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.


The project at a glance


When harvest time comes, machines have to be 100% reliable. So that corn cobs can be turned into valuable seed.                                                 


Porsche Consulting cultivates many fields. One of them is the digitization of production systems.                        


The systems produce less wastage and higher yields. Output is rising, costs going down. And the entire company wants to learn from it. 


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.

"The consultants really understood our situation and they have the experience and expertise to guide us through the whole process."
Rogério Martins
South America Reliability and Maintenance Manager
Bayer AG
Rogério Martins, Bayer AG


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


Fruitful Change

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.


Consulting that works

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Dirk Pfitzer
 Industry Lead Industrial Goods