Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. Special Report: Collaborative Software July 2005 Demand-Driven Produc tion&Performance Management Bull’s Eye! How leading manufacturers target business performance in this issue: pg2 Industry Experts Speak Out Sponsored by pg6 Arla Foods Opts for Excellence Supplement to pg9 Steel Leader Revolutionizes Production
  2. 2. Industry Experts Speak Out Analysts and leaders from AMR, Microsoft, SAP and Wonderware discuss how manufacturers are accelerating their business performance through demand-driven production and performance management. TODAY’S GLOBAL MARKETPLACE is Bradley, President,Wonderware & ArchestrA Business driving manufacturers to reevaluate their business Unit of Invensys, Lake Forest, Calif.; speak out on practices. Continued survival depends on how the important issues manufacturers must address. well a company integrates its people, technolo- Here’s their advice on how to manage life-cycle gies and processes, and provides the critical visi- costs, exploit market opportunities, mitigate risk and bility that will lead to better decision-making choose partners to achieve long-term success. and enhanced performance. In this virtual roundtable, industry leaders How important is the integration of people, tech- Alison J. Smith, Senior Research Analyst, nology and business processes to the success of AMR Research, Boston; Charles Johnson, accelerating manufacturing performance? Worldwide Managing Director, Alison J. Smith, AMR Research: There is no Manufacturing Industry Unit, Microsoft doubt that the integration of people, technology and Corp., Redmond,Wash.; Sudipta business processes is important, but rational discourse Bhattacharya,Vice President, Manufacturing, about the role of technology is impossible until an SAP Labs, LLC, Irving,Tex.; and Michael organization has straightened out its business process- es, which are in turn shaped by the goals and culture of the organization. Of the companies we routinely work with, those who are most successful have well engineered business processes that support the “now,” as well as provide a path for the future. Technology for these users is an enabler—a set of tools that can be leveraged to execute sound core processes faster and at less expense. Michael Bradley, Wonderware & ArchestrA, Invensys: The communications and software technol- ogy certainly exists today for integrating automation, information technology (IT) and business systems. This integration can ensure that best practices are enforceable and repeatable. However, the most critical performance edge most often comes from empower- ing all of the people involved.This visibility needs to be available in real-time, such that the collaborative efforts of the right people can be harnessed to quickly react to inevitable variations and changes to customer orders, supplies and plant asset availability. How do production and performance manage- ment capabilities enable companies to not only get better visibility of their manufacturing per- formance, but also to proactively manage produc- tion costs and exploit market opportunities? Sudipta Bhattacharya, SAP: Production and performance management capabilities depend on two key elements: the granularity of information and the latency of information. Identifying and running 2 Demand-Driven Production & Performance Management
  3. 3. “Performance management tools—specifically applications that leverage data already being generated—represent those rare low-risk, high-value investments that are available to manufacturers today.” —Alison J. Smith, Senior Research Analyst, AMR Research accurate analyses on cost levers is improved when a mission-critical—work company has granular visibility into manufacturing orders, product specifica- operations. In addition, more access to real-time tions and routings must be information enhances the ability to identify and dispatched to the produc- manage deviations. For instance, understanding mate- tion environment if prod- rial variances individually across a four-stage manu- ucts are to be manufac- facturing process will help identify which specific tured at all. Performance process and material to focus on.This is the degree management is more about of granularity needed. However, this granularity by measuring and analyzing aspects of those critical itself is not enough. Manufacturers also need to processes against a “goodness” criteria defined lower the degree of latency between process occur- by the business.We see many companies retro- rence and analysis of the variability. fitting performance management capabilities to Charles Johnson, Microsoft: Metrics and per- existing production management systems, sim- formance management are key to efficiently execut- ply because the cost of ripping out and replac- ing against goals and facilitating course correction at ing core production management capability is all levels of the enterprise. Focusing on the customer both disruptive and costly. In contrast, the addi- through visibility into demand trends and product tion of instrumentation, enhanced data acquisi- preferences—with clear linkages to manufacturing— tion, analysis and visualization tools can be ensures alignment between demand and manufactur- accomplished non-invasively, i.e., without per- ing operations, thereby reducing excess inventory turbing core processes, and we’ve seen cases in and operational costs while minimizing stock-outs. which such tools pay for themselves in a mat- Bradley: Digital dashboards and scorecards are ter of weeks, if not days. easy to