Sustainability is Wipak’s core value. Their vision is to be the world’s most sustainable flexible packaging company and have committed to reducing the company’s CO2 footprint to zero.
“To reach this vision, we are committed to decreasing waste and improving material efficiency,” says Aki Pönniö, Wipak Group Operations Analyst and Production Execution Process Owner. “We always want to improve our quality, which is beneficial for everyone. Less second grade products mean less C02 and less customer complaints.“
One vital step towards the vision has been investing in manufacturing data infrastructure.
“We are collecting and storing more and more data from our manufacturing processes. It means adding more sensors to production lines, setting up new manufacturing execution systems (MES) and expanding the use of our SAP system,” Aki explains.
“In the future, we have many ideas for utilizing data such as AI-based decision making and predictive maintenance. But we understand that there are no shortcuts. We need to proceed step by step
Last year Wipak evaluated different tools for creating value from production data. They decided on Quva® Flow to decrease variation and support data-driven decision making.
“The configuration phase was surprisingly simple, says Aki. Some work was needed to get relevant production data from our SAP system. The most time-consuming phase was getting automation data from the PLCs. After that everything went relatively smoothly."
“Now we have both experience and good documentation. We are ready to implement the service in new mills and production lines as well.”
“We use the production data in many ways,” says Aki. “For example, one Quva® Flow module, the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) Tool, gives good overall information on our performance. But seeing and sharing all the manufacturing data holistically is new to us. Now we all have the same data and analytics results ready to use in the discussions within production teams.”
“I believe we are now taking the first steps in creating a new culture within the production staff. It is much easier to have internal discussions as we all share the same data. If there is excessive variation in our processes, Quva® Flow helps us to focus our efforts and suggests root causes for anomalies.”
“Some data analytics and AI applications take more time to implement as they need a good amount of history data. We’re looking forward to being able to unlock more value.”
In the end, it is all about people and culture. As an organization, Wipak has a good understanding of the steps and benefits which can be gained from digitalization.
Each role has unique needs. In the quality team, people benefit from the added visibility of customer claim products. Operators, on the other hand, are more interested in the real time analytics of the production line.
“Of course, we are all different. Some want to see ready processed data and reports, others want to deep-dive into the data and make conclusions for themselves, “Aki explains, “With Quva® Flow we are easily able to serve a number of different needs in our mills.”