“The effortlessness that improvements to processes can be made with is definitely a striking argument for Intrexx.”
Roland Albert, Head of Industrial Engineering
LEUCO: Business success in times of Industry 4.0
Industries: Manufacturing Products: Document Management for Intrexx, Project Management for Intrexx, Individual applications
There are countless types of woodworking. LEUCO provides the right tool for the vast majority of these. Today, the company is one of the world’s leading providers of carbide and diamond-tipped machine tools for working with wood and plastics. The tool portfolio comprises of circular saw blades, drills, hoggers and much more.
Inventiveness and technical knowhow have been at the heart of the company, with its headquarters in Horb am Neckar, since it was founded in 1954. However, the success story of the tool manufacturer from the Northern Black Forest wouldn’t have been possible without its approx. 1,300 employees across the world.
One of these employees is Roland Albert. When the engineer came to LEUCO at the end of 2014, he was given the task of improving processes in the production. As Head of Industrial Engineering, he is very aware of the current challenges: processes, products and services need to be continuously improved to meet the needs of the market.
“Particularly in the age of Industry 4.0, obtaining and providing information is the pivotal element for business success,” observes Mr. Albert. But only when this information can be worked with meaningfully does this turn into an added value for customers and partners. A big goal was therefore to organize and visualize key figures from the production. The experience Mr. Albert gained from his previous employer was very beneficial here. He knew the software Intrexx and was certain: This is exactly the right solution for creating the desired reporting and for presenting the daily key figures in an appealing manner.
Bringing together what belongs together
Today, LEUCO uses Intrexx to bring information from various software systems together and then provide this deliberately. A simple example is the assembly of each of the products. This can of course only be achieved when all of the required parts are at hand. The workers are provided with this key information by the Intrexx system that connects different data sources together to this end. The system gives the go-ahead once all of the required parts are available.
The portal is directly displayed above the machine control for this purpose. In doing so, a separate computer isn’t required. Another advantage of this is that maintaining the data can be done decentralized: “Intrexx is our data and process interface. The great thing is: the machine workers always have access to the latest data in the Intrexx portal and can adjust this data themselves as well.”
If you only look at the data management, LEUCO was able to make time savings of about 10%. However, the really big advantage is in improved quality. This is most obvious in the deployment of the laser marking system.
This device inscribes the manufactured tools with various data. The information required for this comes from different systems: In principle we differentiate between process-relevant data (e.g. production orders, which are in SAP) and product-specific data (which come from the PLM system). The challenge was bringing this data together. Mr. Albert developed a solution without hesitation. This solution consolidates and conditions data from multiple sources and feeds the machines the necessary information. He sees the benefit of this solution particularly in the clearly reduced potential for errors due to the automatic data processing: “The worker now only has to select the target layout and doesn’t have to edit content – this means there are no more typing errors, for example.”
Via a timestamp, which is written back to the Intrexx system, they can also track when which product was inscribed with which data. This means that tools are no longer inscribed multiple times, for example.
Workflow ready in just an hour
Another use case is the efficient management of the assembly stockyard: LEUCO developed its own stockyard management system with Intrexx, which enables them to keep track of more than 150 stockyards. This provides two great benefits: Firstly they don’t need to implement an elaborate or oversized solution, and secondly the application was created unbelievably quickly thanks to the graphical development interface of Intrexx. “The entire process optimization took place in just 14 days. This definitely wouldn’t have been possible with another system,” Mr. Albert is certain.
By modernizing their production processes LEUCO can continuously improve the quality of their products. Especially the customers – sawmills, interior construction companies as well as companies from the construction and furniture industry – benefit as a result. In pursuit of its digitalization strategy, LEUCO is going a step further and developing a comprehensive lifecycle management system. With this, the products – including their qualitative data (meaning test data and measurements) – can be tracked end-to-end. The customer has access to all of the required information about their products via a personalized customer portal. Scenarios such as preventative maintenance or the convenient ordering of consumable materials become incredibly easy to realize as a result.
Mr. Albert is particularly enthusiastic about the speed at which he can develop solutions with Intrexx: “Within an hour I can create a workflow that improves collaboration in a project, for example. You can provide solutions agilely and speedily without turning them into a huge project.” No manufacturer can avoid the challenges of the digital transformation – but with Intrexx as a digitalization turbo boost, LEUCO has an ace up their sleeve.
Production processes are digitalized and simplified
Machine data is processed and provided automatically
Reporting and visualization of data
Rapid development of workflows and processes
Tags: Industry 4.0
Screenshot #1: The device inscribes the manufactured tools with various data Screenshot #2: Inscribed tool