create. What’s more difficult is the design and Johnson: Clear identification of business accuracy of what is behind them.The chief financial and IT challenges go a long way in under- officer, plant manager, operations supervisor, plant standing where to best make investments over engineer, maintenance manager, quality manager and time. For example, the automotive industry is plant-floor operator all require different views of facing high costs in warranty reserves, so trace- information and different actions they can take that ability coupled with early warning systems are are relevant to their roles. Modern software systems important areas of investment that promise can facilitate the rapid deployment of flexible infor- solid returns.The oil and gas industry faces mation models and views that can serve all of these challenges in terms of declining reserves, and is different constituents in a secure and reliable fashion. investing in technologies for better recoverabili- ty, as well as looking for Based on your best customers’ experiences, how alternate sources. In gener- are companies addressing life-cycle costs associat- al, aligning capabilities with ed with production and performance management clearly identified competi- capabilities, and what, in your opinion, are some of tive and industry chal- the key considerations for managing these costs? lenges provides a way to Smith: Production and performance management make targeted investments are two separate issues. Production management is with tangible returns. “Manufacturing visibility needs to be available in real-time, such that the collaborative efforts of the right people can be harnessed to quickly react to inevitable variations and changes.” —Michael Bradley, President, Wonderware & ArchestrA Business Unit of Invensys July 2005 3
  4. 4. Bradley: Our leading customers are starting with data already being generated in some form by the their most critical business and operations practices environment—represent those rare low-risk, high- and incrementally standardizing and evolving these value investments that are available to manufacturers practices using new software approaches, thereby sav- today.The existing processes needn’t be altered, ing on the up-front investments, as well as the ongo- because what you’re really doing is creating a separate ing application generation, maintenance time and analytical framework that can be overlaid on existing costs. They are benefiting from up to 70 percent data stores, whether those are historians, operational reductions in the typical time to create, re-use and data stores, relational database management systems, re-deploy proven applications. plant accounting systems or, more likely, some combi- Bhattacharya: Leading edge companies that nation of all of those sources and more. SAP works with are addressing life-cycle costs by Bhattacharya: Manufacturers can lower their risk focusing on scalable, integrated, standards-based while integrating new production and performance technologies. Unfortunately, disconnects across management capabilities by dealing with both inter- manufacturing automation, execution, and busi- nal and external factors. From an internal process ness departments and systems have led most management standpoint, it is essential to be able to companies to seek point solutions to address identify a few key change agents, supported by senior these layers.While the layers may each have management, that share a common vision for the best-in-class applications, integrating these lay- integration of the new capabilities into the existing ers has proved to be a challenge. Maintaining infrastructure. From an external perspective, it is multiple solutions with multiple adaptors leads equally important to identify a solution provider to spiraling life-cycle costs. who understands the business and can be trusted to continually invest in enhancing applications and How can manufacturers technology that enable the integration of existing lower their risk while inte- and new systems. grating new production & Johnson: Problems frequently arise when too many performance management changes are attempted all at once, increasing the risk capabilities into their exist- of getting all the moving parts aligned and coordinat- ing automation and infor- ed in time. Projects to enhance and migrate capabili- mation systems? ties work well with a clear understanding of the exist- “While each layer may have best-in-class applications, integrating layers has proved to be a challenge. Maintaining multiple solutions with multiple adaptors leads to spiraling life-cycle costs.” —Sudipta Bhattacharya,Vice President, Manufacturing, SAP Labs LLC Bradley: Proof-of-concept piloting and the ing automation and IT systems, mapping out the data design and testing of core customer application and process flows, and assessing impact on the people standards are typical activities we use with our involved. Good preparation in terms of training, edu- customers to reduce risk.Today’s leading pro- cation and evangelization for the organization to adapt duction and performance management imple- to the changes is important for success. mentations involve not only the integration of the existing plant systems, but also tying these How have IT systems, globalization, scarce engi- systems directly into customers’ business and neering resources and life-cycle costs for produc- enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. tion and performance management systems affect- Industry-wide software vendor support of stan- ed vendor and partner choices