Customer Case Studies
Mobile Data Supports Mohawk’s “Information Everywhere” Initiative for Real-Time View Across the Enterprise
In recent years, Mohawk has had a series of acquisitions, direct-to-consumer initiatives and expansion into new product lines that caused an explosion in their finished product offering – from about 5,000 products in 2005 to about 35,000 products today. At the same time, customer demands for quality and flexibility have continued to increase. Mohawk is constantly trying to operate with shorter service times so that orders taken today can be in customers’ hands tomorrow.
Ben Whitaker, Senior IT Manager
Mohawk Fine Papers
The ‘Information Everywhere’ initiative at Mohawk Papers is a framework for delivering information from any source to any system or user that requires it in order to make effective decisions. Visual KPI is the mobility, web, and data visualization component of the initiative, providing senior managers with visibility into operational data on smartphones and PCs. Combined displays of business data (from the ERP system), production data (from the manufacturing execution systems) and process data (from the machine systems) deliver a real-time view of what is happening across the enterprise.
Visual KPI delivers enterprise information to users wherever they are on any device, enabling them to track KPIs like production performance and energy consumption in real-time. By monitoring information from all processes – like scheduling, inventory, production and control systems, order entry, purchasing and accounting – Mohawk ensures the entire enterprise is constantly aligned and focused on key orders, priority requirements, last-minute changes, and what is happening on the mill floor. This allows Mohawk to respond rapidly to customers’ ever-changing requirements and market changes – all in days and not weeks.
Results with Visual KPI
- Improves decision making in manufacturing and maintenance processes
- Improves responsiveness to customer requirements and manufacturing issues with real-time access to machine, production and order status
- More efficient energy consumption
- Saves money and resources by enabling users to proactively respond to issues
About Mohawk Fine Papers
Known for innovation, service, and quality, Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. (www.mohawkpaper.com) is the largest premium paper manufacturer in North America. Mohawk is also respected in the industry for its high environmental standards and sustainable practices. The company operates three mills (six paper machines) with more than 175,000 tons capacity. Four distribution centers are strategically located to deliver superior service to the major printing markets in North America and a warehouse in the Netherlands was opened in 2009 to serve the growing European market. Today Mohawk papers are distributed in over 50 countries worldwide. Independently owned Mohawk is headquartered in Cohoes, New York.
Real-Time Mobile Access to OSIsoft PI for Process, Production, Maintenance and Compliance Information
“With Visual KPI, real-time information about our plants is only one touch away on the iPhone. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Visual KPI has to offer. It has huge potential to help us improve operational efficiency at our plants.”
François Léonard, Manager,
Automation & Control
Lehigh Hanson (Essroc/HeidelbergCement)
Essroc, a leading cement manufacturer that is now owned by Lehigh Hanson and part of the Heidelberg Cement Group, has eight plants in North America, all of which have a data historian (OSIsoft PI System) that is critical for tracking plant data. However, their PI data and other sources were not easily accessible to supervisors, managers, and executives. Essroc needed a front-end visualization solution to give executives access to process, production, maintenance and compliance dashboards in real-time directly from their phones and other mobile devices.
Essroc selected Visual KPI because it was real-time, obvious, easy to deploy and manage, and could aggregate multiple data sources on-the-fly without moving the data (no big project). Visual KPI’s lightweight analytics aggregate operational data from existing IT systems, including the OSIsoft PI System data historian and Essroc’s Lab Management System (LMS). It offers a real-time snapshot of manufacturing performance, including bearing temperatures, equipment failure and overall production levels of the company. Additionally, the software delivers key performance indicators (KPIs), dashboards and alerts for users to track the status of the company’s eight PI servers and other data sources without moving any data.
Results with Visual KPI
- Real-time monitoring of manufacturing performance with KPIs for improved operational efficiency
- Flexible and obvious solution enables implementation of dashboard changes and modifications in a matter of minutes
- Self-service analytics and ad-hoc reporting without the need for training, so management, executives and others can create reports without impacting analysts or relying on static reports
- 24/7 troubleshooting and alerting ensures immediate response to critical conditions
About Lehigh Hanson
Lehigh Hanson is a leading North American cement producer with over 6.5 million metric tons of annual capacity. The company operates production facilities strategically located throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. They are linked through an integrated supply network connecting all Essroc plants, terminals and markets. Lehigh Hanson, headquartered in Irving, Texas, is a member of the Heidelberg Cement Group. HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials with leading market positions in aggregates, cement and ready-mixed concrete. The company employs some 57,000 people at more than 3,000 locations in around 60 countries. https://www.heidelbergcement.com/
Monitoring and Managing Key Performance Metrics from Mobile Devices
New! Watch the Exelon Video Case Study with OSIsoft
Exelon Generation (formerly Constellation Energy) has a wealth of real-time operations data in their existing IT systems, but wanted to expand “anywhere access” to data, scorecards and trends for all levels of management. The Fortune 500 utility deployed Visual KPI in their central Performance Management and Diagnostics center so that users could monitor and manage key metrics – such as operations, predictive maintenance engineering, vibration analysis, emissions tracking and daily reports – from their PDAs and SmartPhones.
