We sat down with Jaakko Laurila, Quality Manager at Walki to discuss Walki´s current status and their vision for production data utilization.
“We want to be front runners in the digitalization area,” Jaakko begins. “Quva® Flow gives us great visibility of our own data.
“Generally speaking, my main interest as a ‘quality guy’ is to reduce variation. So far benefits can be divided into two categories. Firstly, we have been able to study interesting phenomena from the production line. It has been really convenient and easy compared to earlier ways of working. We have also been able to verify some root causes for certain quality deviations,” Jaakko continues.
“Another big benefit has been in customer communication and customer experience. Having all the data gathered, analyzed and visualized at the reel level adds value to customer communication. We can share more and more relevant, reel-specific product data. This has earned us a lot of trust within our customer base.
“The steps with data utilization have been promising. But much more can be achieved, even in the short term. It takes time to create a data-driven culture and approach to daily routines,” Jaakko explains. “There are many daily meetings which could benefit from a quick peek into the production data.
“We are gradually creating a new cultural change by bringing data to the daily meetings on the shop floor. We are going to base our decisions more and more on data.
“This is a relatively new thing to the personnel. More than once, I have heard them comment that this data looks a bit funny. It is natural as we haven’t seen the product data in detail before. We all are learning a lot.
“The more historical data we gather, the more we will trust the data. Our direction is definitely good.”
Implementing Quva® Flow has also given Walki many other digitalization learning opportunities.
It goes without saying that data-needs differ between different roles and people within a mill. People working on the floor level might not be so used to data-driven thinking as, for example, process engineers.
Further to this, needs and interests can also differ between different production lines with different processes.
During the Quva® Flow setup phase, continuous feedback-gathering and planning is carried out to make even more interesting data visible for each role.
“Quva has been proactively listening and suggesting minor customizations for their modules,” says Jaakko. “This tailoring has added even more value, for example to operators in the control room. And all this was done without additional costs.”
“It would be valuable to utilize a data driven approach at the supply chain level, too. It would speed up many activities. As we so far lack extensive supplier data, we have to apply a trial and error approach too often.
“In an ideal world, we would have unit-level data for raw materials coming from our suppliers. Nowadays, the data we receive is not usually specified for single units. It is usually average data for a 20 unit batch, for example.
“We try to be more and more transparent and add value for our customers. Even though we have really good and comprehensive Certificates of Analysis (CoA), I think we can still improve a lot.”