Producing innovative electronic solutions for the automotive industry, supplier Helbako must ensure its components meet high quality standards.
Disruptive trends and digital technologies are driving major change in the automotive industry. Today’s cars are smarter and more connected than ever, while advances in IoT and autonomous driving technology look set to make cars even more intelligent in the future.
The electronics in modern cars are extremely complex. Helbako uses state-of-the-art development and manufacturing techniques to make the cars of tomorrow safer, more efficient and more comfortable.
To guarantee the highest quality standards for its cutting-edge electronic components, every product needs to undergo a number of tests. Around 200 standalone PCs are used for quality management on production lines. Stephan Hösel, a member of Helbako’s IT team, explains: “Strict quality control is essential in our industry. We use headless PC workstations as part of our streamlined manufacturing processes, which must run reliably around the clock to meet our production goals.”
With sophisticated IT processes underpinning all business functions, employees at Helbako need easy access to applications and files. But manually managing each workstation was putting the small IT team under pressure.
Stephan Hösel adds: “Walking around the company from desk to desk to provide support was fine when we only had 100 or so workstations to manage. But as the company grew and we expanded abroad, this manual approach was no longer viable.”
Electronics manufacturer Helbako is a leading supplier to the automotive industry. The company develops and produces fuel pump control systems, electronic power steering, lighting and convertible roof control solutions. Headquartered in Heiligenhaus, Germany, Helbako also operates manufacturing facilities in Romania and China, producing over 5 million electronic modules every year. The family-run company employs 320 people worldwide and reports annual revenues of EUR 60 million.
After evaluating offerings from several vendors, Helbako selected ZENworks Configuration Management and ZENworks Patch Management.
Stephan Hösel recalls:
Stephan Hösel – IT TEAM
Helbako successfully integrated its fleet of 200 quality management workstations and 200 employee PCs into ZENworks Configuration Management, so the company can now control all endpoints centrally. Software updates and security patches can be rolled out across the company with just a few clicks.
Eager to take advantage of the tool’s latest features to support its upcoming Windows 10 migration, Helbako chose to upgrade to ZENworks Configuration Management 2017.
“We worked with Dirk Hallen Datensysteme to move to the latest version of ZENworks Configuration Management,” says Stephan Hösel. “The support we received was excellent. They worked closely with us at every stage of the project to make it a success. Our experience with Micro Focus support services is also very good. They respond very quickly, we always get clear and useful replies to our questions.”
Being able to flexibly optimize the performance of its quality management workstations helps Helbako to maximize production output and increase the operational efficiency of its plants.
In addition, Helbako benefits from comprehensive inventory management features in ZENworks, enabling the company to prioritize replacements and empower its support team. Stephan Hösel comments: “Assessing which PCs are compatible with Windows 10 is key for a successful migration. We’re planning to use ZENworks Configuration Management to roll out Windows 10 across all our sites, which will save us lots of time and effort.”
Automated deployment of new PCs and remote management has relieved the burden on the company’s IT team. Now, freed from routine installation and administration tasks, staff have more time to focus on user support, while deploying about four new PCs every week.
Next, Helbako wants to standardize the software deployment of Microsoft Office 365 cloud applications with the aim of simplifying the user experience and getting staff set up with new productivity tools more quickly.
Stephan Hösel concludes: “We have been very impressed with the capabilities and flexibility of ZENworks Configuration Management over the years. Being able to roll out security fixes much faster helps us protect our network from threats. To improve security further, we’re now looking to add ZENworks Full Disk Encryption to our configuration.”
Stephan Hösel – IT TEAM