for manufacturers? dards such as eXtensible Mark-up Language Bhattacharya: Maintaining status quo will fail in (XML),Web Services and the ISA-95 integration today’s competitive environment.The ability to con- standard from the Instrumentation, Systems and tinually innovate and adapt quickly is a key element Automation Society, are providing a sustainable in success. IT systems, globalization and scarce engi- framework for achieving real-time, business-to-plant neering resources have led companies to move from and plant-to-business interactions. spending the bulk of their IT dollars on maintaining Smith: Performance management tools—and I’m existing systems to investing in rapid innovation talking specifically about applications that leverage across business processes. Leading manufacturers real- 4 Demand-Driven Production & Performance Management
  5. 5. ize that working in a passive “maintenance” mode is investments in systems and people.The best partners a short-term strategy set to fail, especially in the cur- are those who are committed to innovate and evolve rent environment of hyper innovation. along with their customers in this change process. Johnson: Manufacturers have typically responded Johnson: Manufacturers will do well to first gain to many of these dynamics by simplifying their sys- a clear understanding of the linkages between their tems and standardizing on fewer vendors and forging manufacturing processes and the overall business closer relationships with them. Pressure to reduce goals and objectives. Moving to a demand-driven costs and resource scarcity has sometimes led to out- model will reveal the focus areas for process changes sourcing of functions. Manufacturers are increasingly and the interrelationships across the end-to-end pressuring vendors to adopt standards as a way of value delivery chain. Rather than attempting whole- reducing integration costs and extracting more func- sale changes, identifying a few strategic changes at a tionality from existing investments. Simplicity, ease- time along a roadmap will demonstrate returns, build of-use, manageability and a greater emphasis on support and generate confidence. Ultimately, it is not demonstrable business value are increasingly used in so much a choice but a necessity for manufacturers vendor qualification. to eventually move to a customer-focused demand- Smith: We’ve seen a couple of different dynamics driven model. emerge as a result of these trends. On the technology Bhattacharya: The first step to developing demand- side, there’s a definite preference for products that driven production and performance capabilities is to can be maintained by the manufacturing organiza- identify the weakest link in the value chain, whether “Manufacturers are increasingly pressuring vendors to adopt standards as a way of reducing integration costs and extracting more functionality from existing investments.” —Charles Johnson,Worldwide Managing Director, Manufacturing Industry Unit, Microsoft Corp. tions without requiring a large stable of consultants. that’s visibility into real In terms of partners and vendors, our ongoing customer demand, manu- research into manufacturing IT spending shows a facturing responsiveness or preference to purchase manufacturing IT from a sin- something else. From there, gle large provider, like an automation or ERP ven- manufacturers and their dor. On the other hand, growth we’re seeing for the partners determine which best-of-breed quality, manufacturing execution sys- applications and technolo- tem (MES) and enterprise manufacturing intelli- gy can be used to improve gence (EMI) vendors clearly indicates that size is not and accelerate the process.Those who conduct pure a deterrent.This changes as you start talking about process improvements must carefully examine the global standardization and roll-outs. In these cases, implications of the process and ensure that they are the size and stability of the integration partner—not repeatable, automated, faster and scalable in order to the technology vendor—becomes paramount. eliminate risk.The next step is to identify which per- formance indicators will allow the manufacturer to What would you consider a low-risk approach continuously track progress and adapt where necessary. for manufacturers to begin to develop demand- Smith: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to driven production and performance capabilities? becoming demand-driven in production because of Bradley: First, companies should identify the most inherent differences in business models and vertical critical manufacturing business issues by collecting industries served.The kind of demand signal a busi- inputs from all levels of the organization. From there, ness can shape or receive depends largely on where the company should pilot a modular solution to that business is situated in the supply network. prove that they can really address the top-level prob- Production capabilities, therefore, become the ulti- lems.The company should have clear visibility to mate shock absorbers for demand signal variability, valid performance metrics, as well as the ability to and need to be tuned for rapid response.Without control, adjust and adapt to events and alerts. ongoing visibility, it is impossible to understand Companies should choose partners who take a struc- which production commitments you are capable of tured and standardized approach to achieving busi- making, should make, and where to execute on those ness objectives in a fashion that leverages the existing commitments most profitably. ● July 2005 5
