The best visibility and latency in the production line.
BeijingWest Industries (BWI Group)
- Agile planning thanks to real-time data
- Fast implementation and easy integration of all the necessary data sources
- Higher employee motivation
Time to value
BWI Group is a premier automotive parts supplier that designs and manufactures brake and suspension products for the global transportation market. What is now known as BWI Group began over 100 years ago and has grown to include 1,000 engineers, designers and technicians that produce engineering solutions for customers such as Ford, BMW, Honda, Volvo, Cadillac, Mini and Chevy.
Take the numbers to the people.
At BWI Group’s production facility in Greenfield, Indiana, management and employees had to wait 24 hours to analyze and discuss assembly-line output numbers from the previous day. This latency prevented the team from quickly identifying and responding to the inevitable production issues in an agile manner. According to Jordan Marlin, the Greenfield plant’s operational technical engineering manager,
“We needed a way to get real-time numbers out to our team, as soon as possible.”
BWI’s legacy business intelligence platform didn’t provide the crucial real-time updates that were needed, with cloud refresh latencies of eight minutes and local refresh latencies of 15 minutes. Further, this legacy platform provided rudimentary interactivity and required an expensive on-premises license. Compounding matters, dashboards in BWI’s existing Manufacturing Execution System (MES) were not flexible enough. Vital interactive inputs, such as number of shifts, shift duration, and breaks could not be integrated, making it impossible for BWI to have full visibility into its manufacturing processes.
“Management had no way of knowing the current status of the production lines”, continued Jordan.
It only took minutes with Peakboard.
What BWI Group needed was a real-time visualization solution that was able to seamlessly connect and integrate with all its hardware and software platforms, from its legacy technology providers. BWI’s system architecture was typically complex on the production floor, with multiple machine controllers and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) upstreaming data to an OPC UA server. The resulting challenges included loading and integrating data from this highly fractured IT environment, in real-time, and doing so without the need of consultancy services.
BWI’s answer began with a trial of a single Peakboard Box. The trial required only minutes to load the data and deploy, with the benefits immediate.
“With these results, everybody wanted Peakboard on their station,” says Jordan Marlin.
Today, the Greenfield plant has 17 Peakboard Boxes in production use. Installed on every station of the suspension production line, Peakboard now provides fully integrated data visibility with real-time updates every ten seconds. These visualizations show key performance indicators such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), cycle times, and hourly production numbers, including good parts and rejected parts. Team effectiveness – daily shifts with the current week, best hour and best shift data – is also displayed.
More, Better, Faster.
Peakboard enables BWI to drive bottom line impact by optimizing its manufacturing processes. Importantly, broad deployment of Peakboard Boxes has enabled BWI to gain visibility into its production line, and, crucially, to deliver that visibility from top to bottom across the organization. These insights were not possible under BWI’s existing legacy business intelligence platforms.
“Peakboard has enabled us to do real-time incentives,” says Jordan Marlin. “Going home early when we’ve achieved our production goals. Peakboard has been so well received by our operators. They love to see its display.”
Peakboard’s solution for BWI was both cost-effective and quick to deploy. By integrating and interpreting data from heterogeneous systems on a real-time basis, Peakboard has allowed BWI to eliminate friction from its processes, helping the company toward its goal of zero-error manufacturing.
“We want more!”
The success of the Peakboard solution at BWI is leading to aggressive expansion of its use within the company. This expansion includes additional Peakboard product functionality being deployed, including Advanced Charts, as well as expansion into new application areas and geographies. Because of the value shown by Peakboard on the manufacturing floor, BWI is now expanding the product’s use to its logistics operations in warehousing and trucking, as well as expanding Peakboard’s use to BWI’s facilities in Mexico.
“We’re seeing higher output and higher quality. We’re seeing better employee motivation. This was our big ‘Aha!’ moment.”
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