Site management automation

Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG


In a nutshell

Visualizing and tracking project progress as well as occurring problems with only one project management software (COMAN’s Manager). Spotligting the aiding automated centralization of relevant project data in COMAN from various data sources/formats by example of the design and construction of aluminium foil rolling mills.


Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG, world market leader for aluminium foil rolling mills, offers rolling mills according to customer specifications as a general contractor in special machine construction. Planned, developed, constructed and pre-assembled at the headquarters in Kreuztal Buschhütten, these are tested, dismantled into individual parts, transported logistically to the corresponding destination and re-assembled there.

In this phase, Achenbach merely takes over the supervision or is responsible for the general construction. Documentation of the problems and the progress of the processes from the assembly to the finished handover and acceptance by the customer has so far been carried out decentrally on the most varied communication channels as well as programs and systems, from Excel to handwritten notes.

COMAN’s Manager, as a superior project and process management solution, now records and centralizes all relevant project data at Achenbach, such as schedules, lists of pipelines, assembly and parts lists from various data sources and data formats. This ensures uniform visualization, communication, tracking and documentation of project progress and problems from all sides and actors in real time.

COMAN’s Manager offers open interfaces to e.g. the tools Process Designer, Microstation, MS-Project, R-Plan, JIRA, etc. as well as to SAP. Mobile and real-time status reports as well as mobile error and variant management with offline functions enable project data to be updated and tracked directly on the construction site. Schedules, parts lists and assemblies are visualized with colored symbols and located directly on a CAD drawing of the rolling mill.

They are automatically downloaded from the respective planning system such as Primavera and MS project or can be edited independently within COMAN-Apps. Through this centralization of data with COMAN-Apps, small, individual schedules with approx. 1000 lines can be supplemented with additional schedules of up to 40,000 lines without becoming obscure or unmanageable. The schedules then can be synchronized again with the master plan. In addition to data-independent exchange with AutomationML, an IFC interface for operating the BIM concept is also supported.

In our case, the first data at Achenbach were a schedule in MS Project and Excel lists for the components of the pipelines and electrics. The schedule included the dates for the installation of the mechanical, electrical and pneumatic assemblies, which were then linked by COMAN’s Manager to the respective Excel parts lists. COMAN’s Manager takes these assemblies and visualizes them on the CAD drawings and layouts, for example the cross-sections and views of the rolling mill. In this way you can directly access the construction stages and assemblies, see the current construction progress as well as find and track assemblies directly in the rolling mill.

Here you can see the layout of the aluminium rolling mill with its mechanical or electrical assemblies. These so-called “Smart Objects”, individualized by the customer, show the changing project status by colored marking of the symbols. Different views give a partial or complete overview of the project status and phases. RampUp-Charts shows the baseline, plan and current progress over the whole project or in detail for the different phases or assemblies.

Key findings

Through standardization and increased transparency, COMAN-Apps creates cost savings in all project phases.

Automation, early detection of problems and resource shortages, standardization, increased transparency and central communication between customers, suppliers and internal management are just some of the points that have contributed to efficiency increases and cost reductions at Achenbach.

Through standardization and a significant increase in transparency, COMAN-Apps create cost savings in all project phases. The extended functionalities of COMAN-Apps offer targeted savings possibilities, such as automated reporting, the unproblematic integration of previous uninvolved parties into the processes, rapid recording and highlighting of resource bottlenecks, and much more.   

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The advantages of integrated and automated project and construction management systems for the BIM concept can be summarized as follows:

  • Significantly higher transparency and trust in the project and in the cooperation of the parties involved
  • Higher quality and effectiveness in project management
  • Simple data maintenance due to real-time on-site data acquisition and worldwide availability of information
  • Early detection of problems and necessary changes in planning and/or execution to reduce cost risks
  • Easy handling and integration into existing processes and IT structures through customer-specific adaptability and practical implementation of construction site requirements
  • Enter your own project data and only synchronize what is released upwards