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Introduction

Today’s manufacturers face relentless pressure to do more with less. Rising costs, limited resources, and ever-tightening environmental regulations force them to seek new ways to improve efficiency constantly.  This article explores how ThingWorx, a leading Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, empowers manufacturers to achieve this goal by transforming factories into intelligent, data-driven powerhouses. Through real-world success stories from industry leaders like Carlsberg, Evonik, and Knorr-Bremse, we’ll delve into the concrete benefits of ThingWorx and how it can help manufacturers unlock a symphony of success.

How can Thingworx serve as a Powerhouse for Hyper-Efficient Connected Factories?

ThingWorx acts as a universal adapter, seamlessly connecting your factory’s devices and machinery (regardless of brand). This unified data stream fuels powerful analytics that provide real-time insights, allowing for the following:

  • Predictive maintenance: Anticipate equipment failures and reduce unplanned downtime by 30%.
  • Process optimization: Leverage data to streamline workflows and potentially cut production costs.
  • Scalability: ThingWorx adapts to your growing needs, ensuring a future-proof connected factory.

These features transform factories into intelligent ecosystems. Real-time data visualisation empowers informed decisions, leading to:

  • Improved resource utlisation: Reduce material costs and scrap by up to 50%.
  • Enhanced quality control: Identify potential defects before final production, potentially reducing rework.
  • optimised supply chain: Gain better visibility for just-in-time deliveries, potentially lowering inventory holding costs.

ThingWorx prioritises data security, ensuring your valuable information remains protected. By harnessing its power, you unlock a new era of intelligent manufacturing, focused on efficiency, sustainability, and continuous improvement.

Unlocking a Symphony of Success:

Let’s explore how industry leaders are leveraging ThingWorx to achieve concrete results:

  1. Carlsberg: Streamlining Production with Real-Time Data

Carlsberg, a brewing giant, faced a discord in their global operations. Inconsistent production data collection across facilities, a remnant of past acquisitions, created inefficiencies.  Optimizing machine performance was a challenge, leading to unplanned downtime, increased costs, and a decrease in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

ThingWorx to the Rescue: Carlsberg partnered with a digital transformation specialist to implement a real-time performance monitoring IoT application built on ThingWorx. This solution utilized Kepware to seamlessly collect data from diverse automation equipment and software, standardizing the information flow. ThingWorx then analyzed and visualized the data, empowering Carlsberg to:

  • Standardize Data Collection: Consistent data across breweries enabled informed decision-making and performance comparisons.
  • Monitor in Real Time: Operators gained real-time insights via dashboards and alerts, allowing proactive issue identification and resolution.
  • Boost OEE: Reduced downtime and improved preventive maintenance practices significantly improved OEE.
  • Scale for the Future: The cloud-based solution offered easy scaling across multiple facilities and simplified updates.
  • Brew a Sustainable Future: Reduced waste due to improved efficiency contributed to Carlsberg’s environmental goals.
  • Carlsberg’s success story exemplifies the transformative power of ThingWorx. By leveraging real-time data insights, they achieved operational excellence and positioned themselves for a more sustainable future.

    2. Evonik: A Symphony of Efficiency with Connected Machines

Evonik, a global leader in speciality chemicals, embarked on a transformative journey to digitize production and supply chain processes. To achieve this, they implemented ThingWorx as the cornerstone of their connected factory strategy.

The Challenge: Unifying the Data Orchestra

Evonik, with over 100 production sites worldwide, needed to unify and leverage data from a diverse range of IT and OT systems. Streamlining production processes and optimizing efficiency were crucial for remaining competitive. Additionally, they required a secure and scalable platform for developing and deploying IIoT applications.

ThingWorx Conducts the Transformation:

  • Centralized Platform: ThingWorx acts as the central IIoT platform, seamlessly integrating with existing IT and OT systems across all Evonik facilities.
  • Data Harmony: This integration enables real-time data collection and analysis, providing valuable insights for process optimization.
  • Custom Applications: Evonik leverages ThingWorx to develop and deploy custom applications that address specific needs:
    • Digital checklists: Enhanced plant tours with real-time data visualization for faster trend and deviation identification.
    • KPI Dashboards: Consolidated views of key performance indicators from various sources, enabling data-driven decision-making.
    • Support Applications: Tools to optimise production processes and improve overall efficiency.
    • Standardized Data Exchange: Evonik now utilizes NAMUR and DEXPI standards to ensure seamless data exchange and the creation of a digital twin.