  6. 6. Arla Foods Opts for Excellence In its quest for operational excellence, the Danish dairy giant deploys standards-based automation solutions to integrate business and manufacturing systems. ARLA FOODS, the largest dairy company in level business information systems with the plant- Europe, receives around 7.2 billion kilograms of floor information systems. milk per year at its 70 plants in Denmark, For the manufacturing operations, Arla needed to Sweden and the United Kingdom, and devel- quickly duplicate its processes for milk, powdered ops approximately 200 new products annually. milk and cheese across multiple plants with a com- The company prides itself on providing the mon set of standards, in order to move information freshest milk products on the market through from the equipment and manufacturing processes all a concept called the “Arla Express,” which the way up to the enterprise resource planning delivers milk from the cow to the grocery (ERP) system.This would increase real-time visibility story shelf within 12 hours. into all of the operations and improve planning and execution, while working within the existing infra- The adoption of the Wonderware structures across the multiple plants. solutions as corporate standards profit pressures reduces costs by reusing engineering Pressures to improve production and profits exist at applications and standardizing the local level and at the corporate level.Year after year, the local plants have had to deliver increased produc- equipment maintainability. tion profitability at equal or higher levels of quality, while still meeting budget constraints.They also have Like other successful manufacturers, Arla needed flexibility in terms of reduced time-to-market Foods continues to face price pressure from and time-to-volume to cope with the rapidly increas- global markets, forcing constant reduction of ing complexity in product mix, due to private labeling production costs.Time-to-market and time- and packaging. And they have had to comply with to-volume remain critical factors in meeting internal procedures for product quality documentation customer demands for increased complexity in as well as government and institutional regulations product mix and timely supply. designed to protect public health and safety. Also like other manufacturers, Arla realizes Challenges at the corporate level have included: that sustaining profitability and success in the integrating global business processes with the compa- marketplace is no longer just about controlling ny’s ERP system from SAP AG, of Walldorf, Germany; costs—it’s about speed. Arla Foods needs the improving general profitability through better visibility ability to respond rapidly and cost-effectively to into its diverse plants; leveraging best practices; using demand and supply variations, and at the same key performance indicators (KPIs) in a uniform way; time understand how actual performance and reducing costs of ownership; adopting corporate stan- current operational activities align with business dards; and implementing maintainable solutions from objectives. But more than just reacting to chang- the plant floor to the business level. ing market conditions or operational losses after the To meet these challenges,Arla needed to adopt a low fact, Arla Foods needs the ability to exploit new risk, scalable, reusable approach that could adapt to future opportunities for making profits before they vanish. requirements for processes, technology and people, while To achieve sustained profitability, Arla Foods, since still keeping within local plant budgets.The main 2002, has executed a global strategy called “One requirement was for users to have the ability to build Arla,” with the objective of standardizing its business upon their existing infrastructures without impacting processes into a single system and integrating high- their existing systems or disrupting production. 6 Demand-Driven Production & Performance Management
  7. 7. centralized IT Before the “One Arla” program was introduced, pro- “With an expansive growth strategy, it duction information technology was defined locally at is a must to integrate business and each plant. Now, all information technology functions have been combined into one central engineering sup- manufacturing, especially when new port function called Production IT. Its task is to ensure facilities become part of the family that both the local plant and the corporate offices due to mergers and acquisitions.” receive the information needed to improve production operations in each plant, and improve performance management across the enterprise. Production IT also needed to build internal The new Production IT group was given several competencies in key areas and technologies ambitious goals. First, it needed to standardize on the involving both central and local resources. And it SAP ERP to provide plant floor information integra- needed to establish a dialog with suppliers and tion based on market standards. All data collection, internal staff, in order to share Arla’s strategic analysis and process optimization in the local dairy goals, drive increased adoption of market standards databases needed to be structured according to the and continuously address issues of technology guidelines established by the ISA-95 integration stan- shortcomings. dard, promulgated by the Instrumentation, Systems Arne Svendsen, Production IT Manager at Arla and Automation Society (ISA). Implementation and Foods, stated in a recent interview, “The integration roll-out used a scalable approach, in which slices of of business and manufacturing has a strategic impor- one solution could be reused and applied across dif- tance for Arla Foods in supporting the challenges the ferent plants and systems. business is facing in terms of optimizing production July 2005 7
