Aurubis, founded as a stock corporation already in 1866, produces high-purity, high-quality copper from copper concentrates and recycling materials and processes it into intermediate products, such as wires and rolls. Copper scrap and a variety of other recycling materials are reintroduced to the economic cycle this way. Aurubis produces more than 1 million tons of marketable copper cathodes each year.
- We started working with Quva to figure out new ways to turn existing data into meaningful, business supporting information as automatically as possible, says Perttu Heinilä, Production Manager of Flat Rolled Products in Pori Aurubis facility.
The data infrastructure has been constantly improved, as well. The data is gathered and stored more and more systematically. There are new sensors and data sources at the production line. The focus has shifted from single data sources to the production line view.
- The production related data used to be in several silos. Few people could access and understand the data making data driven team work impossible. Now all of us have the access to all data, says Perttu.
Aurubis vision and goals for data utilization can be divided into three topics, Perttu describes.
The first topic is anomaly detection. It is important to understand better various phenomena within production phases. The goal is to standardize operations and decrease variation. Thus, it is important to understand the root causes behind excess variation.
- This is the natural first step in our roadmap and we have already gained good results here with Quva, Perttu continues.
The second topic is process optimization. Aurubis is constantly looking for new ways to further improve the product quality. Also it is important to reduce waste and optimize the raw material flow in the production process.
The third topic is prediction and prevention.
-There are no shortcuts here. We need to build a strong foundation to be able to gain predictability. But this area is really important in preventive maintenance, for example. Preventing abrupt breakdown of machinery could give us remarkable savings, says Perttu
The future in data driven manufacturing looks bright but it requires continuous work and commitment from personnel.
- We already know that many of our phenomena are not yet visible in data. Thus, more digital measurements will be added to our production line. Also spreading the data utilization culture is important. And not only at Aurubis in Pori but also in other Aurubis sites in the future. Quva is helping us to become more and more data driven. But this is not a 100 meter sprint, this is a marathon, Perttu sums up.