11 Jun 2023

Internet of Things

AkzoNobel Enters the Digital Future

Chances are high that you’re sitting just a few feet away from an AkzoNobel product right now. As a global leader in paints and coatings, the company has long been in the business of innovation and creativity and remains an industry pioneer to this day. Recently, Inimco, a PA company, worked with AkzoNobel to create a modern, digital solution to solve the problems created by manual processes.

Digitalization is the way of the future. Manufacturers around the world are leaving behind manual processes and embracing digitalization. This increases accuracy, reduces labor time, and improves the bottom line for everyone involved. Learn how one of the world’s leaders in paints and coatings worked with Inimco to do all of that and more.

Introducing AkzoNobel

Chances are high that you’re sitting just a few feet away from an AkzoNobel product right now. As a global leader in paints and coatings, the company has long been in the business of innovation and creativity – for over 200 years. In fact, AkzoNobel is a global pioneer in coatings across a broad spectrum of industries and purposes, including automotive, industrial, marine, decorative, powder coatings, and much, much more. When they approached the Inimco team in search of a modern-day update to their existing OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) process, an exceptional partnership began.

Watch the video on AkzoNobel's Performance Portal here

The dilemma with manual systems

Until recently, AkzoNobel had been utilizing a variety of OEE measurement processes. This sometimes meant that each individual equipment operator would physically handwrite every single problem they encountered.

Later on, another employee would then type out those notes into a computer and upload them into the system. For AkzoNobel, this process meant that all data was very uncertain (due to issues like typos or miscommunications) and the data that was entered into the system couldn’t be viewed for more than a week after a problem occurred. This led to delays, as well as incorrect information being entered into the system. The company couldn’t optimize performance and capabilities without the correct info available to them.

Solving the problem in the cloud

In order to eliminate these problems, it became abundantly clear that AkzoNobel needed a solution that met a few key criteria. The solution would need to be flexible, scalable, and automated so that it could digitalize all of the company’s OEE measurement processes. To accomplish each of these requirements with one comprehensive solution, they collaborated with Inimco to introduce the AkzoNobel Performance Portal, a cloud-based IoT platform based on Microsoft Azure.

A major benefit of the Performance Portal over its predecessor is that it allows the company to analyze data from any given day less than 24 hours after the fact, meaning the operating team quickly knows when and where they can implement improvements on a global scale. In fact, Steve Warren, AkzoNobel’s Director of Continuous Improvement, says that with the Performance Portal “the operating team can immediately call up the level of OEE performance, but also importantly the losses that we see and where they need to focus their improvement activities.”

Boosting performance through digitalization

Since the implementation of the Performance Portal, AkzoNobel has seen many improvements. It has been put into action in over 50 plants around the world, covering more than 500 different production lines with use from 800+ global operators. "We are really committed with OEE and we knew that we wanted to have a platform that was centralized and that could be very easily deployed to many plants. And, definitely, that's what Inimco was providing us with Performance Portal," states José Manuel Galdón Garre, Digital Manufacturing Manager with the company.

Not only does this save quite a bit of labor for AkzoNobel, but it also provides an effective overview of how well different equipment, processes, and investments are working. Better yet, the IoT platform underneath Performance Portal will make it simple for future data integration across a broad spectrum of areas. Since its activation, AkzoNobel has been able to conduct a new 12-week OEE Accelerator program built around the Performance Portal, enabling them to boost plant performance by an average of 5 - 15% at each location and a total of approximately 17M€ direct savings so far.

An IoT solution developed by Inimco

The AkzoNobel Performance Portal was developed by Inimco on Microsoft Azure technology and tailored for AkzoNobel. The Performance Portal offers numerous advantages to AkzoNobel’s team. It works by capturing information collected at the plant level, pushing that data into the cloud, and then combining it with any other information uploaded by individual operators, the SAP, or any other company system.

Other companies have the opportunity to digitize their production through PA Facts. PA Facts is a groundbreaking IoT solution, developed by the PA company Inimco on Microsoft Azure technology. It integrates data from all sources, connects different systems, and contextualizes production data. PA Facts makes use of existing IT and OT systems to connect physical manufacturing with the IT world. Companies using PA Facts could significantly increase their effectiveness and efficiency through digitalization.

Are you interested to watch this solution in action. Watch the video on AkzoNobel's Performance Portal here

Do you want to boost your own OEE? Contact sales@inimco.com