A Match Made in the Cloud – SAP Distributed Manufacturing (SDM) and LEO Lane


Lee-Bath Nelson  

SAP and LEO Lane - SDM - Distributed Manufacturing

End to end solutions are always preferred especially when dealing complex processes, in this case, a seamless deployment is key. Helping the world run better and smoother has always been part of SAP’s vision. Now it is applied to Distributed Additive Manufacturing (DAM) and in conjunction with LEO Lane provides a protected and seamless end to end solution for the supply chain of parts and products produced by DAM.
SAP Distributed Manufacturing was officially launched last month at Hannover Messe. It allows brands to collaborate and determine how their DAM parts should be manufactured in conjunction with the suppliers. Collaboration is possible with many different suppliers: Additive Manufacturing service providers, material manufacturers, 3D printer manufacturers, consultants, etc. SAP has already enlisted several early adopters such as HP, EOS, Jabil, and Materialise. Once the manufacturing parameters are set to the optimal settings, the parts can be produced using the chosen suppliers. However, some brands are reluctant to send their open design files out into the world. Furthermore, they want to make sure that the settings they chose are used during manufacturing of every part, regardless of where and by whom it is produced.
That’s where LEO Lane comes in. Customers that subscribe to both SAP Distributed Manufacturing and LEO Lane can enjoy an integrated, seamless, end to end solution that determines the way their part should be manufactured, protects their files, controls the consistency of their parts by enforcing their choices, and allows them to issue secured POs by including secured files in the PO. “SAP strives for end to end solutions that combine its core competencies with complementing products and services from our ecosystem of partners. LEO Lane’s smart protection and control is a natural extension of SAP Distributed Manufacturing, together delivering an end to end solution,” said Gil Perez, SVP Digital Assets & IoT at SAP. Below is the secured process order flow.

Procurement can issue a Purchase Order (PO) through SAP ERP:

SAP SDM and LEO Lane Infographics - stages - 02

The PO will trigger the creation of a protected file to be produced with the exact amount of the PO and the parameters agreed upon in the SDM Collaboration Room:

SAP SDM and LEO Lane Infographics - stages - 03

LEO Lane makes sure that the all the parameters important for the customer are met (technology and material) and then enables the production of only the amount in the PO:

SAP SDM and LEO Lane Infographics - stages - 05
This collaboration has been in the works for a while as the AM and DAM ecosystem continued to evolve quickly. Brands can now choose Additive Manufacturing (AM) and DAM for their parts and products – benefiting from virtual inventory, on demand manufacturing, with all the cost savings, flexibility, and added revenues that come with it. All this without compromising on the quality of their products or their economic value. Even better, brands can do this with minimal disruption within the existing company processes and seamlessly integrate with the company’s ERP system – answering a real need in the market. Moshe Molcho, CEO of LEO Lane is more specific. “SAP is favored by so many Manufacturers and Fortune 500 companies for its complete solutions and attention to what customers really need. SAP Distributed Manufacturing is a perfect example of answering a need in the market in a thoughtful yet integrated manner.”
Customers have come to expect integrated solutions from SAP in conjunction with select partners. Mr. Perez explains: “Through continuous collaboration and co-innovation with our partners SAP’s vibrant eco-system of partners is creating new value and benefits for SAP customers. Further accelerating SAP solutions to offer comprehensive end-to-end solutions to help our customers accelerate their digital businesses transformation. Today brands want to control their digital AM files distribution and usage. This is exactly what SAP Distributed Manufacturing and the LEO Lane extension provide “. This week at SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference, visitors can see a demo of the SAP Distributed Manufacturing offering including protection by LEO Lane.

Behind the Scenes/The Inside Scoop

Partnering with a giant company can be daunting and a very long process. We were pleasantly surprised in this case thanks to the team at SAP Distributed Manufacturing. Product Owner, Carsten Dietze-Selent, from SAP managed a productive and efficient process to deliver value to customers across a multinational team on 3 continents. “We were cautious coming into this collaboration but in actuality partnering with SAP and integrating our services has been and continues to be a great experience for us. Together we were very focused on the customers and their needs and this shows in the resulting end to end solution.” Mr. Molcho said. There is more to come and we are excited about the road (and lane…) ahead. See you at SAPPHIRE in Orlando!


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