Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes Inc. (MCNS) Optimizes Production Through Data Utilization

MCNS Optimizes Production Through Data Utilization

Challenge

  • Maximize information gathering and connect disparate systems
  • Standardize data management process
  • Optimize processes
  • Manage utility costs

Solutions

Results

  • Reduced annual cost to 5%
  • Improved reporting
  • Manage issues onsite and proactively plan for potential issues
  • Enhance on-time delivery 5%
  • Shorten manual operation from 10 hours to 5, allowing much time for analytic process

FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI enables the smart factory

Standardization delivers technical and operational benefits, even in industries where automation has not traditionally played a key role.

Mitsui Chemicals and SKC Polyurethanes Incorporation (MCNS), an equally-owned joint venture, began operations on 2015. With a strong foundation based on each company’s experience and expertise, MCNS strives to be a leading global provider of polyurethane for varies applications, fully engaging in the industrial trends that are part of the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ or Industry 4.0.

Similar to other chemical sites, producing polyurethanes for slabs, molds and cases requires accurate and unified processes.

With the Korean government strongly driving Industry 4.0, many companies are adopting a ‘Smart Factory’ approach at every level of their operations. MCNS, after attending the Rockwell Automation  ‘Smart Factory Forum ’in 2016, was inspired to take action.

Performance dashboard with key performance and other factors affecting production: downtime, cycle time and scrap rate.

Challenge

The major challenge for MCNS was its ability to maximize the gathering and activation of logistic management data from other systems, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Rockwell Automation strategic partner OSIsoft’s PI System.

Multiple systems made it impossible to get a quick glance at accurate data and difficult for operators to track and monitor entire processing lines. Systems did not integrate so operators were forced to manually input statistics in daily, weekly and month reports, and worked without additional system integration. A particular challenge was manually operated drum management, which required Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).

The first goal in the MCNS roadmap for the future was the standardization of processes to extract real-time data as needed. The second was process optimization. The majority of its processing was controlled by a batch application with narrow event data collecting capabilities, limiting the ability to make real-time decisions onsite. Additionally, MCNS wanted to retain the OIS logistics management system, which includes the PI system with sensor value management.

The third priority was energy management. Whether the utility was divided by line or zone, MCNS wanted to manage motor energy usage via a single network to increase efficiency and stability.

Solution

To create the foundation for smart manufacturing and realize the value of The Connected Enterprise, MCNS selected FactoryTalk® VantagePoint® EMI for the backbone of the project.

FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI organizes, correlates and normalizes disparate data from manufacturing and production processes, as well as business systems, in a Unified Production Model (UPM). It then enables operators to organize and present information in everyday language — tailored to the user’s needs on a mobile device or desktop.

FactoryTalk VantagePoint provided:

  • Mobile capabilities, enabling frictionless productivity by providing out-of-the-box, web-enabled content browsing and display creation.
  • Database integration, providing up-to-date reports formerly assembled manually from multiple sources. Through integrated access to data previously buried in production control systems, operators could generate reports and dashboards without wasting time learning complicated tools and programming languages. As operators recognize opportunities for insight and improvement, they can drill down and gather more detailed information.
  • Connectivity that offers trending context using information from existing third-party historians – a capability most competitor systems cannot match. This connectivity removes much of the cost of data gathering activities by automating data collection across multiple systems and platforms. Besides gathering real-time, live data, FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI helps operators get information needed to recognize the significance of what’s happening at the moment against the background of the data over time.
  • Powerful reporting components, including some of the most powerful reporting components in the industry. Operators can create the exact report they want and publish it with a simple click of the mouse. The objects are immediately part of the model and accessible via web browser and user permission. Operators may view the reports directly or via the FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI portal.
  • Trending and plotting with two of the most versatile and powerful applications in the world. With drag-and-drop simplicity, operators can drop simple tags or complete objects onto the plot. Change time periods, stack traces, and switch between historian and real-time data.

Result

The successful adoption of FactoryTalk VantagePoint software means MCNS data is easily translated and simplified to offer actionable information, helping to reduce and control costs within the standardized process.

The estimated financial savings increased to roughly 5% annually with the improved reporting provided through the FactoryTalk solution. “The best thing about FactoryTalk VantagePoint EMI is that I know if data is anywhere in our systems, I can easily find it and then use it to make real-time, informed decisions,” said Joong Ho Lee, Team Leader from MCNS. The MCNS team can monitor and analyze data pulled from the MCNS system and respond directly to solve the issues on site.

The success of this project is a result of the long-term effort between Rockwell Automation Sales and MCNS. Six teams were involved in the prior interviews for two days which included major steps based on ‘The Connected Enterprise Maturity’ model. Beginning with the first step for Assessment and the third step of defining and organizing the company’s Working Data Capital (WDC) was very beneficial of final achievement.

The results mentioned above are specific to MCNS use of Rockwell Automation products and services in conjunction with other products. Specific results may vary for other customers.
FactoryTalk VantagePoint and Rockwell Automation are trademarks of Rockwell Automation Inc.

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