Added value for VDMA members during the age of Industry 4.0

26.04.2016 Carsten Müller

The central data hub of VDMA

The Association for German Machinery and Plant Engineering e. V. (VDMA) is one of the largest associations in Germany. It represents the interests of the machinery and plant engineering industry. Cocomore has developed a complex system for VDMA to manage professional associations and member companies as well as their contents. It is primarily a B2B system which companies can use to inform other companies about their field of activity and their offers.

Simply put the system consists of: 

  • a backend called Tango, which can be used to maintain the contents
  • various editions (Frontends) such as vdma-products.com and vdma-e-market.de as well as
  • several interfaces for the transfer of data to other websites or portals.

In the backend professional associations and member companies can sign in and maintain their data directly, ranging from nomenclature to products that individual manufacturers offer, to training and services that are offered.  The backend supplies other websites through several layouts or several interfaces, so that the contents can be put out on various websites and portals in different forms.  

System functions

Next to managing and providing data, the exchange of data among one another is an additional goal. Industry 4.0 is the key word that describes the interlinking of the manufacturers and their products. Here the new system is meant to fill a gap by enabling manufacturers to convert their product information centrally between the different formats. This conversion and the mutual exchange of the companies turn out as very difficult to achieve in many cases. Often, data has to get manually converted and processed. Due to missing uniform standards there are a number of exchange formats and it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a real data exchange. By specifying a central and universal format for its members, the VDMA enables a synchronization of their data retention with the VDMA standard. With this, manufacturers have the option to convert their product information into other standard formats in Tango Backend. In this case the VDMA standard serves as a reference. This function as a converter is currently still being developed, but first formats are already supported. 

Facts Overview

In Tango Backend currently around

  • 90 classifications,
  • 3.800 companies,
  • 250.000 products,
  • 350.000 contents in a total of
  • 10 languages

are managed. This backend serves its purpose primarily for the central management of all contents and their delivery to other websites, which present this data in a processed format. This involves mainly the professional associations‘ main websites, which present thematic content (such as the topic of wood and textile processing). But even the vdma.org website is provided with contents about the individual associations and member companies. A special feature is the VDMA E-Market (https://www.vdma-e-market.de) with which several different professional associations have joined forces. On the E-Market they enable member companies to display their products in detail. You can find more information concerning this topic in blog post 6 – The VDMA E-Market (not yet published).

At this time there are more than 20 different websites connected to Tango Backend, with a rising tendency.

 

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Overview of the entire system:

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Mindmap as an overview of Tango’s functions:

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At this time the system consists of many different components and functions which we will briefly present in another blog post.