  8. 8. performance, as well as fulfilling food safety regulato- Invensys based in Lake Forest, Calif., as the enabling ry requirements.This integration includes the transfer solutions to provide the industrial backbone for all of of detailed production schedules from our ERP sys- Arla’s plants.The adoption of these technologies as cor- tem to the plant floor, as well as the seamless collec- porate standards reduces costs by reusing engineering tion of key processing and packaging figures.With applications and standardizing equipment maintainabili- an expansive growth strategy, it is a must to inte- ty. As well, the Wonderware software solutions can be grate business and manufacturing, especially when scaled to meet local plant budgets and requirements. new facilities become part of the family due to Enterprise Integration Application adopts the ISA- mergers and acquisitions.” 95 standard called Business-to-Manufacturing Mark-up A firm believer in standards, Svendsen has been Language (B2MML) as the common message structure influential in driving the adoption of market stan- across the enterprise, enabling the maintenance of an dards, and, in particular, the ISA-95 standard. For integrated solution for a large number of sites. It also example, SAP recently announced full support leverages the SAP NetWeaver XI to employ a highly standardized business-to-manu- facturing solution with easier SAP migration to future versions. Envision MM- PP/PI- QM- SAP Because of the ArchestrA Material Mgmt Production planning Laboratory, quality Stock mgmt technology, Arla can standard- ize on manufacturing applica- ERP/MES integration tions with a common manu- MES: facturing information infra- Traceability data structure, while giving each Order plant the freedom to use spe- information Production- Lab Master data acquisition cific solutions according to its Energy-& Recipe needs.Wonderware’s produc- envir. data editing Plant Database tion and performance man- database Downtime- registration agement software increase the Maintenance manufacturing capabilities in Batch Mgmt data acq the SAP ERP to deliver a MES/PCS interface based on OPC comprehensive solution for manufacturing operations. Inweighing Process control-line/machine control Stock control While Arla’s approach is to re-use existing manufacturing Weighing Raw material-reception Milk preparation Filling Finished goods Logistics execution systems (MESs), if applicable, Arla does make In this illustration of the layers of interconnectivity that Arla Foods will use extensive use of other compo- across all of its plants worldwide, data flows back and forth in a closed loop nents in Wonderware’s pro- from the enterprise resource planning solution at the top layer, to the man- duction and performance ufacturing execution system in the middle, to the plant floor at the bottom. solution to optimize its Wonderware’s production and performance management software operates processes.These include the in the MES block, while the SAP solution functions at the ERP level. InBatch and InTrack for man- for the ISA-95 eXtensible Mark-up Language ufacturing execution; the Industrial SQL Server his- (XML) standards using SAP’s Exchange torian; the Active Factory trending and analysis tool; Infrastructure (XI) based on NetWeaver technol- the Production Events Module for traceability; ogy. Svendsen’s team worked closely with SAP to DTAnalyst for downtime and efficiency manage- ensure the successful evolution of technology that ment; and the QI Analyst statistical process analysis would meet the requirements of Arla Foods. and control software. The combined approach reduces efforts and costs industrial backbone associated with designing, building, deploying and With Production IT on a roll,Arla wanted to con- maintaining secure and standardized applications that tinue momentum and take it a step further by integrat- support manufacturing operations. Using solutions ing the local plants on a common industrial infrastruc- from Wonderware and SAP to synchronize manufac- ture.The company chose the ArchestrA infrastructure turing operations with business objectives, Arla is architecture technology and the Enterprise Integration getting the speed and flexibility it needs to achieve Application from Wonderware, a business unit of sustained profitability. ● 8 Demand-Driven Production & Performance Management
  9. 9. Steel Leader Revolutionizes Production Reduced downtime, cal systems at Nucor’s mill in Berkeley, S.C., Boyd helped revamp the mill’s control systems with increased productivity and a Wonderware industrial control platforms.With dramatic improvement in competitive pressures growing in the global steel market, Boyd and his colleagues wanted to make the quality of daily executive sure they were getting as much capacity as pos- reporting are just some of sible from their operation, and solidifying the company’s market position. the benefits Nucor Berkeley flexibility is critical realized in the The melting area of a steel mill is one of implementation of a new the harshest industrial environments in the performance management manufacturing world. As temperatures soar to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—almost one-third solution. of the surface temperature of the Sun—and raw materials measured in the hundreds of