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 “Rather than making
incremental improvements,
we wanted to leap
ahead and achieve
world-class practices.”
South America Reliability and Maintenance Manager Bayer
their expertise,” he said. “Rather than making incremental im- provements we wanted to leap ahead and achieve world-class practices and prepare the division for the future.”
Fixing the pain points was important but only the beginning of the process. The key was to move towards Industry 4.0 standards and predictive maintenance. “Together with our team, a plan was designed to identify areas that needed attention,” says Bruno Nogueira Costa, South America Maintenance Excellence Center Lead at Bayer. Quick wins were identified. There were three main areas for action. The first two focused on maintenance planning and operational excellence, aiming to reduce cost, and the third concerned inventory levels in order to improve in cash flow.
When it comes to downtime in the receiving areas of the plant, the situation in different plants varies depending on seasons and crop varieties. With predictive asset management, this has im- proved significantly.
Looking further ahead, the team devised a five-year plan with rigorous targets to reduce costs by 50 percent. The first two years are concerned with cost reduction and improvements in efficiency and setting up pilot projects to test new practices before they are rolled out in all plants. During this time the situa- tion will be assessed further with a special focus on how data is collected and managed. Showcases have been set up to demon- strate the potential of these procedural changes. “First results in cost saving have shown a reduction of 10 percent, which is great, but only the beginning,” says Costa. “Based on this groundwork, the next big move in the coming years will be to introduce auton- omous systems. Becoming fully digital is paramount.”
Pilot projects have already been carried out to look into how data is collected and managed. In year one, the main focus is to standardize data and improve the quality of the data generat- ed. This is not a question of installing more sensors along the process. The key is how to use the existing data generated and design and apply the right data models. “This is the beginning of a long learning curve and Porsche Consulting is guiding our team along this journey towards a digital future,” says Martins.
It’s not just about technology. “It is absolutely vital that the teams in the plants are part of that journey. Interviews with key stakeholders were conducted, feedback was collected, passed on, and discussed,” says Costa. Training complements the transi- tion. Overall acceptance of the new processes as well as the plan for moving towards a digital organization has been very good. “Naturally, the rollout in different plants is quite challenging, as conditions vary. They need flexibility. Some parts of the process can be standardized, others not,” says Martins.
A part of the Porsche consultant’s role has been to drive change management to support transition. “They really understood our situation and described it very well. They also had the expertise to guide us through the entire process, from the initial assessment, planning, pilots and showcases, the set-up of data models as well as the implementation and rollout of individual practices,” says Martin. As a result, the pilot plant of Campo Grande has already improved its overall performance score by 68 percent.
As the South American team moves ahead and reaps the first positive results from the initial phases of this ambitious project, the wider company is looking to see what it can learn from their example. “We are working with the global team to define the best way forward for maintenance within other Bayer divisions and plants,” says Costa. “This is the way we want to work in the future.”
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