Customised solution from Syskron: The digital factory as engineered reality

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With a market share of 25 per cent, the Yantai Changyu Pioneer International Company is one of the best-known Chinese wineries. At a total of eleven facilities worldwide, it produces not only still wine, but also brandy, liqueurs and sparkling wine. At the company’s headquarters in Yantai, it has now built an entirely new production facility, which ranks among the most sophisticated in the world.

Here Changyu has integrated a total of ten new lines, of which three are complete lines from Krones. In addition, Changyu decided to interlink all processes along the value added chain, so as to crucially improve the cost-efficiency of its production operation. In fact, the company had previously been using different IT systems like order management and warehouse management, but each of these was a stand-alone solution entailing an increased outlay, particularly for production planning, and did not assure any real transparency.

In the search to identify a suitable vendor for intelligent networking and digitalisation in its complete factory, Changyu got in touch with Syskron. The digitalisation specialist in the Krones Group first of all developed a customised concept covering all of Changyu’s stipulations – and there were a whole lot of them: all work sequences involved, from planning, supply of warehouse and lines all the way through to actual production, were required to be standardised and fully automated in future. This included not only optimised utilisation of all materials needed, but also of the human resources concerned. For this purpose, Changyu wanted to network all areas involved in the production operation with each other, and in addition to interface them with the existing SAP system as well. The aim: to upgrade the OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) in the production operation, in which planning and order management are system-controlled. This includes complete traceability of purchase orders, from the raw materials warehouse to the finished pallet – completely documented in paperless mode, of course.

Customised choice of SitePilot modules

One challenge involved was the new, complex machinery landscape at the plant in Yantai, which incorporates lines from different manufacturers that are not consistently equipped with sensor technology and control systems at the machines for data acquisition. To enable all information to be nonetheless imaged at a central location, Syskron has installed the Edge Device ReadyKit. This solution enables all production data to be acquired for new and existing machines – irrespective of the manufacturer involved – and utilised for further analysis.

In order to then use these data to optimum effect, Changyu decided to deploy various SitePilot solutions.

  • Planning accepts all SAP orders and assigns them automatically to the lines available. Here the tool takes into due account whether the lines concerned are currently running at full capacity and likewise factors in the latest shift and maintenance schedules. But the system also thinks one step further ahead: it not only takes into consideration the individual batches, but also – where expedient – groups different orders directly together in order to ensure optimum utilisation of the production capacity involved.
  • Line Management ensures a consistent flow of information, from the production schedule all the way through to the line order and an individual machine’s order. For example, on-the-fly order and batch change-overs can also be executed quickly and easily, since the logistics involved – such as delivering to the line raw materials and supplies using automated guided vehicles – are seamlessly connected to the system.
  • Line Diagnostics consistently acquires and analyses all data relevant to quality, costs and performance. All functions and processes are here imaged at a central location and – depending on the perspective desired – edited for optimum glanceability, to allow swift recognition of causal connections. In addition, a report can be prepared automatically at any time to cover defined time periods.

“With the aid of SitePilot Planning, we’ve been able to reduce the time required for drawing up an optimised production schedule from two days to two hours – and thus to significantly upgrade the transparency and flexibility of our production operation,” says Wang Yanling, General Manager at Changyu Wine Research, Development and Manufacture.

With the complete digitalisation of its plant in Yantai, Changyu has not only received a state-of-the-art production facility, but also proven that with skilful deployment of fit-for-purpose IT solutions and a healthy willingness to embrace innovation the digital factory can be transformed into engineered reality. Because through the combination of suitable modules the company has created a customised IT concept that links together all the relevant sections of the firm and its processes, thus providing consistently complete traceability of all production steps.