In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies are faced with the challenge of responding more flexibly to rapidly changing market conditions and customer requirements.

Digital Shopfloor Management - Dynamic value stream analysis of an automated socket outlet production

In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies are faced with the challenge of reacting more flexibly to rapidly changing market conditions and customer requirements. This is reinforced by the paradigm of the VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity), in which change and unpredictability are the norm. Companies must redesign their value stream management to become more agile and rely on data analysis and artificial intelligence to predict trends and optimize decision-making processes. Traditional methods are reaching their limits, reinforcing the need for new, innovative solutions to optimize production efficiency, resource utilization and agility. These adjustments require not only technological but also cultural changes to promote innovation and agility. Companies that overcome these challenges will be better equipped to succeed in an ever-changing business world.

The challenge

Day-to-day business vs. value-adding tasks

Our client from the manufacturing sector was faced with several complex tasks. In the rapidly changing business environment, it is difficult to find the right focus, as the time required to maintain day-to-day operations often exceeds the focus time for value-adding core activities. Time-consuming manual tasks and inefficient processes tie up valuable resources. This leads to unpredictable bottlenecks, extended throughput times and inefficient use of resources. Conventional approaches to value stream management, based on static production processes, were unable to map the dynamics of these new requirements. How can these challenges be best addressed with the help of dynamic value stream management to ensure high productivity?

Strong dynamics and high complexity in production can lead to various problems if the fluctuations are unpredictable and therefore difficult to control. Unavailable parts and a rigid control concept contribute to unexpected disruptions, performance drops and quality losses. At the same time, companies are confronted with fluctuating customer demand, which can lead to unexpected output losses if production capacities are not flexible enough to be adjusted accordingly. High costs for data procurement and existing information silos often stand in the way of efficient analysis of value creation. Different systems existing in a company require different types of interfaces to provide data.

The solution

Real-time transparency through dynamic value stream analysis

To meet these challenges, we at evosoft, together with our partner IPS engineers, use the dynamic value stream analysis tool, which enables our customers to visualize the entire production chain and immediately identify weak points such as rigid control processes, quality losses or unexpected disruptions. Dynamic means that key figures are real-time based and the user can navigate through the entire value stream. The resulting real-time transparency enables companies to develop more agile processes in order to react to fluctuating customer demand or unexpected output losses.

The first step was comprehensive data integration and analysis, whereby real-time data was collected from all areas of the production environment. This includes machine statuses, material flows, throughput times and inventory levels. Advanced and customized data analysis tools were used to identify bottlenecks and detect patterns in production processes.

Sensors and IoT devices were placed at machines and workstations to continuously collect relevant data. Automated control loops then adjust production processes in real time to avoid bottlenecks and maintain an optimal flow. This enables real-time monitoring and control as well as continuous monitoring of all production processes via a central dashboard. Thanks to our broad digital store floor offering, our partner was able to incorporate its lean manufacturing business logic (e.g. individual KPIs) into the solution.

The result

Increase production output by up to 15 % and reduce production costs by up to 18 %

Together with IPS engineers, we developed the dynamic value stream mapping solution in co-creation and were able to bring transparency to our customer’s automated socket production by implementing it. By using reusable software modules on the basis of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the dynamic value stream mapping software solution can also be integrated at other customers with only minor adjustments, which underlines its broad applicability. After the implementation, our customer recorded impressive results: By using our value stream mapping, several value stream and detail diagrams could be generated from the digital twin. With the help of this analysis, the stabilization of production processes, the reduction of inventories and throughput times as well as a detailed identification and forecasting of dynamic bottlenecks through real-time transparency were achieved.

This enables an overall increase in production output of 8 – 15 % and a reduction in production costs of 12 – 18 % for our customer. Thanks to the chosen IT architecture, in particular the flexible KPI engine, the efficiency gains can be easily rolled out to other production areas of the customer. In this case, our software solution is not only an operational game changer, but also a strategic one: as SMEs, all companies involved were able to adapt quickly, implement solutions rapidly and respond directly to feedback. In a dynamic, highly competitive industry, this makes us a valuable partner for quickly gaining a competitive advantage.

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