April 3, 2022
With Infor AI, 99% faster detection and diagnosis of failure lowers rejection rate and improves OEE and asset utilization
With the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI) technology integrated with modern cloud platforms, embedding AI into business processes is no longer an expensive or lengthy process. Global supplier SEG Automotive is among the industry leaders showcasing a rapid approach to innovation by partnering with Infor to deploy an AI application in the manufacturing production line in just under one month.
Having production-line workers and engineers manage reject rates in the pulley assembly process at SEG Automotive used to be a multi-step, manual process. Now, through AI-driven anomaly detection, the process has been radically changed, because machine learning actively checks every 10 minutes by processing millions of records of Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data on the pulley assembly production line for a potential increase in rejection rate. Then, by suggesting the root cause for failure, workers can quickly resolve the issue in the production line. With AI, rejection rates have fallen to the lowest levels ever recorded.
The precision and speed of the AI models are based on two years of production line and machine sensor data brought into the Infor Data Lake and used to train the machine learning (ML) model to observe when the pulley tightening process falls outside normal behavior, increasing the rejection rate. The business results have been phenomenal, with SEG Automotive expected to continue to train and optimize the ML model to further decrease the rejection rate over time:
- 99% faster detection and diagnosis of failure (from 1 day to 10 min) lowers rejection rate and improves overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and asset utilization
- Better product first pass quality
- Reduction in scrap and parts rework leading to even more consistent on-time order fulfillment to its customers
- Quickly and easily scale AI application across multiple production lines and factories
"Providing innovative, high-quality products to customers is in our company's DNA. We do that by leveraging manufacturing sensor data with software to identify issues early in the production process and resolve them faster. Infor's cloud technology platform with integrated analytic, ML, and AI services enables intelligent monitoring, detection and resolution in the production process that help us maintain our industry leading quality standards," says Philip Katzschmann, Head of Global IT / CIO at SEG Automotive.
With the Infor technology it already owned and had provisioned in the cloud, SEG Automotive leveraged AI to optimize a manufacturing process core to its DNA — delivering high-quality, premium products to customers. For example, using Infor OS, SEG Automotive identified an ideal AI use case in the pulley assembly process in its Spanish factory. As a result, early detection of increasing rejection rates in the process, with diagnostics to resolve the issue, improves the health of the production line or OEE. And because SEG Automotive factories are connected through the Infor cloud technology platform, the same ML model can be reused for additional production line processes to optimize OEE across all factories.
OEE is the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. For example, an OEE score of 100% means you are manufacturing only good parts as fast as possible with no stop time. In the language of OEE, that means 100% quality (only good parts), 100% performance (as fast as possible), and 100% availability (no stop time).
Measuring OEE and asset utilization is a manufacturing best practice to gain important insights into systematically improving the manufacturing process. SEG Automotive uses integrated business intelligence and reporting dashboards to track rejection rates, OEE, and additional key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time. Before implementing Infor's cloud technology platform, certain reporting processes were largely manual. With Infor Birst, the process has been simplified and automated through role-based dashboards that combine 60+ relevant logistics and production KPIs. In addition, users now have on-demand access to production-line reporting, with self-service capabilities to do their own analysis for quicker decision-making:
- From monthly to near real-time visibility of rejection rates and production-line performance
- Improved decision making via self-service, role-based dashboards
- Dashboard go-live in under 6 months
"With real-time reporting and analytics on the factory floor, users identify issues faster and make the right adjustments to production processes instead of making those adjustments at the end of the shift. The speed at which users can take action directly impacts manufacturing performance since users are much more capable of gaining actionable insights through a modern, self-service solution without having someone from IT having to explain or clarify information," Katzschmann says.
SEG Automotive also plans to implement Infor EPM for financial planning and consolidation. After this project goes live, business planning will not only be greatly simplified, but SEG Automotive will truly achieve a single source of truth, with all tools for reporting and analysis accessing trusted data from the Infor Data Lake. SEG Automotive is an excellent example of using Infor's cloud technology platform to elevate its reporting from spreadsheets to analytics, using predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.
Taking advantage of Infor's cloud technology platform did not require a complete rollout of the Infor CloudSuite. As SEG Automotive continues to roll out Infor CloudSuite Automotive globally, they are also working with Infor to seize more opportunities for innovation through a low-code platform to exploit data no matter where it is managed – cloud, on-premises, or non-Infor systems.
In fact, a key reason why SEG Automotive chose Infor as its software provider stemmed from the fact that Birst, the analytics platform, was tightly integrated with the rest of the Enterprise Application Platform and allows for scalable and fast to deploy solutions that go beyond analytics to include intelligent data management, automation, integrations, workflows, AI, and ML.
"Infor and SEG Automotive share a common aspiration for innovation. We started the partnership with Infor when looking for a new ERP, but we found that there's much more than just the core ERP during the discussion. The underlying cloud technology gives us opportunities to leverage data to build the best products for our customers. There's a big potential for us to leverage our recent experience with AI and roll it out also to other processes, not only in the production area to improve the customer experience, but also in the back-office area to improve our employee experience," Katzschmann says.
SEG Automotive is a leading global supplier of starter motors, generators, and components for electrification, with around 7,000 employees worldwide and production plants in 14 countries. SEG Automotive became its own company in 2018 after being carved out from Bosch, a German engineering and technology company. Aiming to wed German engineering standards with high speed and adaptability, SEG Automotive is a reliable partner to the global automotive industry with a thirst for innovation.
"Infor has a unique approach to delivering multi-tenant, industry-specific cloud solutions. Having personal access to Infor expertise and solutions focused on automotive, we are well-position ed to continue to innovate, grow and maintain our reputation as one of the best in the industry," Katzschmann says.