Multi-mill, Multi-level Transformation
Among the earliest digital solutions Norbord rolled out in the pilot mill was the FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices industrial information appliance. It takes in device health information and evaluates and alerts user groups about specific events.
The appliance can pick up on subtle shifts in device health state that a worker may not notice but that could be a precursor to a bigger problem. This will help the mill transition from reactive to more predictive or condition-driven maintenance.
The appliance was integrated into the overall system to help leverage the device health information in a way that related to process information, extending notifications and integrated automated work order creation to act.
“Rather than you trying to keep up with your process by looking at 12 screens and waiting for some light to go off, the whole process can tell you if something shifts,” Schubert said. “And the system will know who actually needs to have that information, and it will notify the right user group by messages on mobile devices.”
While the pilot mill is improving efficiency and productivity by simplifying how equipment is monitored, and using better data to make smarter decisions, implementation across mills requires upgrading infrastructure, analytics systems, software and remote operations.
“In addition to generating a lot of data, we have custom systems that are harder to support and can’t sustain the growth of our organization in the need for data, and processing of that data,” said Schubert. “We looked for opportunities to improve efficiency and we realized that we needed to look at the entire process, across all of the mills, not just manufacturing.”
Early returns on the pilot mill show significant improvements in every workstream: improved OEE and uptime, fewer quality-related issues, and a better picture of the cost and recipe structure for products.
Digital transformation requires employees to adapt to new and unfamiliar technology – something they are doing with support from Rockwell Automation.
“We are leveraging the capabilities of Rockwell Automation, their partners and their innovative and dedicated team to constantly look for new and better solutions, and technologies that give us a modern, people focused approach to data, control and reporting,” explained Schubert.
“We found groups within Rockwell Automation with vast experience in designing dashboards with our employees in mind,” he added. “We needed something both an operator and a mill manager could use that makes the information more reliable and relatable, and we appreciate that the approach has always prioritized the needs of our employees.”
FactoryTalk InnovationSuite and a single-pane-of-glass approach brings everything together – the data from OEE, MES, MPC and RCA – in a way operators and mill managers need to see it so they can use it.