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Konecranes Smart Factory is an exact three-dimensional digital copy and model (digital twin) of the physical factory with which the factory’s real-time operations and processes can be viewed with a browser or mobile device. The Smart Factory, implemented with technology partner Process Genius Oy, collects important data into the platform from various software, device and sensor interfaces and creates a situational snapshot, available 24/7, on the plant’s production and maintenance status. From the visual model, users can see instantly the key information about production and maintenance. The Smart Factory solution improves data transfer between the plant’s staff in a number of ways, and also between customers, service providers and partners.

Up-to-date information crucial for daily management

“I’ve been following the machine tool world for almost 25 years, and there is now a clear change in what customers, regardless of the company size, expect from service providers. The following kinds of questions have been asked frequently in recent years: “How could we visualize production?” or “How is digitalization visible at Konecranes?” says Jari Tuominen, service delivery and development manager for machine tool service at Konecranes.

“Maintenance no longer means that you maintain machinery once a year and fix things in between. Companies in Finland have machinery of varying ages and they want to monitor their status regardless of their location. Up-to-date information of what’s going on in the workshop is crucial for daily management.”

“Mechanical workshops have to develop as the software and machinery also develop. The equipment generates a lot of data, and data sources may be numerous in the same plant. At the beginning of the project, we asked our customers what kind of systems they have to utilize all this data and how they can use it for business purposes,” says Jari Tuominen.

“We found out that nobody had just a single system, they all have to use a number of different systems to get data about what was going on at their plant. In addition to this, various levels of the plant had very different needs. What’s more, various digital twins were already in use and also different portals, but nobody had a complete overview from a single location,” says Tuominen.

Production and maintenance operations in real time in the 3D Digital Twin platform

Konecranes Smart Factory is a set of services combined in a smart factory platform, helping to manage daily production and maintenance operations easily and efficiently. In terms of production, important information is obtained about machinery outages and their duration. To obtain high overall efficiency, it is important to know as much as possible about major production outages and their causes. These include equipment malfunction, machine breakage, specification of settings, measurements, maintenance performed by users, lack of material, or logistics problems. The objective is to utilize the production plant’s data flow effectively and manage day-to-day operations with the data.

According to Jani Akkila, CEO of Process Genius Oy, Konecranes and Process Genius have introduced to the market combination of a digital system and substance that has not been done previously. Process Genius Has been systematically developing its digital twin platform which Konecranes, as the substance expert, has enriched.

“Konecranes has introduced genuine and state-of-the-art experience into the platform development. The Konecranes Smart Factory application combines effective maintenance and production in the latest 3D Digital Twin platform,” says Akkila.

Increased productivity in six months monitoring period

“An up-to-date snapshot of production and maintenance has enabled production management based on facts at Konecranes plant in Hyvinkää. The application has brought good results in operational use, and productivity has increased significantly during a six-month monitoring period,” says Tuomas Patanen, factory manager at the Konecranes component plant in Hyvinkää.

“The application has also revealed where waste hours occur. This consisted of, for example, set-up times, waiting, small alarms and other issues that disturb production. Now we are able to determine how waste hours are created, and are in a better position to reduce them and to improve the processes,” says Patanen.

“The utilization rate has increased significantly and the application enables us to validate whether the hours spent on any specific job are accurate. Konecranes Smart Factory Enables better factory monitoring, and we can easily find out what is going on at the factory. This way, for example, we can react more quickly if a machine has stopped. The best thing about the application is that you can even use it on your phone, taking remote monitoring to a whole new level,” says Tuomas Patanen.

Read the original article in the latest issue of Eurometalli (available in Finnish): https://eurometalli.com/konecranes-smart-factory-vie-paivittaisjohtamisen-prosessit-uudelle-tasolle/