Industry 4.0 is very much on the rise in Germany. According to a survey carried out last year by digital association Bitkom, roughly six in ten German companies are already relying on applications from this field. However, just 14% of them are using artificial intelligence (AI) to boost their productivity. The Industry 4.0 specialists at anacision are currently showing how quickly you can make AI applications an effective part of your operations. An EMAG partner company, anacision is offering cost-effective Industry 4.0 workshops and compact data analysis packages to help users rapidly fulfill their potential.
Workshop and data analysis package: EMAG partner anacision speeding up the pace of Industry 4.0 implementation
29.09.2021 - Markus Isgro
For years, “Industry 4.0” was thought to be a Herculean task involving lots of questions: What data do you need and how do you get it “out of the machine” in a structured way? How can relevant information be identified using AI and data analysis? And which applications really add value for the company? Moreover, the associated data science was thought to be tedious and time-consuming. “All that is changing now,” explained Daniel Poodratchi from EMAG's partner company, anacision. “More and more users are coming to the realization that the machine and production data generated has huge business potential. But the inevitable question is, how do you go from research-oriented innovation projects to implementing projects for data-driven applications that are also scalable and reliable in production. We at anacision now have the perfect answer to this, with a new and very attractively priced offering.”
Workshop: recommendations for concrete action
The process first centers on a one-day workshop designed to identify a production site’s potential. To prepare for this, production experts from anacision come together with the customer’s representatives for an initial discussion about the current challenges in production. “We get information about manufacturing processes, central value propositions such as delivery reliability, unwanted downtimes, output and quantity per shift, and lots more. Often the customers already have ideas or have conducted initial tests with the data. We make use of this and prepare the workshop,” said Poodratchi.
The subsequent workshop is divided into several parts. It kicks off with an introduction to the topic “Industry 4.0/IoT and Artificial Intelligence in Production” by an anacision expert, who provides detailed information about the current capabilities of the technology. The participating data experts then discuss all the production relevant tasks and problems together with the production managers, shopfloor staff and maintenance staff. The anacision experts use the results to come up with action scenarios for harnessing business potential. Then they define two to three recommendations for concrete action based on those scenarios. After the workshop, these are examined further in terms of ROI (return on investment) and are prioritized. “At the end, the customer knows exactly what quantified added value the measures will bring,” said Poodratchi.
Data package: directly boosting productivity
For the second step—implementing the workshop results in practice—anacision offers compact data analysis packages at different levels of potency, for directly boosting production output in the desired area. These packages use AI technologies to analyze existing machine and process data, which can come from EMAG’s EDNA IoT system and/or from ERP and operational and machine data logging. This is an effective way of bringing to light unwanted drivers of downtimes, production faults and inefficient processes. “As a result, even the basic-level data analysis package gives customers specific recommendations for how to reduce downtimes and boost their output in practice—essentially they need to eliminate the drivers of the problems,” said Poodratchi. With its two advanced packages, anacision experts then start with implementation directly on site and get AI solutions for optimizing production up and running.
A series of successful customer projects show what this might look like in practice. For example, the anacision specialists worked with EMAG to optimize a central production process at a major German automotive components supplier, which significantly boosted the OEE of the machines in question. One crucial element was dashboards which provide real-time visualization and live forecasts of important KPIs like the quantity produced per shift. These directly highlight problems with current production performance so they can be proactively resolved. “All in all, using AI allows businesses to harness completely new potential in production—and to do so surprisingly quickly,” said Poodratchi in summary. “You can optimize production planning and setup times, reduce systematic short shutdowns and automate in-process quality assurance. With our new workshop and data analysis package offering, geared to SMEs, getting started with AI couldn’t be more straightforward.”
We talked to Daniel Poodratchi, Head of Product at anacision, about quickly identifying ineffective processes using AI, data-driven production optimization and successful customer projects.