Pepperl+Fuchs is a market leader in the development and production of electronic sensors and components for the global automation market. Continuous innovation, a high standard of quality and constant growth have formed the basis of its success for more than 60 years. The company has production facilities on several continents and operates its central CRM system from Germany, where it is used for managing customer data and inventories, planning all resources and manufacturing processes, as well as managing product distribution. The subsidiaries in Europe and North America have access to these systems, which were based on a single database prior to the project. Maintenance work was therefore mainly carried out during production downtimes. Pepperl+Fuchs decided to roll out the CRM system to its Asian subsidiaries in 2012. This required a new solution to be created that would allow system updates and maintenance to take place during operation, as this would otherwise only be possible during a short window of time overnight. As well as creating a new solution, the already high availability was also to be further increased and corresponding performance advantages exploited.
Based on their good working relationship to date, Pepperl+Fuchs commissioned Trivadis to develop a proof of concept. In turn, the Trivadis experts developed several solution options and made a recommendation. Pepperl+Fuchs was immediately impressed with the Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC). Oracle RAC provides a high level of reliability by allowing multiple nodes of a computer network (cluster) to access the same database and provide database services for client computers. If one of the nodes fails, the other nodes assume its functionality. Oracle RAC thus offers increased availability and enables maintenance work to be conducted during working hours. Pepperl+Fuchs can also deal with performance bottlenecks easily by adding one or more servers.
The solution also allows one service to be created per branch, application or department. The license-free and platform-independent Trivadis product TVD-BasEnv™ is used on Pepperl+Fuchs hardware. The tool simplifies and automates the handling of Oracle and Microsoft SQL server databases in both online and batch operation. TVDBasEnv™ thus reduces the amount of effort Pepperl`+Fuchs needs to expend to make manual adjustments. It improves operational stability, increases the availability of the databases and offers a comprehensive command history. The tool also provides clear views of all databases, including their current status, and can be easily adapted to new requirements at any time.
The Trivadis specialists supervised the introduction of the new database solution from start to finish: from concept development and testing to the preparation of documentation and an operating manual with best practices. This serves as a reference for employees in the event of maintenance and emergencies. Trivadis also conducted various crash courses and coaching sessions on the topics of clustering and patching. This allows Pepperl+Fuchs to make certain changes cost-effectively in-house.
One company, two business units: The Factory Automation business unit is a leading manufacturer of industrial sensors that are geared towards very specific market requirements worldwide. Pepperl+Fuchs offers a comprehensive range of inductive, capacitive, optoelectronic and ultrasonic sensors, supplemented by identification systems, barcode and camera systems, encoders, positioning systems, cable harnesses and other accessories. The Process Automation business unit is a market leader in explosion protection through intrinsic safety and protection of applications in hazardous areas. Pepperl+Fuchs offers comprehensive, application-oriented system solutions for process technology.