“The most critical business activities in the utilities industry, like decreasing environmental emissions or reducing outages, depend on having immediate access to pertinent operations data. By allowing us to repurpose existing data across the entire organization, Visual KPI has become a valuable business analytics tool that’s an extension of the control room. When members of the executive staff check Visual KPI before doing anything else in the morning, you know it’s a must have tool!”
Steve Noel, Director of IT
Visual KPI’s lightweight analytics aggregate data from Constellation’s existing IT systems – including the OSIsoft PI System data historian and SmartSignal – and deliver actionable information in the form of rich scorecards and trends directly to users’ mobile devices, thereby extending the value of Constellation’s existing investments. A decision support tool used on a daily basis, Visual KPI helps all stakeholders to easily access alerts and drill-down information and identify early warnings before problems become critical to increase plant availability and improve operational performance.
Improving Operational Performance
In combination with PI, SmartSignal and Visual KPI, Constellation has: had 83 total catches, including 47 sensor related and 36 equipment related, and reduced the number of outages due to boiler incident from 40 to 11 in the last 12 months.
Visual KPI Implementation
Easy to configure and deploy on any mobile device, Visual KPI is a cornerstone of operational performance management. Constellation uses Visual KPI for remote monitoring of generation, predictive maintenance engineering, controllable losses, emissions and vibration analysis, PI server health and backup aging, and SmartSignal Watchlist alerts.
About Exelon Energy (formerly Constellation Energy)
Exelon Energy (www.exeloncorp.com) is a leading supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 9,100 megawatts of generating capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear plants in the United States. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland. A Fortune 500 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy had revenues of $19.8 billion in 2008.
Monitoring the Blackberry Supply Chain & Manufacturing Data with the Company that Makes Them
Research In Motion (RIM) faced two key challenges. First, RIM needed a more focused and convenient way to deliver information to senior management. Secondly, they needed to reduce the number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While RIM had been tracking KPIs for awhile, there was a greater push to boil them down in order to rally the manufacturing and supply chain organizations around a more focused set of information, and therefore better align different projects and priorities.
“We have numerous business intelligence tools in the organization that have similar capabilities, but Visual KPI enables us to take the nuggets of data we need from different systems and integrates them all.”
Brad Thurston, Project Manager of Supply Chain Systems. Research in Motion
With Visual KPI mobile operational intelligence software, RIM was able to focus manufacturing and supply chain KPIs from nearly 50 metrics down to six, with additional sub-KPIs (or underlying contributors.) RIM built a mobile portal for executives that extends the availability of information outside of the office to mobile devices. With Visual KPI, RIM decision makers get alerts based on early warning signs that something might be off related to inventory, production capacity, manufacturing cycle times, and customer delivery or returns.
“We have numerous business intelligence tools in the organization that have similar capabilities, but Visual KPI enables us to take the nuggets of data we need from different systems and integrate them all,” said Brad Thurston, Project Manager of Supply Chain Systems at RIM. By putting operations information front and center, Visual KPI supports decision making on a daily basis, helping executives ensure they are in line with supply chain management goals and targets.
Improved Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Rich, real-time detail on traditional supply chain and manufacturing information helps RIM to increase capacity, improve customer delivery percentages and reduce manufacturing cycle time. “Having metrics readily available and ultra-convenient helps us stay focused on a small sub-set of goals, which significantly impacts our decision making,” said Thurston. Though only in phase one of deployment, Thurston is “quite optimistic that it will more than pay for itself in no time at all.”
With Visual KPI, RIM is better able to stay focused on business goals, which in turn significantly improves decision making. As Thurston said: “You can’t underestimate the power of information at your fingertips.”
Visual KPI Implementation
Easy to use and ultra flexible, the deployment of Visual KPI was straightforward and didn’t require additional software or investment to enable the viewing of information on Blackberry devices. “Visual KPI is intentionally designed to be easily deployed to mobile devices and deliver a common view,” said Thurston. “It was all done with remote assistance and was remarkably easy to get up and running.”
About Research in Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services, and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements.
Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM (Nasdaq: RIMM, TSX: RIM) operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Visit www.rim.com for more information.