tons are manipulated, an incredible strain is SINCE ITS CREATION almost 3,000 years ago— placed on equipment and control systems. when ancient metal workers first removed nearly all The majority of the world’s carbon and of the impurities from iron—steel has had a pro- alloy steel production uses electric arc fur- found impact on civilization. From the hand-forged weapons that gave tribal leaders a dominant advan- tage over their bronze-equipped neighbors to the “One of the biggest benefits we saw mass-produced railway lines and trains that drove the was the elimination of downtime. industrial revolution and forged the world we live in This has saved 2 percent to 5 percent today, the common critical ingredient has been steel. Though the importance of this iron/carbon alloy productivity and has also allowed us hasn’t changed, the way that it’s produced has been to go to more advanced controls.” revolutionized. One of the world’s leading steel pro- ducers, Nucor Steel, based in Charlotte, N.C., naces, which are fired primarily with scrap employs the latest technological advances to maintain steel. At Nucor’s Berkeley mill, each load con- its position at the forefront of the industry. One key sists of 180 tons of metal, about 80 percent of to the company’s success is its use of electric arc fur- which is recycled scrap. Once charged into the naces run by production and performance manage- furnace, an intensely enormous amount of ment software provided by Wonderware, a Lake energy—1,200 volts and 160,000 amps—is Forest, Calif.-based business unit of Invensys. added, generating enough heat to melt the Software solutions from Wonderware, a leading charge. Impurities float to the top and are provider of industrial automation and information removed, leaving 165 to 170 tons of pure liquid software, empower users to improve operational effi- metal. Carbon and alloys are then added to the ciencies, product quality and plant throughput by mix to add tensile quality and produce the leveraging the plant’s existing hardware, software and required grade of steel. Once it is determined to applications to deliver a rapid return on investment be perfect, the steel is transferred to the casters, with the lowest possible system life-cycle costs. where it’s molded into sheets of thicknesses and “We live in a worldwide economy now,” says widths to meet specific customer orders. Dennis Boyd, of Nucor. “So it’s important that we Flexibility in this environment is a key challenge, stay on the leading edge of technology, both in how as equipment disruptions occur frequently and com- we control our furnaces and in how we collect data ponents must be replaced.The organization must also from them.” As supervisor of the melting area electri- be prepared to respond to rapidly changing market July 2005 9
  10. 10. “Before we got up and running with Industrial Application Server and the IndustrialSQL Server historian, it would take days to add a new piece of equipment. Now I can do that in a matter of minutes.” conditions. By providing a clear picture of what’s With the need for an advanced trending tool to happening within the process, the Wonderware help identify and eliminate problems that caused software delivers this flexibility. downtime, Nucor managers turned to InSource “One of the issues we deal with a lot is the Solutions, a Wonderware regional Value Added rapid changes we need to make,” says Mike Reseller headquartered in Richmond,Va., and asked Higgins, Level 2 Automation Engineer, Nucor for a better way to collect and trend data.The only Steel Berkeley.Throughout the implementation caveats: the new system had to work with the of the new system, Higgins was responsible for Wonderware applications the mill already had in programming the programmable logic con- place, and it had to deliver a thin client that could trollers (PLCs) and managing the supervisory withstand the extreme nature of the production floor. InSource suggested updating and building on the InTouch application already in place with Wonderware’s IndustrialSQL Server historian and Industrial Application Server. The IndustrialSQL Server real-time plant historian puts the intelligence in Wonderware’s plant intelli- gence solutions, delivering the data, both current and historical, that empowered the melt shop team to do the detailed analysis and trending to identify and eliminate the problems that cause downtime. Using Invensys’ unique ArchestrA software archi- tecture, on which the Industrial Application Server is built, Nucor was able to centralize all of the data coming out of the different furnaces in the melt shop, providing tight integration regardless of its source.The ArchestrA architecture is built on the lat- est Microsoft .Net and Windows Server technologies, and industrializes these platforms to offer a unified Using the IndustrialSQL Server real-time environment that enables the lowest integration and plant historian from Wonderware, the Nucor life-cycle costs. Steel control room gets the data needed for The Industrial Application Server provides a uni- the detailed analysis and trending to identify fied environment for visualization, plant history, and eliminate problems that cause downtime. device communications and automation application integration. Additionally, it provides a common con- control system.