Omnify Empower PLM helps MRV Communications reach REACH

  • March 31, 2016
  • Case Study

March 31, 2016 - MRV Communications is a supplier of packet and optical solutions that power the world’s largest networks. MRV has three locations across the globe- Chelmsford, MA; Chatsworth, CA; and Yokneam, Israel. All three sites had their own systems and processes, operating like three separate companies. Trying to access documentation across three sites became a resource headache. There were multiple copies of the same document-some being outdated- and no guarantee that each site had accurate documentation.

A particular challenge for MRV Communications was managing information for REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), a regulation of the European Union (EU). To comply with the regulation, companies must identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU. Unlike other environmental compliance initiatives which are typically certified and documented once, the REACH documentation coming from suppliers is very fluid and updated every six months. They were managing this information using Excel spreadsheets and tracking this information was becoming an expensive and tedious task.

“We had to enter separate documents for thousands of part numbers every six months,” stated Cyndi Kuka, Sr. Document Control Specialist for MRV Communications. “We were falling behind and eventually had to outsource this in order to keep up.” It was apparent that MRV needed to gain control of their product information, particularly for REACH compliance, in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

There was a corporate initiative to become a single global company with all systems and business processes integrated across all three locations. MRV required a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and a single Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system that could integrate to share pertinent manufacturing and product development information. The company also made it a priority to simplify the process for managing REACH information in order to effectively meet and maintain compliance.

The company scaled down from three separate ERP systems to one Oracle system, and selected Omnify Empower for their PLM system. The company uses the Omnify Empower PLM system to manage their Bill of Materials (BOMs), engineering changes, product documentation, projects, and quality/CAPA processes and is integrated with their Oracle ERP and Cadence OrCAD PCB environments.

As a central repository for all of their product information, Empower PLM became the go-to solution for managing their associated REACH data and documentation. “Omnify Empower simplifies BOM and change management for us, while offering the right balance of flexibility and control throughout the product lifecycle — from prototype to production,” stated Ms. Kuka.

MRV is using Empower PLM as their main library for all of their green/sustainability practices. They utilize the software to track and manage all of their supplier certifications. Storing the compliance document at the individual manufacturer part level allows them to quickly and easily generate a package that identifies all of the REACH documents for every approved vendor. “Managing REACH information in Omnify Empower allows us to run reports on a moment’s notice to verify that a supplier is current with their certifications,” stated Ms. Kuka. “In addition, being able to upload a new document once and have all affected manufacturer part numbers updated saves us from having to change over 31,000 records individually which allows us to now meet the six-month period to update our REACH information.”

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