Hätälä Oy is a fourth-generation family company with a single passion: producing the most delicious fish products in the world. The company's Oulu factory provides high-quality fish delicacies for Finnish retailers, professional kitchens, wholesalers and for export. Hätälä handles around 18 million kilogrammes of fish a year and has 220 full-time employees. Process Genius visualises Hätälä’s production data in an intuitive format. This provides Hätälä with a faster snapshot of the status quo, enabling shorter response times when production is held up.
Collaboration began with the monitoring of packaging lines in 2018, and is still expanding to cover all operations at the plant. Roima collects data on the plant equipment and Process Genius visualises it. The aim is to present an instantly understood snapshot, built on a 3D model, of what is happening in the factory. "We wanted to eliminate the need to interpret and explain long sequences of figures, pore over Excels and call numerous people to understand what’s going on at the plant. PG's visualisations enable anyone to see the big picture at a glance," says Jari Jääskeläinen, Director of Production and Logistics at Hätälä.
DATA GUIDES OPERATIONAL WORK
Data sourced from machines and scales used to be dispersed between systems, with no uniform view of the plant’s operations, machinery or problems. Documentation was also dispersed between several locations. The entire plant has now been 3D-modelled, enabling views of the work underway in various departments: on how well machinery is running, disruptions, the location of hygiene areas, and temperatures in parts of ovens and production machinery etc. Emergency exits are also marked on the 3D model.
For example, the speed of lines, size of production batches, and reject percentages are visually reported. "We have a real-time view of what’s happening in the machines and can control operational work based on the data. The management, production managers, supervisors, and employees can monitor the information they need. The data becomes more detailed the closer you get to process workers. For example, indicators or target values for a single machine or line can be monitored in production," Jääskeläinen says.
FASTER REACTION IN PRODUCTION
Production efficiency is monitored by comparing machine running times, for example. This data can be used to figure why some machines run longer than others. Real-time monitoring of the facility has meant faster reactions during breakdowns. "Visual, intuitive information from the system allows us to react faster. If I notice that a line has stopped, I contact the process workers to find out what’s broken down or gone wrong. We also monitor temperatures: if not everything is OK, automatic alarms are triggered in the system. If necessary, I can monitor data from my home office," Jääskeläinen adds.
The plant's visualisation is also useful for induction and training, avoiding the need to go to the factory. "We present the hygiene areas, factory floor plan, names of machines, safe routes and so on. A virtual tour of the 3D factory, processes and the role of each machine helps customers to see what a modern fish processing plant is all about. In addition, our quality managers and other employees can use the system for quality training and reviewing occupational safety," Jääskeläinen says.
COLLABORATION BOOSTS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
If you put traditional production staff together with 3D-computing experts, it takes shared goals, lots of learning and the right attitude to understand each others’ starting point. "We develop the solution through dialogue. We need to know how the people at Process Genius work, and they need to understand how we work. If necessary, we visit the factory to see how what we’re doing plays out in practice," Jääskeläinen says.
More development ideas continuously arise in addition to the many steps already taken. "The visualisation of our plant and processes is already excellent. Next, we want to visualise an even wider spread of device data and combine other factory functions, such as real estate automation, with the system," Jääskeläinen says.
Hätälä aims to continue growing, in the face of tough competition in Finland and export markets. This means staying ahead in the core business and supporting operations. It takes continuous planning and prioritisation to model and collect data on a continuously evolving and modernising factory. Views are sought from every organisational level on the better and wider use of information in the system. "Process Genius’ experts tackle challenges on the same basis every time: success is assured when you join forces to work out how. Not only have they fulfilled our most ambitious requests, our collaboration is also boosting development of our core business," Jääskeläinen sums up.