SKF drives OEE improvement through mobile worker assistance solution
Case study: SKF

SKF, one of the world’s leading bearings and seals manufacturer, is investing heavily in digitizing its manufacturing operations to increase efficiency, flexibility, and quality. SKF is already driving machine connectivity and intelligence and now increases efforts to digitize their shop-floor workforce. Together with Nordcloud, a fastly growing Finish IT-service provider, SKF seeks to build smart, digital assistance systems using the Actyx platform to enable data-driven decision making, reduce administrative effort, and generally increase the effectiveness of its shop-floor workers.

The challenge

Machine operators are responsible for monitoring and operating several machines, detecting interruptions, and repairing machines when needed. Detecting machine downtimes or drops in machine performance is challenging for operators without the help of digital assistants. Interruptions are only detected when operators are in range of sight of the machines, and performance drops are often detected when they already happened instead of having information pre-actively available at the shop floor to prevent the efficiency drop.

SKF identified a specific area in one of their factories, where a mobile worker assistance solution would have a large impact. There, machine data is already centrally collected on a server in the local data center, though, not yet made accessible for shop-floor operators. Building a mobile assistant system for workers with access to historic and real-time machine data is challenging in an industrial setting with large amounts of data and high requirements regarding performance and reliability.

Assisting workers with mobile App

Nordcloud implemented and installed a solution on the Actyx platform consisting of a smartphone app and different machine connectors for the defined production area. Workers can now quickly identify machine interruptions and performance problems, and coordinate improvement measures with their colleagues. Operators are able to access historic and real-time information on machine downtimes, machine error codes, and OEE data via the smartphone application. Operators receive push notifications in case of machine incidents and are able to log additional context information. This provides valuable data for analytics purposes like supervised machine learning and create a better understanding of shop-floor operations. Additionally, workers can create and manage tasks to initiate repair or maintenance work and thus effectively coordinate work with other team members. Relevant stakeholders in other teams are immediately informed and required work conducted more effectively.

The numbers say it all

Jens Greiner, Global Manager Digital Solutions of SKF, says the project was a great success: “We were really happy how fast we got a solution running in the factory.” Project leader Csaba Mézes of Nordcloud added: “We thought that this would take several weeks, but thanks to the Actyx platform we got it done in only a few days.”

  • Application development completed within 3 weeks
  • Solution installed within less than 1 week
  • High approval rates of shop floor operators

Requirements

  • Intuitive user-experience to assistant workers in their daily work
  • Seamlessly integration in production machines
  • Very robust and reliable system in an industrial setting

Results

  • Intuitive user-experience to assistant workers in their daily work
  • Seamlessly integration in production machines
  • Very robust and reliable system in an industrial setting

SKF

SKF is the world’s largest bearing and seal manufacturing company founded in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1907. The company manufactures and supplies high-quality bearings, seals, lubrication and lubrication systems, maintenance products, mechatronics products, power transmission products, condition monitoring systems. It employs 44’000 people in 108 manufacturing units around the globe.

Nordcloud

Nordcloud is a fast-moving IT-services provider offering fully integrated edge, cloud, or edge-cloud solutions. From project-specific implementation and integration services to managed services in the cloud, Nordcloud helps you accelerate time to market, maximize cost savings, and realize your growth ambitions. It employs over 600 people in offices all around Europe. Visit our partner page for more information.

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