The Benefits: A Sustainable Future

Evonik’s implementation of ThingWorx resulted in a symphony of success:

  • Faster and More Efficient Processes: Streamlined workflows and real-time data insights lead to improved production efficiency.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Consolidated KPIs empower informed decisions for continuous improvement.
  • Scalability and Adaptability: ThingWorx’s scalability ensures the platform can grow alongside Evonik’s digitalization efforts.
  • Standardized Data Exchange: NAMUR and DEXPI compliance facilitates seamless data integration across all facilities.
  • A Collaborative Future: Evonik’s participation in PTC’s Product Advisory Board fosters ongoing innovation and adaptation of ThingWorx.
  • Evonik’s story highlights the power of ThingWorx in building connected factories. By unifying data, enabling real-time insights, and fostering a collaborative approach, Evonik is orchestrating a symphony of efficiency and innovation for a sustainable future.

Knorr-Bremse: Taking Incremental Steps to Connected Manufacturing

Knorr-Bremse, a global leader in braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, recognized the need to bridge the gap between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) within their vast manufacturing network. This lack of connectivity hindered data collection and analysis, making it difficult to optimise production processes and achieve real-time visibility.

The Knorr-Bremse Challenge: Bridging the IT-OT Divide

Several key challenges plagued Knorr-Bremse’s manufacturing efficiency:

  • Limited Machine Connectivity: Their diverse and extensive machine park lacked standardized connections, impeding data collection and analysis.
  • Data Silos: Siloed IT and OT systems hampered transparency and hindered process optimization across the production chain.
  • Inconsistent KPI Measurement: The absence of a standardized approach made it difficult to consistently calculate and monitor KPIs like OEE across global facilities.

Knorr-Bremse’s Measured Approach to digitisation:

Instead of a drastic overhaul, Knorr-Bremse opted for a measured approach to digitisation with ThingWorx:

  • Leveraging Existing Relationships: Building upon their experience with PTC’s PLM software Windchill and 3D CAD software Creo, Knorr-Bremse explored ThingWorx for its Industrial IoT applications.
  • Starting Small with Pilot Projects: A successful pilot project at the Aldersbach facility in Germany connected machines and assembly lines, proving the feasibility and benefits of ThingWorx.
  • Standardization and Scalability: ThingWorx, along with Kepware for machine connectivity, offered a standardized approach for data collection and KPI generation across all plants. This approach ensured scalability as Knorr-Bremse’s digitisation efforts expanded.
  • Collaboration is Key: Close collaboration between IT, Rail Vehicle Systems, and Commercial Vehicle Systems divisions ensured solutions addressed specific needs across all departments.
  • Focus on Added Value: Knorr-Bremse prioritized solutions that demonstrably improved production efficiency and quality.

The Benefits of a Connected Manufacturing Ecosystem

Knorr-Bremse’s measured approach, coupled with ThingWorx’s flexibility and scalability, resulted in a connected manufacturing ecosystem:

  • Real-Time Data Visibility: ThingWorx provided real-time insights into production processes across geographically dispersed facilities. This empowered informed decision-making and improved production planning.
  • Standardized KPI Calculation: OEE and other key metrics were now calculated and monitored consistently across all facilities. This enabled data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement.
  • Improved Quality Control: Worker guidance systems powered by ThingWorx minimized errors and streamlined production workflows, leading to higher-quality output.
  • Reduced Paperwork: Streamlined data flow from design (Creo/Windchill) to production eliminating the need for extensive manual documentation.
  • Scalable Foundation: The ThingWorx platform provided a scalable foundation for Knorr-Bremse’s future digitisation initiatives.

Conclusion: A Sustainable Path Forward

Knorr-Bremse’s measured approach to digitisation with ThingWorx demonstrates the power of taking incremental steps. They have laid the groundwork for continuous improvement, optimised production processes, and a more sustainable future through efficient resource utlisation.

Conclusion:

The relentless pressure on manufacturers to optimise production in a world of rising costs and limited resources is a complex challenge.  This article has explored how ThingWorx, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, emerges as the conductor, not of an orchestra, but of a symphony of efficiency.

Through real-world examples from industry leaders like Carlsberg, Evonik, and Knorr-Bremse, we’ve witnessed the transformative potential of ThingWorx.

The journey towards a connected factory is an ongoing process.  Pratiti Technologies invites you to explore the transformative potential of ThingWorx for your manufacturing operations. We offer a collaborative approach to help you leverage the power of the Industrial IoT and orchestrate a symphony of efficiency in your factory.  Contact Pratiti Technologies today and embark on your path to a sustainable and hyper-efficient future.

Nitin
Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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