Safely Bringing in the Harvest
In Brazil, the life sciences company Bayer is working with Porsche Consulting to operate a predictive plant control system in its seed production.
High Performance – Even Under High Strains
In high-production phases, machine failures are a disaster – whether it’s in the assembly of sports cars or the refinement of crops. Bayer operates parts of its corn seed business in Brazil, and the timeframe is extremely tight at harvest-time when billions of kernels of corn are to be extracted from millions of corn cobs. The machines have to deliver top performance under extreme loads, because if they don’t, valuable raw material is destroyed and financial losses result. The global corporation sets a high bar: “Instead of improvements in small increments, we want to jump straight to world-class level,” says Bayer manager Rogério Martins.
Porsche Consulting Boosts the Yield
In Brazil, Porsche Consulting cultivated several areas of action. A maintenance schedule was put in place to reduce the number of system failures in the machinery for husking and drying the corn cobs and sorting and packaging the kernels. Processes and storage practices were put under the microscope. The consultants developed models for how the enormous amounts of data from the sensors in the machines could be used for predictive system control. Collaboration with stakeholders fostered acceptance. Pilot projects generated additional insights.
Improved performance in a pilot project with Bayer
The plants generate less wastage and higher yields. In a pilot project, a 68 percent gain in output was measured. Initial results showed cost savings of ten percent. A five-year plan promised cost reductions of up to 50 percent if fully digitized systems enabled largely autonomous production. Bayer and the Porsche consultants initiated a learning process in Brazil that will spread to many other plants throughout the Group.