Founded 172 years ago, Carlsberg is a Danish brewing company with a global presence that is among the world leaders in the brewing industry. With over 140 brewed beverages, including core beers, specialty and craft beers, non-alcoholic beers and local brands from numerous countries, Carlsberg has a diverse and globalized beer portfolio.
Carlsberg has grown through multiple acquisitions and faced some challenges common to manufacturers located in different regions of the world. There was little consistency in how different sites tracked production data. Consequently, the lack of consistent data and outdated methods meant they could not fully optimize machine performance, resulting in unplanned downtime, longer lead times, higher costs and reduced throughput – all of which negatively impacted overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
Although Carlsberg had a full Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in 10 factories, they knew they needed a leaner solution that would scale quickly and easily and that would help them standardize data collection across their global facilities to meet the needs of the industry to improve production performance.
Carlsberg partners with Autoware to leverage IoT solutions and improve OEE
Carlsberg turned to Autoware, an Italian software company focused on enabling digital transformation in the manufacturing sector, as a technology partner to help them improve their data collection and processes. To this end, Autoware leveraged PTC’s technology to develop an IoT-based application for real-time performance monitoring. The application could be used by machine operators to easily assess production performance in different facilities using real-time data and alerts.
To develop the application, Autoware used Kepware, software that automatically pulls data from a variety of automation devices and software applications and aggregates it into a unified data model. In addition, Autoware leveraged ThingWorx, an end-to-end industrial IoT platform that provides insight into production and asset health with real-time data analytics and a variety of insights and production reports. Together, the technologies allowed Carlsberg to monitor machine data and project it onto dashboards.
The data gives operators a clear understanding of how the line is performing against targets, while real-time alerts help them quickly identify and resolve production issues. Similarly, some ground operators have tablets equipped with an app that uses ThingWorx data to track a particular machine’s downtime and suggest the reason in real time; The operator can then confirm the next action to be taken, even from a remote location in the facility.
Autoware’s solution helps Carlsberg standardize and scale efficiently
Carlsberg had already laid much of the groundwork for cross-site standardization, but their new solution would better fill the gaps left by legacy equipment and variations in data collection, architecture, and software. Importantly, standardizing data and metrics would allow Carlsberg to benchmark machine performance and productivity against other factories. After launching in just three months, it would also help meet the need to scale rapidly across multiple facilities.
In particular, Kepware was key to creating value and working in a centrally configured data environment. It allowed them to import and export configuration information and easily adjust a given setup’s variances to meet the application’s data standards. Kepware collects data from the PLCs at the regional sites, and ThingWorx takes the data from Kepware and visualizes it for real-time monitoring and diagnostics at each site.
The team chose a cloud-based architecture for the new solution, which offered some significant advantages over the previous on-premise solution at their other facilities. A cloud-based solution makes it easier to further develop the system and add new functions. Any updates to the application only need to be deployed once, and the cloud-based architecture makes the same changes instantly available to any location. At the same time, they can make some site-specific features only available to certain sites and later deploy them to others.
This flexibility to configure the solution as needed – and therefore more efficient and time-saving – significantly improves the total cost of ownership. “The footprint of the new solution is much smaller than the footprint of an on-premise solution – it requires fewer resources to manage,” says Marco Faltracco, Technical Lead at Autoware. “The architecture allows them to scale to so many more assets, and now they’re considering further expansion because it’s easy,” he continues. “In terms of total cost of ownership, they’re much lower than an on-premise solution.”
Carlsberg achieves improved performance and productivity while planning for a more sustainable future
To date, the application has been rolled out at 28 Carlsberg facilities. Finally, implementation in the remaining breweries is on the agenda. While Carlsberg’s digital transformation journey is still ongoing, the company has already seen clear benefits of real-time performance monitoring across its organization. First, they’ve seen improved operations and higher quality products, as well as fewer line breaks with better visibility. In addition, Carlsberg has seen less equipment downtime thanks to better preventative maintenance. Another positive result is the reduction of waste, which contributes positively to the company’s goals in terms of carbon emissions and sustainability.
In particular, the power of the partnership has been instrumental in Carlsberg’s ability to roll out its solution with confidence and efficiency, which will only benefit all parties in the long run.
For Carlsberg, advancing their digital journey has been an affirmation of the company’s solid place in the brewing industry, not just as an innovator, but as a company committed to creating a better, more sustainable future – and they look forward to continued partnership with Autoware for success.