Kepware Technologies, a PTC business developing industrial connectivity software, announced that HIROTEC AMERICA has implemented Kepware’s KEPServerEX software to fuel the industrial connectivity for its initial Internet of Things (IoT) effort. A leading tier-one component and tooling supplier for the automotive industry, HIROTEC recognized the need to develop a competitive IoT strategy that could enable the organization to leverage real-time shop floor data to gain deeper insight into its operations.
With 26 facilities in nine countries, HIROTEC had volumes of industrial data from a diverse set of machines stored across multiple sources; however, the company knew there was a better way to easily collect and analyze this maintenance and operational information. HIROTEC needed to identify a modern, automated solution that could gather real-time production data into one source in order to improve quality, reduce downtime, and offer actionable recommendations to its quality professionals.
After evaluating several IoT offerings, HIROTEC selected Kepware’s KEPServerEX connectivity software and the ThingWorx IoT Platform—both solutions from PTC—to enable company-wide device-to-cloud connectivity through one overarching toolset. Collaborating with representatives across PTC, HIROTEC built an IoT framework supported by short, six-week Agile sprints. Where a full IoT implementation may have taken years to generate a proof of concept, the Scrum model provided company executives with visible and quantifiable progress in just weeks.
“When first embarking on our IoT journey, HIROTEC’s core objective was to remain flexible in our ability to connect things,” said Justin Hester, Senior Researcher, HIROTEC. “The offerings and expertise by Kepware and PTC have enabled us to stay true to our goal by effortlessly adapting to our business processes and developing the right IoT strategy for our teams. The IoT Gateway’s ability to seamlessly put data into ThingWorx to generate real-time insight into operations fuels our sprint framework and allows us to stay nimble in our decision making.”
Since completing its first sprint at its North American shop in Detroit, Michigan, HIROTEC has improved productivity and increased ROI. KEPServerEX and ThingWorx have enabled labor-free access to a customized visualization of both the operations and conditions of HIROTEC’s industrial devices and systems. Manufacturing leadership can now leverage real-time data from the shop floor and tie it to the scheduling ERP system to optimize parts scheduling. The added transparency has also streamlined communications between Operations and Information Technology (IT) departments, improving collaboration and enabling more efficient responses to IT jobs.
For additional information about the implementation, please read the complete case study here. To see HIROTEC present their story titled, “HIROTEC America’s Manufacturing Transformation Journey Starts with Real-time Visibility into Factory Assets” in a live, online session on November 15, 2016, please register for PTC Forum Europe here.