24 Feb 2021

Internet of Things

Corbeo: Complete Production Visibility For Higher Efficiency

Corbeo is a company that specializes in ropes, twines, chains, and accessories for DIY retailers. Previously targeting distributors and importers, as well as manufacturing twines, Corbeo also imports semi-finished products, and operates as a distributor and wholesaler in Benelux, France, and Germany.

Wilfried Baeten, Corbeo’s CEO, has been with the company for six years and has managed to change a lot in that time. For one, he has successfully improved the value add from 5% to 40% and is now working wholeheartedly towards domestic production and material.

However, given that ropemaking is one of the world's oldest industries, Corbeo’s machines aren’t the most modern. However, Wilfried’s team wanted to improve efficiencies by getting a complete data overview, and turned to Inimco to develop a new solution to increase internal manufacturing.

Bringing The Future Into Older Machines

When Wilfried’s team acquired Corbeo six years ago, they had plenty of well-established, reliable machines. But as time went by, capacity bottlenecks started rearing their head. The team needed a better way to plan production and to optimise capacity. To achieve this, they needed better insight from their machines.

Corbeo needed to know if machine downtime corresponded to their planned outages – but it wasn’t an easy thing to detect using the older machines. With some being purely mechanical and upwards of two decades old, the greatest difficulty was implementing a counter – which sounds like a simpler task than the reality proved!

With some of the machines developed to just wind bobbins, having a counter which accurately measured produced units seemed like a great challenge for Corbeo – especially considering their operators still manually count each batch.

A 30% Increase In Machine Output

Inimco’s first step was connecting Corbeo’s machines to Werma technology – red, yellow, and green lamps that collect data in a sample database, which Inimco put a dashboard on top of.

This technology gives Corbeo insight into their machines' production availability. For example, an 8-hour shift could be productive for just 6 hours. The machine might be on standby for one hour and completely shut down another.

With Inimco's solution collecting all of the machine information and registering it for reporting to Inimco.facts, Corbeo can now effectively detect why some bottlenecked machines were only 35% productive; and understand precisely why that was the case.

It turns out there were physical settings inside the machines that were measuring output. After discovering the bottleneck, all they had to do was make small changes to the machines, which in turn increased machine output to 65% — a huge win for Corbeo.

They can now make more units per hour, decrease delivery times, and prevent back orders – literally by gathering the right data and flicking the right switch. With the new data and insight, they have a clear link between production order and items, and can now easily determine Operational Machine Efficiency.

Bringing Production Back To Europe

Corbeo is now looking ahead and developing even more solutions with Inimco. They can now run machines during the evening hours, and are able to monitor them remotely – even without management on-site, something unheard of before.

They’re also working towards a new strategic company – bringing all production back to Europe, they now have a great starting point. With Inimco, they can now manufacture at the same cost level as items produced and imported from China; which is of great benefit for purchasers in terms of managing stock and improving sustainability.

However. Corbeo needs to remain very competitive – which will only work if the production is thoroughly optimised.

From having nothing to having an advanced dashboard with complete visibility of production, with the help of Inimco – the future is bright for Corbeo.

Want to discover your production bottlenecks? Contact Inimco today, and we'll show you how.