Prokosch is evolving from a traditional manufacturer into an industrial one. The company specializes in the design, manufacture and supply of specialized valves. Prokosch products are used for the transport, transfer and storage of things like dry bulk goods and liquids. Their factory operates in the Karlsruhe area near Stuttgart.
This new stage in the company’s operation requires new ways of thinking and structures to support the systematically planned and managed operations. Management cannot be done without tools, and one of the contenders was the Digital Twin application. “I was convinced of the opportunities offered by Digital Twin”, says CEO Heikki Hyttinen.
Before long, Prokosch acquired the 3D Digital Twin application from the Finnish company Process Genius. “The application intensifies cooperation between the company’s different departments. In a positive way, it all but forces us to plan and consider how things can be done more efficiently and reasonably”, says Hyttinen.
According to Hyttinen, in the current phase of development, the following themes are important to the brand and fulfilling their customer promise:
- Delivery time and security of supply
- Communication and ease of co-operation
- Competitive value for money
- Availability and reliability
Efficient and reliable production processes and machinery are keys for profitability. With Digital Twin, the productive time and capacity of the equipment are measured and analyzed in a real-time view. The situational awareness features provide precise data on output – what’s been produced, how much and when. This makes locating possible issues easy and minimizes waste.
Digital Twin is currently in its implementation phase. The goal is to increase productive time in several different areas of the plant.
1. Administrative tasks of production made more efficient
The Digital Twin application always provides up-to-date data on quality and occupational safety and makes production area and machine specific job descriptions, maintenance logs, procedure lists and occupational safety instructions easily accessible to everyone. This increases the overall competence and efficiency of production staff. “When the occupational safety body want to see documentation, production can present it digitally on a tablet. One can find various instructions, like how to turn off a machine safely, in the same way”, says Hyttinen.
2. Material, personnel and machine allocation is planned out and more efficient
Currently, planning of the production calendar is short-sighted, which means a new, more systematic approach will further improve the security of supply.
3. Machine maintenance is planned out
According to Hyttinen, it is likely that maintenance costs will go down and the amount of unplanned machine failures and damage will decrease.
The goal is 20% maintenance savings with up-to-date maintenance
Hyttinen says around 2% of revenue goes to machine repairs. Naturally, a broken machine produces nothing. Not only that, a broken machine or material that is stuck immediately affects the security of supply. Hyttinen says that according to his calculations, once machinery is brought into preventive maintenance and Digital Twin gives alerts on current needs for maintenance and their confirmations, the company can save up to 20% on repairs each year by using preventive maintenance. It will be easier to prevent premature failures and the maintenance log will show which elements of the machines require regular maintenance.
“Cooperation with Process Genius has always been solution-oriented. All challenges have been resolved and the staff has always been ready to look for a solution. Due to high demand, the implementation of the project took slightly longer than expected. I can recommend this solution to German companies because the package offers many features which make the day-to-day duties of entrepreneurs, factory managers and production staff easier”, says Hyttinen.
“When speaking of German companies, it should be noted that there is no shortage of local players here. I believe that the products and services offered, as well as ease of cooperation, are significant selling points. When you’re a player from abroad, the package must be clearly defined, and the implementation and communication must be active and excellent. These are all reasons I can recommend Process Genius as a partner” Hyttinen adds.