HEXPOL TPE chooses Roima as a partner for its industrial digitalization strategy
HEXPOL TPE is a global group specializing in thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) for applications in consumer products, medicine, packaging, automotive, and construction.
Having been able to deliver high-quality products with consistent and predictable properties for a long time means that HEXPOL TPE is today a respected name on the market. Therefore, it was not unexpected when HEXPOL TPE also became the first TPE manufacturer in Europe to achieve ISO 13485 certification.
Situation and needs analysis
HEXPOLTPE’s Swedish plant has been manufacturing thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) since the 1970s. Over the years, the system landscape for production-related IT has become increasingly fragmented, which led to an unnecessary amount of manual handling of production data and an obstacle to flexible and efficient continuous process development. Furthermore, when certain parts of the system landscape had reached the end of their useful life, a collaboration with Roima was initiated to create a new digitalization strategy for the factory.
Roima analyzed existing system landscapes together with HEXPOL TPE based on the current situation and future needs and identified three different paths forward. All three options had their advantages and disadvantages, but in order to maximize opportunities for efficient and flexible future process development, improve the working environment for operators by minimizing manual data handling in production, increase traceability and facilitate development and system maintenance, a cohesive platform from AVEVA was considered the best choice for the new system landscape.
VRoima was entrusted to drive through an AVEVA MES project that was started in the fall of 2021. Carrying out a digitalization project in an existing facility with high demands on continuous production is always a challenge. Knowledge and experience are required not only about the technology itself, but it is at least as important to be responsive to the needs of end users and the new work environment.
The new system landscape was built in a parallel environment to the old one in order to facilitate testing and ensure functionality before the switch was finally carried out in the spring of 2022. “We got proof that the methodology was right by the fact that Go-Live itself became so smooth and the operators have found it easy to adopt the new system, even the start-up after the summer shutdown went excellently”, says Marie Sannes, project manager at Roima. A clear success factor for the successful project has been the knowledgeable and committed employees in the project team from HEXPOL TPE and Roima.
Benefits of the new system landscape:
- Reduced manual labor in production by moving production data between different systems has reduced the risk of errors that can lead to registration of downtime. Operators can spend more time on other value-creating activities
- Increased traceability throughout the production
- Facilitates continuous and flexible process development as the system can be easily adapted and expanded to handle new and changed production lines
- Future-proof platform
- Joint analysis of the current situation and future needs provided the right basis so that the partners together could create a clear digitalization strategy and roadmap for a new system landscape
- Determined, committed and knowledgeable project team at Roima and HEXPOL TPE who had the mandate and knowledge to implement the digitalization strategy
- The right choice of product platform from AVEVA that suited the needs of HEXPOL TPE
Key features of the new system landscape:
- Operator support in the preparation and execution of production orders to minimize errors and mistakes.
- Automated framework for control of BOM and execution order of process steps
- Manages orders in production with automatic compensation for waste and scrap
- Internal material handling in production
- Checklists to support operators
- History of events and actions
- Traceability of materials in production
- Registration of downtime
- Automatic download of machine settings and quantities to SCADA/PLC.
- Integration with ERP, PLC, LIMS, and PPS
We chose Roima as a partner thanks to the competence and commitment shown throughout all parts of the project. The new solution has given us improved traceability and further improvements in the form of standardized working methods and routines” says Thomas Nilsson, CEO, HEXPOL TPE AB
Components included in the solution: AVEVA System Platform, AVEVA Historian, AVEVA InTouch, AVEVA Works Tasks, AVEVA MES, AVEVA Enterprise Integrator.