Python Machine Learning EngineerMarch 20, 2021
Case Study: Manufacturing Excellence at Nobian with Short Interval ControlMay 11, 2021
Cyzag and Nouryon have worked together to transform the engagement of operators making major steps towards Manufacturing Excellence by using an agile approach and putting plant operators at the heart of their program.
At the sites where Cypher.team has been installed:
- Operator engagement has substantially increased (see Fig.1)
- Transfer of decision making to the shop floor – operators took over root cause problem-solving
- Overall increased knowledge and visibility of process efficiency for the operators
- Operational excellence processes are being adhered to
- Operators were able to prevent losses before they happened
“Return on investment has proven to be well within requirements of the company”
Within 6 months of the pilot being complete, Cypher.team had been rolled-out to 23 Nouryon plants, with an ongoing initiative to deploy globally.
Fig. 1 – Operator engagement increases 4 fold compared to legacy systems
In industry, software functionality and tools are often not defined with users in mind. Instead there is a high level of focus on technology, platforms and system architecture rather than people. We found a clear example of this while implementing our Cypher.team Manufacturing Excellence suite at global specialty chemicals leader Nouryon.
In a combined initiative, Nouryon and Cyzag set out to understand and increase process operator engagement by implementing the Cypher.team Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) tool. While the existing system was functionally capable, it was missing the necessary contextual information that would help operators perform their tasks more efficiently. Several pitfalls in the old tool were identified:
- The data structures created, while theoretically sound, were challenging for a user to understand.
- Users needed to use multiple tools to collate the data to perform one action.
- The context of the manufacturing process did not exist in the current tool.
- Users did not see the value in using the tool or in the underlying operational excellence processes.
A pilot project was set up to address these issues. The underlying philosophy was to develop a tool for users that:
- Was intuitive (i.e. did not need an associated training program/budget)
- Enabled operators to identify and track production issues, with all information in one place.
- Ensured the integrity of the data being produced.
- Would be easy to install at a new site.
Modern manufacturing facilities are already data rich environments and there are multiple data visualisation concepts that operators are familiar with – it became apparent early on, at Nouryon, that a shortcut to a successful outcome would be to not stray away from these familiar concepts.
Our pilot project used a more incisive approach, where design thinking principles were employed to identify true user requirements and to build a user-centric tool .
Cyzag developed and implemented the OEE tool at Nouryon in a pilot phase which took just 2½ months from start to proof of value. The OEE tool is a part of the Cypher.team Manufacturing Excellence suite that transforms your operations through user engagement.
Fig. 2 – Cypher.team screenshot
Cyzag’s approach is to incorporate design-thinking at the core of helping all our clients achieve their business and manufacturing goals. In this instance, the approach of focusing on users in the process yielded benefits that will allow Nouryon to springboard towards their goal of operational excellence.
This case study shows how powerful user-centric tools, like Cypher.team, can deliver results in terms of Manufacturing Excellence, avoiding losses and making major savings. However, it also clearly demonstrates the importance of putting users at the centre of digitisation and how operator engagement can transform operational performance. Finally, major performance improvements do not need lengthy, expensive digitisation programs. By selecting parts of the operation where there are opportunities, using an agile approach and vendors, results can be delivered in weeks with exceptional return on investment.
By providing the critical contextual data and the environment to collaborate, Cyzag Whiteboard encourages Short Interval Control to drive production improvements. In this specific case using Cyzag Whiteboard helped operators identify a significant overconsumption and in doing so helped avoid losses equivalent to €980k/year.
Want to learn how Cyzag’s platform can work for your manufacturing plant?