“Our mill is dynamic, our com- trol and analysis capability and a facility for making pany is dynamic and our shop is dynamic.We rapid changes to improve production processes. are always trying to make changes to improve Of particular value to Nucor Steel Berkeley, our process and we needed a system that would ArchestrA technology allows the use of standardized allow us to do that as quickly as possible.The less Application Objects for faster engineering.This time we spend doing programming, the more means that new equipment can be added or removed time we have for making improvements and rais- from the mix more easily than ever before. In an ing our total profits for the company.” environment such as the melting area of a steel mill, According to Higgins, the Berkeley mill has where equipment has a short life-cycle, this is of crit- relied on Wonderware’s industry-leading InTouch ical importance. supervisory control and visualization software since “Before we got up and running with Industrial it opened in 1997. But by 2002, the mill had out- Application Server and the IndustrialSQL Server his- grown the trending and analysis capabilities of the torian, it would take days to add a new piece of existing InTouch application and needed to take its equipment to the control system,” says Higgins. data collection and analysis efforts to the next level. “Now I can do that in a matter of minutes.” 10 Demand-Driven Production & Performance Management
  11. 11. immediate benefits Higgins says, “The IndustrialSQL Server historian “One of the biggest benefits we saw was the elim- is something we’ve been looking for.We’d gotten to ination of downtime,” says Boyd. A common prob- the point where we knew we needed to make lem experienced in the melting area involved errors improvements to our data collection and analysis.We in the melt process that resulted in holes being would visit other mills and we were way behind burned in the sidewalls of the furnaces or the roof what other people were doing. Now, we are light over them.These holes can be caused by a number of years ahead.We went from being the butt of the different failures, including an arc deflection, an arc spear to being the tip of the spear. flare or blowback from a co-jet, which blasts pure “Almost immediately after introducing the oxygen into the reaction to increase the temperature. IndustrialSQL Server historian, we were able to Each of these errors causes the energy that should be see rapid, immediate feedback on our data and passing through the scrap steel charge to be directed processes,” continues Higgins. “We started by at the sidewall, blasting a fissure that will take hours, collecting failure data, but over time, we have and possibly even days, to repair. been able to use that as a basis, trending those “We use sensors to track the temperatures on the failures so that now we can predict when they sides of the furnace,” adds Boyd.“We were able to (failures) will occur, and we can schedule pre- collect and track this much more accurately and ventive maintenance to minimize downtime. come up with more sophisticated control processes.” We are also able to track what happens at each Specifically, he says, this enabled Nucor to do two things.“Right off, it allowed us to alarm and shut down before we got holes.We’ve all but eliminated the occurrence of these holes since we get enough data from the system to analyze and identify trends. This has saved 2 percent to 5 percent productivity just through elimination of downtime. It has also allowed us to go to more advanced controls where, rather than shutting the furnace off, we can just volt the furnace down.That gave us a 5 percent to 10 percent gain in average voltage, which is direct- ly proportional to productivity.” Reduced downtime and increased productivity were only the start of the benefits experienced by Nucor Berkeley following the implementation.The new system has also had a dramatic impact on the quality of daily executive reporting. Prior to deploy- ing the new system, operations data was fed directly from the PLCs on the shop floor into the centralized Because the steel industry is a very harsh environment, plant-wide data control system, where a custom C- with equipment destroyed and replaced on a daily basis, coded application would retranslate it into the data- Nucor Steel implemented a system that would enable base.This meant that three disparate sets of the data changes to be made without reinventing the wheel. were required, and they weren’t always consistent. With the open .Net architecture of the step in the production process, sampling the Wonderware Industrial Application Server, Higgins steel at different stages to make sure each batch and his team were able to completely bypass the old is going to meet the grade and quality demands system and feed data directly from the InTouch con- of our customers.” trol system into the IndustrialSQL Server historian, “The steel industry is a very harsh environ- and then into the plant-wide data collection system. ment,” says Boyd. “Everything is temporary. Metrics from the day-to-day operation, such as the Nothing is permanent.We see equipment number of tons charged into each load, the tempera- destroyed and replaced on a daily basis. And we ture in the furnace and the amount of time the fur- needed a system that would enable us to make naces take to operate, are collected and analyzed each those changes without reinventing the wheel on a day to identify opportunities to improve processes. daily basis.Wonderware delivered that system, and I With the Industrial Application Server, managers are would recommend it to anybody who is looking for confident that the information they are working a way to improve their process, speed up program- from is accurate. ming changes and increase profits.” ● July 2005 11