The proverb to err is human simply shows that humans bound to make mistakes. For industries,mistakes caused by humans often comes with a cost – lower productivity. In a bid to enhance productivity and cost efficiency, manufacturers around the world have been embracing automation of processes which gave rise to smart factories.
Sharing the same sentiment Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, started its digital transformation journey for its Batam, Indonesian factory in 2017. Schneider, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is at the forefront in taking organisations in Asia on their first step towards Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The Batam factory which started operations back in August 1991 at Batamindo Industrial Park, runs three plants producing Electromechanic, Electronic and Sensor products catering for the local market, Europe and Asia Pacific. The three plants are certified with international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 50001.
The smart factory, which covers an area of 10,450m2 and employs some 242 workers, doubles up as both a working factory and a showcase for customers and partners to witness how digital transformation can help them make informed, data-driven decisions that bring about improved profitability, asset management performance, operational efficiency and a smarter productive workforce while keeping operations secure, agile and environmentally sustainable.
It (the smart factory) utilises Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform, named EcoStruxure solutions . These solutions include EcoStruxure™ Machine, EcoStruxure™ Power and EcoStruxure™ Building. EcoStruxure™ provides more value in terms of security, reliability, efficiency, durability and connectivity. EcoStruxure™ leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics and cybersecurity technologies to deliver ‘Innovation At Every Level’, from connected products to analytics and application services, through edge controls.
Batam factory’s implementation of the EcoStruxure™ solutions has led to between 5 percent and 7 percent energy efficiency, reduction of production scrap by 46 percent and increased productivity by about 17 percent.
Xavier Denoly, Country President Schneider Electric Indonesia said, ”We strongly believe in the value of smart factories and ensure our own factories are equipped with the latest IIoT technologies to spearhead the new Industry 4.0 era. Our smart factory in Batam is a test bed for machine learning, AI, predictive and digital maintenance, connected machines and processes. The integration of big data, cloud and IIoT technology will pave the way for organisations in Asia to work towards their smart factory vision, becoming more energy efficient and sustainable in the long term.”
“Empowering local competencies and nurturing talents are also key success factors in Batam factory’s digital transformation. Schneider Electric team in Batam has successfully designed, developed, tested and deployed several digital solutions across the company’s global manufacturing network. Moreover Since 2017, Schneider Electric has provided vocational students and Batam Polytechnic students opportunities to participate in developing Batam’s Smart Factory applications through its Digital Internship Program.” added Xavier.
In Batam, Schneider Electric employs 2,900 people across its network of plants where they manufacture a wide range of products which are distributed globally. Schneider’s Product Electromechanic Plant has an area of 10,300m2 and more than 1,000 employees. It produces about 4,000 types of electromechanical equipment such as Contactor, MCB, Push Button, Light Pilot, Tower Light Rotation light, Voice Alarm, and Relay. As for the Product Electronic Plant, it has an area of 11,000m2, about 800 employees and produces about 2,500 types of electronic equipment such as Variable Speed Drives, HMI panels, and Electronic relays. Last but not least is the Sensors Plant with an area of 10,300m2, about 700 employees and produces about 3,000 types of Sensor equipment such as Inductive sensors, Photoelectric Sensors and limit switches.
Sirichai Chongchintaraksa, VP Supply Chain Performance East Asia Japan Pacific Schneider Electric said: “We understand that it is not easy for organizations to take the first step towards IIoT. However, our Batam smart factory can serve as best practice and example of the benefits of digitising energy management and automation in manufacturing industry and help organisations to get started on their digitisation journey”.
According to Sirichai:
- Digital transformation empowers real-time tracking of operations performance from shop floor to top floor — gaining visibility on machine performance, preventive maintenance needs, process quality control compliance, process drifts, energy management and most activities you can find in a manufacturing shop floor.
- All employees in our factories benefit from this digitalization as they have more time to focus towards the strategic tasks that support the company’s growth, increase productivity and better decision making based on real-time data analysts and improve working conditions.
- The return on investment of such technologies vary from less than 6 months up to 2 years; to give one specific example the Return On Investment of the deployment of EcoStruxure™ for one of our electromechanical production line was less than 6 months thanks to 46% wasted material reduction and maintenance manhours decreased up to 17% and it took us less than a month to implement it.
Schneider Electric has been a working partner of the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia for the development and implementation of industry 4.0 since last November 2018 and Batam smart factory has just received an award from Ministry of Industry of Republic Indonesia as “A National Lighthouse for Indonesia”.