

Head of Marketing at 2G Energy


It is not just technical departments that need faster processing times and end-to-end visibility into their processes. More effective invoice processing means faster payments, the ability to take advantage of early payment discounts, and less archiving space wasted – these are the advantages that using PRO.FILE as an invoice receipt workflow has brought to 2G. A DMStec solution like PRO.FILE is fully capable of delivering the same core functionality as any current DMS. The company‘s receives some 36,000 invoices each year and managing the internal approval and accounting processes used to be time-consuming and made it very hard to track the status of an invoice.

Today, these invoices are scanned, OCR‘d (Kofax Capture), and validated. PDF files are created and archived in PRO.FILE to ensure thorough audit trails. Approvers will receive an email notification with a link to IBS Invoice, a web-based PRO.FILE invoice processing add-on delivered by PROCAD partner IBS It solutions GmbH. Here, they can view the archived invoice and approve it (or reject it). The transaction is then sent back to the accounting department for posting and payment. “DMStec provides a complete processing history for each invoice. An audit trail is generated for each document that shows who completed what process and when. This ensures compliance and allows us to destroy the original paper documents after certification by an auditor.”

The avus is a high-performance combined heat and power plant for high electrical power requirements (from 400 kW), which is used in industrial projects or to supply heat grids.


There are several examples where the DMStec system already serves as a gateway to Industry 4.0 by going beyond CAD integration and the archiving of business documents to integrate with other business applications. 2G was the first company to have its technical systems communicate autonomously to improve its service delivery. The modules of the CHP plants are equipped with sensors that are able to diagnose which component is failing.

Many incidents no longer need to be reported by phone as the plant‘s software system will automatically create an incident ticket directly within PRO.FILE, which in turn triggers a service process. The incident tickets are categorized by discipline and then worked through by the technician responsible. Machine-to-machine communication has enabled 2G to better focus its phone support services and assign field technicians more effectively. Plants are up and running again much faster, which in turn benefits the customer

“It helps us reduce the number of times our welders have to work on the construction site and allows us to now create pre-assembled and pre-piped units. These are then installed on site and put into operation.


The company has been keenly pursuing and expanding on these types of Industry 4.0 scenarios. The introduction of the airform digital form management system has allowed them to fully integrate their field technicians with their internal processes. Orders generated in Navision are retrieved from the ERP system and made available to technicians as prepopulated forms in the airform client. Assembly reports, checklists, maintenance and commissioning records as well as a number of other forms are filled in, digitally signed, and later imported both into PRO.FILE and the ERP system for further processing.

Once the service work has been completed, PRO.FILE will automatically match any related data to the appropriate processes such as “accounting” or “material request service technician”. At the same time, the customer is provided with the relevant PDF documents. The flow of information between the systems is seamless. Arne Köster made sure of this by intelligently connecting the systems based on status changes, true to the motto: “Enter data once in the right location and have it available for everyone from there on.” Christoph Bäumer, a regional service manager at 2G, explains: “We used to have paper-based assembly reports and stacks of copies circulate around the company. Now, the PRO.FILE project dashboard allows us to instantly track the status of any report in any service region and to immediately retrieve the information our customers are looking for.”

Arne Köster, Head of the PLM project at 2G Energy.


What started with an idea for a spare parts catalog turned into a well-rounded information management solution that 2G expanded over time by gradually adding new features. “The only reason we were able to do this is the highly configurable nature of PRO.FILE,” adds Arne Köster. “Just about anything you need can be implemented quickly and relatively easily without extensive customization or programming skills. PROCAD helps us help ourselves.”

“Just about anything you need can be implemented quickly and relatively easily without extensive customization or programming skills. PROCAD helps us help ourselves.

– Arne Köster

Head of the PLM project at 2G Energy



From Idea to Cash: A PLM Roadmap

When it’s time to put together a product development roadmap, you need to find an all-in-one solution. A product lifecycle management (PLM) system can store every note, every detail, and every specification for each of your products on one platform.

Converting to a PLM system, or integrating one into your existing systems, weaves digital thread through all of the processes required to bring a product to market. A PLM system is like the conveyor belt in a production line. Each new station/department adds data to track their progress until a fully realized product is completed.
To help you visualize this process, here’s a roadmap with every stage in the product lifecycle showing how PLM systems can support your team along the way.

New Product Development

During this stage, most of the information concerning a product is generated. This is the “idea” portion of the idea-to-cash cycle. As such, the focus during this phase needs to be on collecting a lot of data, setting the stage for future updates and modifications. Inputting prototype, testing, and design data into the PLM system during new product  development is vital because your engineers will need to easily understand how and why your product was set up the way it was during development.
PLM systems can also assist with some of the more important functions during new product development by:

Product Launches

Once it’s time to take a product to market, PLM systems are there to provide all the details sales and marketing needs to craft effective messaging. This is one of the areas where PLM integrations really shine, since it cuts down on the need for salespeople to memorize every detail about a new product, or to chase down engineers and technicians for the information they need.

With a PLM system integrated from the beginning of the idea-to-cash cycle, both sales and marketing will have access to every step that led to the creation of the current product. Not only that, but they can pull product information from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

If a customer has questions about the testing done during a certain phase of product development, there’s no need to start a long back-and-forth discussion with the technical team since all of the info is already there.

Reaching Maturity

Once a product is launched and has an accepted role in your product lineup and the marketplace, it has reached maturity. From this point on, most of what you’ll be doing is updating or tweaking the product.

With the context provided from all the data you’ve collected on your PLM system to this point, your engineers should have everything they need. Since you used the same PLM solution for new product development, the processes required for updates should already be well defined.

Decline and Retirement

Once the time has come to retire a product for good, PLM systems are excellent tools for phasing out production in an efficient manner. If you have a certain machine or material that is only useful for the retiring product, you can plan out exactly how much more inventory you need to make to exhaust those supplies. Your PLM system can take over the role of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or even supplement your existing ERP protocol.
Want to see how a PLM system can improve your idea-to-cash cycle for the better? Speak with a Revalize representative who can schedule a demo so you can check it out for yourself.