2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards Gold Winner - Rockwell Automation
Company: Rockwell Automation, Singapore
Category: Award for Excellence in Innovation in Manufacturing Industries
Entry Title: Rockwell Automation Asia Pacific Business Centre (APBC) Achieves Optimal Performance and Profitability through Deploying the Connected Enterprise
Smart Manufacturing and The Connected Enterprise Are Game Changers
Smart manufacturing originated when plant-floor operations technology (OT) converged with enterprise-based information technology (IT), leveraged over a standard, protected EtherNet/IP infrastructure. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) is now facilitating network-enabled machines, controllers, sensors and actuators to collect, analyse and share real-time data between devices and individuals. Concurrently, rapid technology evolution has launched smart assets, scalable computing, the cloud, mobility, data analytics and cybersecurity as new-found platforms to harness and protect up-to-the-minute insights throughout organisations and their supply chains.
Rockwell Automation (RA), the world’s largest firm dedicated to industrial power, control and information automation solutions for smart, safe and sustainable operations, penned ‘The Connected Enterprise’ (CE) to describe unified companies sharing factory knowledge seamlessly with executive teams. Consequently, these firms are experiencing a range of benefits including expedited time to market, lowered total cost of ownership, enhanced asset utilisation, minimised corporate-risk management and advanced workforce efficiency.
APBC Completes Its CE Journey with Accolades and Tangible Results
After years of restructuring its facilities, processes and ecosystem, RA has now completed its companywide CE journey – including the deployment at its Singapore-based design, engineering, R&D, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics and quality-control facility, the Asia Pacific Business Centre (APBC) – resulting in prestigious regional and global accolades. Meanwhile, RA pioneered a five-stage CE Execution Model featuring steps and best practices to aid customers in changing necessary technologies and organisational behaviours across their value chains to reach CE status and gain the resulting economic advantages.
Established in 2005, APBC currently employs over 500 employees and produces more than 600 built-to-stock SKUs annually in its 139,000-square-foot facility. Prior to executing CE, the centre was challenged with manual reporting from countless data points, records, devices and sites. Divergent networks lacked a common, standard and secure industrial protocol, resulting in ineffective process management, inaccuracies, delays and lack of integration between shop-floor operations and enterprise teams. To expand market share and remain competitive, APBC was pressured to simplify complexities and abolish inefficiencies by shortening customer response time, enhancing ERP systems, optimising MES reports, improving supply-chain execution, and promoting collaboration amongst executives, engineers, vendors and customers.
To distribute meaningful knowledge instantaneously and securely via the global ecosystem, APBC initiated its CE journey by developing a detailed strategy to create process and system consistencies and ensure all stakeholders understood the expected quantitative goals and actionable benchmarks. APBC adopted the global, common and open EtherNet/IP network infrastructure designed with future-proof, multi-layered security – which serves as the foundation for CE to deliver ubiquitous insights from an unlimited number of collection points for greater flexibility and connectivity across people, policies and procedures.
With this integrated infrastructure in place, APBC is converging its industrial assets – including materials, equipment, testers, controllers, scanners, printers and label services – and interconnecting them with shop-floor personnel and corporate staff worldwide managing ERP, financial, HR, logistics, quality, safety, compliance and warehouse functions.
Today, with CE, RA executives worldwide can access APBC plant reports, compare performance, and share best practices anytime and anywhere through a safeguarded network for diminished engineering, better-informed decisions and higher profitability. Operator and supervisor KPI dashboards are running computation-based analytics to monitor quality, productivity, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), chip placement per hour (CPH), and machinery downtime. In real- time, they are comparing web-based, historical-production information to boost achievements and continuous-improvement opportunities.
By applying CE throughout its operations, APBC streamlined its supply chain and realised measurable results:
1. Increased productivity of 4-5%/year
2. Improved inventory from 115 to 70 days
3. Reduced lead times by 25%
4. Lessened defects to 50% in part per millions (better quality)
5. Heightened on-time delivery from the low 90s to 99%
6. Saved 20%/year in capital expenditure