Küster Automotive is an internationally active family-run company and a part of Küster Holding. A full-service supplier, Küster manufactures components for the automotive industry. For its production to comply with Spice (software process mprovement and capability determination) Level 2, Küster relies on Polarion ALM (application lifecycle management) from the PLM (product lifecycle management) specialists, Siemens PLM Software.
This way, Küster not only adheres to the standard, but also benefits from integration in the OEM supply chain, a focal element of its production. The automotive supplier must ensure that its production complies with this international standard, also known as ISO/IEC 15504-5, for evaluation of its corporate processes. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) also require Küster to have specifications available in the Requirements Interchange Format (RIF) and in a system enabling change management.
The specifications ensure that metadata can be exchanged between software tools from different manufacturers. To comply with these requirements, Küster was keen to find a standardised solution guaranteeing immediate RIF compatibility for its requirements management. Its hopes were answered with the Polarion ALM system from Siemens PLM Software.
One solution with a raft of benefits Polarion enables rapid implementation of all traceability and reporting requirements for Spice Level 2, and can also be extended to include testing and quality assurance. The web-based Polarion architecture used reduces both implementation and maintenance costs. The use of a certain feature, LiveDoc documents, which is exclusive to Polarion, makes it a simple matter to transition desktop documents and their management processes to the online environment, which is always up to date.
“Polarion ALM requirements management has proven that it complies easily with Automotive Spice Level 2,” explains Christian Posluschni, team leader electronics/software development at Küster. “The depth and breadth of traceability required is easy to establish. The same system that supports our Automotive Spice compliance also supports us as a part of the OEM supply chain. The ability to use RIF (and soon, ReqIF, RIF successor) to read requirements from OEMs online and manage all the requirements, theirs and ours, is of great benefit to us.
“With Polarion, it was even possible to optimise other tools the company already had in place, such as TortoiseSVN for version control. Further fields of application are in the pipeline.”
Taken overall, the team at Küster is impressed first and foremost by the fact that Polarion meant procuring and implementing just a single package instead of several piecemeal solutions. The rollout went smoothly after only a few training sessions, and continuous improvement of the system is taken care of by regular updates. “As requirements demand, Polarion RE and Polarion QA are being used,” says Posluschni.
Polarion QA is used for test management, but there is more to come as the company has concrete plans to introduce automatic integration of test results, which are currently collected manually.
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