The world’s first electric pile driving rig developed with the help of Polarion platform
At the end of 2021 Junttan designed and launched the world’s first electric piling machine. Sami Martikainen, project manager and the leader of the automation development team, says that Polarion played an important role in the success of the project, as well as in the daily life of the company.
Before the start of the project, the company had already done a background study on electrification, but the actual implementation was waiting for a suitable customer to emerge. When the Danish company Aarselff Oy expressed interest in financing the project, the work started quickly. The entire project was completed in only nine months.
“Despite the fast pace, the result was a real success, and we met the customer’s needs perfectly. We took a reliable machine as the basis for the design and replaced the diesel engine with an electric one. In addition, we implemented the components required for electrification”, Sami recalls.
The project utilized key principles of Agile development and Scrum, which was earlier used in Junttan’s software department. Now these principles were introduced to all the departments and engineering disciplines in the R&D organization.
“We introduced daily meetings and worked closely with the client. The use of Polarion helped in efficient interaction with the customer. Everything was recorded and everyone was able to see what was planned. It increased transparency and agility,” says Sami.
How Polarion helped to ensure success
Polarion was used throughout the project, and it ensured easy collaboration, transparency, traceability, clarity and agility.
”Polarion can be fine-tuned to the needs of different departments. When a project has multiple engineering teams with different ways of working, the tools must adapt. For example the mechanics team must adhere to procurement times and schedules. With Polarion, we can directly draw a timeline and see if we can follow it. The software department, on the other hand, was able to follow Scrum from start to finish.”
Managing everything from specifications, requirements and test cases to implementation tasks and being able to trace those to each other was critical for the success of the project.
“Task management is an integral part of using Polarion: what needs to be done and in what order. We wanted a clear view whether the task is done, in process or unfinished,” says Sami.
He adds that usually work supervision by project managers and planners can be quite superficial. With Polarion, experts and designers were able to provide detailed information about the results and status of work and generate the needed documentation like user manuals etc. at the same time with no extra effort.
“When everything is in the same platform, you can report on a task-by-task basis. Working hours can also be tracked easily if needed. There’s no need to jump from one tool to another while working or searching for something specific. Managing change through Polarion and reusing information to future projects is also important. This electric piling machine was the first individual and can be seen as a prototype. Modification needs for subsequent versions are also stored in Polarion,” Sami sums up.
Everything is genuinely in the same tool
Sami joined Junttan about six years ago as a user interface and usability expert. Prior to that, he worked at Valtra as an automation engineer. There he first became acquainted with Polarion.
“When I arrived at Junttan, they mainly used Word and Excel. I had experience with Polarion and knew what it was capable of. After a comparison of Polarion with competitors, I ended up introducing it to the organization. Now we have been successfully using it for three years,” says Sami.
Junttan wanted a tool to ensure structured management of product information and traceability with support for agile ways of working. Competitors offered collections of separate tools and modules that did not truly interact with each other. Polarion was an obvious choice as it is capable of managing everything in the same tool.
“The most important thing for us was that everything is genuinely in the same tool. We have different design departments and teams, each with their own special needs for managing implementation and documentation. Polarion allowed customization to support this. Work items can be linked and connected seamlessly. Mechanical design needs simple tasks, electrical design needs slightly more complex infromation like I/O definitions and selection lists for managing information. Software design requires the most. They need to manage specifications, releases, test execution & results etc. and all this information needs to be connected to each other. The good thing about Polarion is that it can be adapted to suit any process. The tool does not place restrictions but rather supports and streamlines the process.”, Sami states.
He also stressed the importance of showing the right information to the right persons. For example, simple, high-level views can be tailored to the needs of mechanical design. For others, more extensive and detailed information can be displayed.
”In Polarion, the data is convenient to enter and easy to retrieve. It has proven its worth when large amounts of data have accumulated. We search for data on a daily basis and Polarion saves a lot of time by making this easy. It also gives us a great overview of what we are doing and where the time has gone. We can see if we have focused on the essentials or used time on unplanned work. Our management has also benefitted significantly from the use of Polarion. Things get outlined much faster and more efficiently when transparency and traceability are guaranteed, and everything is easily captured from a single view.”
At Junttan everyone in product development uses Polarion to manage tasks, specifications and documentation. In the future, the use will be expanded further. In the software department almost everything is already managed with Polarion. Requirements, tests, releases and all the related information are stored in Polarion. Release plans are created almost automatically. Items are queued for sprints, and when they are done, the system creates a finished release document that is also delivered as part of the software release.
Polarion expertise helps to get the most out of your platform right away
Sami recommends Polarion especially for organizations that have multiple teams working on the same project and require a single tool to match all the different needs. It is a perfect match for modern high-tech companies that combine electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and software design. It is also very suitable for regulated industries as it makes compliance with regulations and standards easy. Its full change history and approval processes make it easy to find out who has been responsible and who has made the decisions.
“Of course, Polarion is suitable for others too. The importance of platforms like this is growing rapidly. Related expertise is also a significant competitive advantage in the job market,” Sami emphasizes.
Deploying and utilizing Polarion as efficiently as possible is a continuous process. You can get started in a day but to really optimize all your processes and ways of working takes time as you identify new needs and solutions everyday. With a platform like Polarion you never have to stop improving.
“My own background at Valtra helped us to deploy Polarion by ourself, but in some cases, we needed the help of Taipuva. Our co-operation has been working well. And when any company acquires Polarion, I warmly recommend asking for expert help. It allows efficient commissioning, installation and configuration of the system to your needs, and you get the most out of your platform right away.”
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