Forward Thinking Film Manufacturer Cracks the Downtime Code With TwinThread

Forward Thinking Film Manufacturer Cracks the Downtime Code With TwinThread

Use Case
Published on March 16th, 2020
Resources

Key Facts

  • VISION: Deliver premium quality products with minimum production outages using advanced real-time analyticss
  • SOLUTION: Implement real-time predictive uptime measures to maximize line stability and minimize film breaks
  • RESULTS: 25% reduction in downtime events, teams able to analyze, understand and respond to line instability issues in real-time



Background

A progressive manufacturer of specialty film products was looking for innovative ways to increase their overall production efficiency. The company believed if they could marry in-process predictive analytics with their expert engineering and operations teams they’d be able to substantially improve operating efficiencies, specifically by reducing overall downtime. The company theorized that if they could predict downtime events during production with some advanced warning, they could adjust the manufacturing process in real-time to avoid conditions that, left unchecked, would have contributed to costly film breaks.


A Visionary Approach

The company believes in contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies, and products. In fact, innovation is one of their key corporate pillars. From a technology perspective, the company’s mission is based on the perspective that information must always flow and that each product line business must be able to deeply understand, through visualization, monitoring, and iterative analysis, how their particular key performance indicators affect the performance of their own operation and how that performance impacts overall company operation.




The Challenge

The company produces a variety of engineered plastic film products for various industrial uses - each use and customer has its own particular specifications and corresponding ideal operating line conditions.  Line instability can cause off-quality product and lead to very costly line downtime - due to scrapped product and the extended time required for line cleanup when there is a film break. Each film break can cost tens of thousands of dollars.


The Solution

As part of an overall plan to continuously optimize quality and production, the company has implemented an innovative model of partnering process engineers and operations teams working on a 24x7 basis together using real-time data and analytics as their central focus.


The manufacturer further looked to leverage predictive technologies and added TwinThread to the mix - using TwinThread’s Predictive Operations Center to pull in data from multiple disparate data sources, monitor over 400 measures of line stability and leveraging machine learning to continuously predict top potential causes of line instability and film breaks in real-time.


Predictive insights are presented to the process engineers in easy to understand displays, distilling thousands of pieces of data into just the elements needed to address the current problems. Process engineers are able to use TwinThread’s analytics to see and understand the causes of line instability and make real-time recommendations to the operations team to avoid line instability and film breaks.


The Results

The manufacturer’s forward-thinking approach has seen real results - improving overall uptime from the mid 80% level to over 90%, saving the company more than $500K annually. The marriage of TwinThread technology with the company’s innovative model of partnering process engineering with operations is delivering new benefits every day.  Currently, the company is expanding its use of TwinThread’s Predictive Operations Center across new lines and new product areas.