Maximizing Operational Performance at National Grid
The combination of vast amounts of data and varying degrees of IT knowledge made it difficult to access consistent, reliable information across National Grid’s different business areas (executives, engineering, operations, environmental) and distributed asset base. National Grid needed a solution that would extend team and departmental boundaries to increase collaboration for improved productivity and ROI on their existing technology investments.
“It’s about as simple as you can get. Because Visual KPI has good connectors to the OSIsoft PI System, the deployment took only a day. With Visual KPI, it’s all about team collaboration and the data is as close as a cell phone. Organizations can timeshare all the skill sets of subject matter experts at a fraction of the cost to have them available to you exclusively…. home run!”
John Ragone, Plant Process
Optimization Manager, Electric Production
National Grid’s Experience
Leveraging National Grid’s investment in the OSIsoft PI System, Transpara’s Visual KPI on-demand dashboards aggregate data from multiple, existing data sources and deliver actionable, role-based information to employees’ cell phones and PDAs. Because Visual KPI is also accessed on standard desktop and laptop computers, real-time data is available from any device and consistent across the organization, leading to more efficient and timely decision making.
Competitive Edge with Lowered Risk
National Grid realized ROI in less than six months. The utility has saved more than $11 million – thanks in part to its role-based data display tools – mostly in heat-rate savings, ISO penalty disputes and testing, DCS historical database improvements, and identifying critical points on a fluid drive. Additionally, Visual KPI increased corporate transparency, off-site connectivity, peak asset performance and team collaboration, while decreasing environmental sanctions, lost generation costs and energy replacement costs.
Visual KPI Implementation
National Grid users spanning 14 different roles rely on Visual KPI software to get real-time operations information and intuitive, actionable KPIs. Users navigate between desktop view and mobile view depending on their immediate need. National Grid is also expanding the use of Visual KPI to gas turbine users, energy traders, mobile turbine start-up monitor, document retrieval and print access.
About National Grid
National Grid (www.nationalgrid.com) is the largest utility in the U.K., and following its acquisition of KeySpan Energy, is now the second largest utility in the U.S. National Grid has 6,650 megawatts of generating capacity, about 4.4 million electricity customers in New England and New York State, and more than 3.4 million gas customers in the U.S. National Grid was awarded the 2007 Aberdeen Innovation in Technology Award for its strategic use of Visual KPI.
Western Power Deploys Visual KPI Enterprise-Wide for Improved Tracking of Operational Performance
For Western Power, one of the biggest corporate issues revolves around tracking CAIDI, SAIDI and SAIFI reliability indexes for customer, fault outage and duration measurements. Field personnel require up-to-the-minute information about customer outages, power flow and asset status. Traditionally, many of these KPIs are consolidated and “cleansed” only at the end of each month, translating to a long delay of critical information. With Visual KPI, Western Power significantly improves how the organization is tracking these data by showing CAIDI measurements in real-time.
“Visual KPI is a must-have tool for us to improve our operations, and for that reason, everyone from frontline SCADA support staff and System Operations Managers, all the way up to the CEO will rely on it for real-time tracking of operational performance data.”
Julian Rouse, System
Western Power’s Experience
“Visual KPI is a must-have tool for us to improve our operations, and for that reason, everyone from frontline SCADA support staff and System Operations Managers, all the way up to the CEO will rely on it for real-time tracking of operational performance data.” – Julian Rouse, System Administration Manager at Western Power
Western Power will spend 3.5 billion dollars on assets over the next three years. With Visual KPI’s ability to deliver valuable information about these assets to decision makers company-wide, the software implementation will deliver an ROI of 35 million dollars, or over 10 million dollars annually.
- Executives: tracking and alerting on complex CAIDI, SAIDI, SAIFI calculations
- Watch Supervisor: number of customers off supply and number of active faults
- Maintenance manager: condition and performance of primary plant, including the top 10 longest outages and 40 worst feeders (distribution line running from substation to distribution transformer)
- Protection & Maintenance Engineers/Asset Managers: “Summer Ready” Program KPIs monitoring collection of distribution assets most likely to fail on hot days and determining contingency (e.g. stand-by rapid response transformer
Leveraging Western Power’s existing technology investments, such as the OSIsoft PI System and integrating with the frontline GE ENMACS system, Visual KPI is a critical support tool for operational SCADA, and for tracking the contribution of various components to total system generation. Western Power has deployed Visual KPI to over 900 users.
About Western Power
An electricity networks corporation in Western Australia distributing power along more than 88,000 miles of transmission lines, Western Power is responsible for the safe, reliable and efficient distribution and transmission of electricity in the South West of Western Australia.
Visit www.westernpower.com.au for more information.