Golden Record for thousands of products: Sick relies on Viamedici EPIM

Sick AG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial sensors. To provide a uniform cross-media solution for all its product data, the company started the ‘Golden Record’ project in cooperation with Viamedici. In this article, we show what the implementation of such a project could look like.

In 2001, when Sick on decided on Viamedici EPIM as Product Information Management System, it laid the ground stone for product communication that was future-proof, efficient, and covering all media and channels. Over the course of the years, it became apparent that the multitude of new demands on publications can only be realized with a comprehensive approach in the database.

„Golden Record contains all the data necessary for communicating our complex technical products comprehensively in all media and all channels.“

Clemens Meyer, Head of Content Management and Translation at Sick

With Viamedici EPIM to the Golden Record

Sick sensors repeatedly set standards in the infrastructure of a warehouse management system, for example.
Sick sensors repeatedly set standards in the infrastructure of a warehouse management system, for example.

Sick’s marketing department initiated the project „Golden Record“ in 2008. The project was implemented in cooperation with Infolox GmbH. The objective was to establish the perfect data set for an efficient multi-channel management in all the defined languages.

In a first step, the existing structures were analyzed in the course of an extensive concept phase. Hundreds of product families with thousands of products were affected as well as scores of information regarding solutions and industrial sectors. In addition, there were the corresponding texts, pictures, drawings, applications and attributes describing the products in detail and identifying relationships between products and accessories.

During the further process, future structures for all affected areas were clearly harmonized and defined under the direction of the central project management. Subsequently, a suitable consistent data model was set up in Viamedici EPIM and the respective implementation models were developed for the various areas. Thereafter, the realization took place in each division, initially in English and in German. Today, nearly all German and English publications are based on the “Golden Records” located in Viamedici EPIM. The result is admirable in all aspects. Whether product catalogues, price lists, branch information, electronic exchange formats and even the product finder and trade show applications – no matter if printed, as PDF, in a proprietary app or online in the Internet. All are distinguished by a unified appearance.

The creation time for publications is considerably reduced. The total scope and the complexity of today’s publication architecture at Sick would not be possible without an EPIM database.“

Martin Rieser, Product Information Management Expert at Sick.

Sick: Best cross-media performance with Viamedici EPIM

Cross-media publishing with Viamedici EPIM at Sick
Cross-media publishing with Viamedici EPIM at Sick

In addition, together with Infolox GmbH, the company recently developed an app for Android, Apple and Microsoft, in which many publications are available. The update which takes place several times a year is now automatic, since this content also originates completely from Viamedici EPIM. Therefore, the Enterprise Product Information Management Suite and the logically structured data it contains are an essential requisite enabling the cross-media creation of the company’s numerous publications.

„With the realization of the single source approach, we are now in the enviable situatthout additional effort. That way we can populate all defined media – such as digital, print, electronic customer catalogues and apps – from the EPIM system.

Clemens Meyer, Head of Content Management and Translation at Sick

Another aspect necessitating the use of an EPIM system is the matter of internationalization and translation management. In order to ease the translators’ work, aside from content to be translated, context-relevant information is also transferred.

In this way, Sick avoids needless multiple translations and can thereby reduce costs. Thanks to Golden Record, every existing product has a single data set that only has to be translated once. By the end of the year, Sick will provide all of the product data in the database in many additional languages. EPIM’s logical data structure has convinced everyone involved that this goal can be reached.

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