ESAB

Microsoft’s BizTalk & Host Integration Server helps successfully integrate data between IBM AS400 and external vendors.

ESAB was founded by Oscar Kjellberg in 1904 based on his successful method of coated electrode welding. The company has lead the welding industry in engineering and innovation since then. Today ESAB is the result of a 1989 union of industry leaders: Alloy Rods Corporation, L-TEC Welding & Cutting Systems, All-State Welding Products, ESAB Automation and ESAB Welding Products.

In 2006, the ESAB group, owned by Charter plc, had sales of £828.4 million and employed more than 6,700 persons worldwide. Over 100 years after the company was founded, ESAB serves a global market worth around ten billion dollars each year. The group is organized in the regions Europe, North America, South America, Asia/Pacific and India. ESAB is represented in almost every country by subsidiaries or agents. Sales and support is established in 80 countries and there are 26 manufacturing plants across four continents.

“Microsoft’s integration platform allowed ESAB to quickly provide a trading partner integration service with no custom coding and minimal development effort.”

– Rich McCraw, Innovative Architects

Overview

  • County or Region: United States
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Customer Profile:
    ESAB, headquartered in Florence, SC, produces consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application. More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture have made ESAB the world leader in welding and cutting and also an international supplier of products, know-how and services that none can match.
  • Business Situation:
    ESAB needed a way to expose the price and availability of product information stored in their AS400 to external customers through a commonly used welding distributor, Computers Unlimited. Their main goal was to provide customers a low-cost method to hook to the CU structure.
  • Solution:
    Innovative Architects leveraged Microsoft Host Integration and BizTalk Server 2006 to quickly integrate data services with the IBM AS400 and exposed a SOAP web service matching the contract defined by an industry standards group to accept price and availability in real-time. The end result required no change for CU and allowed ESAB to become the first welding manufacturer trading partner to supply real-time information through a seamless web service interface.
  • Benefits:
    • Delivers open, transparent services.
    • Cuts implementation and operational costs.
    • Microsoft Integrated Platform
    • Greater business intelligence, better decisions
    • Increased year-on-year Web site sales

Case Study

  • Situation
    ESAB North America, a subsidiary of Anderson Group Inc., needed to expose the price and availability of product information currently stored in their AS400 to their external customers through a commonly used welding distributor information system, Computers Unlimited. Computers Unlimited, built an XML based web service using the SOAP standard, to provide price and availability back to their screens/platform. The ultimate goal of this project was to provide customers a low-cost method to hook to the CU structure. ESAB tried to be the first welding manufacturer to complete this trading partner integration scenario and had little success trying to build this without an integration toolset. The ESAB team understood web services when they were integrating to their own systems, but had some difficulty talking back to the Computer Unlimited systems.
  • Solution
    For this solution, ESAB worked with Innovative Architects, a Gold-Certified Microsoft partner. Our teams leveraged the Microsoft Integration Server Solutions (Host Integration and BizTalk Server) to quickly integrate data services with the IBM AS400 and CU. The solution utilized data level integration (DB2 stored procedures) with the AS400 to query for pricing and availability in the existing internal system. Our team exposed a SOAP web service matching the contract already defined by an industry standards group to accept Price and Availability requests, access the AS400 systems, and generate the response with real-time pricing and availability information. The end result was an implementation which required no change for CU and allowed ESAB to become the first welding manufacturer trading partner to supply real-time information through a seamless web service interface. Benefits As a result of the new infrastructure, using Microsoft BizTalk, Host Integration, and SQL Server, ESAB and their customers can gain instant access to valuable business data. Not only does this mean they avoid the time-consuming task of compiling data, impacting their day-to-day productivity, but it also ensures they can make timely business decisions, driving better growth. In addition, this solution provides a consistent technology platform to scale and utilize for future ESAB integration scenarios.
  • Benefits
    • Open, transparent services
    • Cuts implementation and operational costs
    • Microsoft Integrated Platform
    • Greater business intelligence, better decisions
    • Increased year-on-year Web site sales
  • Software and Services
    • Microsoft Windows Server
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Microsoft BizTalk Server
    • Microsoft Visual Studio
    • Microsoft Host Integration Server