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Improving Productivity and Streamline Design Processes by 15-20%

Customer Challenge

In 1895, the steel plate valve invented by Hanns Hörbiger is patented. The valve plate opens when the gas pressure is high enough and closes as long as the spring pressure is higher than the gas pressure. The HOERBIGER steel plate valve brings about a tremendous improvement in performance. HOERBIGER's performance-critical products and services enable customers and partners from various industries to improve the performance and safety of their products and operations, save energy, and reduce emissions. 

Hoerbiger wanted to replace the current Vault-SAP integration within three months. The current integration was quite expensive in terms of both, software licenses and maintenance. It was also cumbersome to use and required the use of Vault items which was not requested by the customer. As the assemblies made by Hoerbiger are simple and given that Hoerbiger runs Vault in a fully replicated environment between Europe, USA and Asia, the use of item made the whole process more complicated than necessary.

Project Goals

Integrating Autodesk Vault to SAP in order to improve productivity and streamline design processes at the engineering department


As the Autodesk Inventor BOM was complete, there was no need to use the Vault items. A file-based integration between Autodesk Vault and SAP was implemented. The update of the SAP material and publishing of the PDF to the SAP DIR was triggered on the release of the Inventor models and drawings. And the BOM transfer was done from the context of the Autodesk Inventor assembly.

We started by keeping the item (SAP material) creation as a manual step since the customer had a SAP add-on called BRO, which automated the data entry directly in SAP. The project team focused on the transfer of the BOM and the classification data to the SAP material, and the creation of an update of the Document Info Record according to the PDF generation. 

The automation of the Document Info Record (DIR) was a crucial point for Hoerbiger. The DIR had to be created if not existing, properties filled with Vault data, PDF generated and uploaded, the state set to release, and revision aligned with Vault and finally a class to be set with characteristics to handle security and access.

The BOM transfer was almost straight forward, except that BOM row properties had to be handled. Inside the Autodesk Inventor BOMs, some properties at assembly level hold information for a given BOM row, such as surface treatment, length, color, and such. With the CAD BOM, the integration also had to extract such information from Inventor and send it to SAP. The SAP BOM needed to be filled with BOM header information, such as long text and alternative long text, and the BOM row used the BOM Text lines 1 and 2 with the long text as well. All this was supported within the first project phase and within the given project timeframe. On BOM update, additional BOM rows in SAP were not always deleted, so the BOM transfer needed to ask the user whether the BOM row had to be really removed or not. Besides transferring regular BOM row, the integration also had to handle BOM text positions and document positions.

Business Outcome

Users no longer needed to assign items, which not only reduced the number of clicks, but also required managing ownership of items across multiple sites. All the actions done manually before, became part of the daily workflow and occured automatically in the background. Also, the BOM transfer became more transparent and showed users what they were transferring and why. The cost for upgrading their environment to the latest Autodesk version was very high, and the engagement model was too binding. With the implementation of powerGate, Hoerbiger was able to switch to a much better integration at lower price and gain independence. They were able to easily upgrade to the latest Autodesk Vault version, since coolOrange is releasing a newer version of compatible powerGate within a few weeks after Autodesk’s release. They were also able to tweak and extend the integration on their own with ease. The customer gained better usability, increasing adaptability, and productivity by delegating tasks to the job processor.

By automating the SAP data maintenance, such as the creation and maintenance of DIRs with PDF, the easy transfer of the bill of materials and the elimination of the use of Vault items, Hoerbiger was able to streamline their design processes and improve their productivity by 15-20%. 


Hoerbiger made three major upgrades from Vault 2016 to 2018, 2018 to 2020 and from 2020 to 2022. Each upgrade was carried out across all sites (replicated environment) in a few days’ time with minimal impact on the integration side. They recently migrated from SAP R3 to S4/HANA, and the integration had to be extended to support both system in parallel during the migration.

We chose the coolOrange solution because it was more flexible and avoided unnecessary tasks not required by the process, such as adopting the use of the Vault items. The integration reduced by far the number of clicks, the learning efforts, and improved the overall productivity and quality.

Markus Rieder - Design Engineer

Project Summary

Delivery Date


Project Duration

60 days

Autodesk Solutions

  • Vault
  • Vault PLM
  • Vault

Services Provided

  • Migration
  • Assessment of Needs
  • Implementation
  • Pipeline Development
  • Process Automation
  • Strategy & Planning
  • Workflow Optimization
  • Software Development & Customization
  • Installation
  • Configuration & Deployment
  • System & Software Maintenance
  • System Integration
  • Updates & Upgrades

Customer Industry

  • Design
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