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Intrexx Case Study: Manufacturing industry

Karl Späh GmbH & Co. KG


“For us, it was important to implement a platform that provides standardized interfaces for industrial communication with MQTT and that keeps development costs manageable even in this pilot project. Thanks to the out-of-the-box process modelling and multi-device capabilities, we were able to achieve very good results quickly in this complex setting.”

Ralf Diegritz, Head of Hosting, s.i.g. mbh

SIG eKanban: Facilitating efficient procedures in manufacturing



Industries: Manufacturing
Products: Individual applications
Partner: s.i.g. mbH

The Späh Group is a business association with four locations. In the meantime, the family company employs more than 500 staff across Germany. The Späh Group has been active in the supplier industry and a partner of Technischer Handel (magazine for the industry) for more than 50 years. They manufacture among other things seals, punch press parts, wrought products and specialized parts out of rubber and plastic. Every year, billions of the business association’s parts are utilized in different industries across the world.

They wanted to noticeably accelerate numerous processes in the production. This was achieved by using the solution SIG eKanban, developed by the IT firm SIG, and the Intrexx portal that the Späh Group has already been using successfully for more than 10 years. The development platform, Intrexx, was especially convincing because of the wide range of possibilities for graphically modelling processes. The Späh Group had already developed numerous applications in the area of administration with this. Now, Intrexx was implemented in a pilot project to improve processes in the production and to strengthen the connection between this area and the administration. Thanks to the integrated MQTT interface, this was realized easily. Therefore, other software providers weren’t even considered.


The pilot project has already been carried our successfully. Introducing the eKanban module took about three weeks from the conception to the rollout. The aim was to digitalize the manual process for the packaging supply feed of multiple machines. This ensures that a minimum supply of the various carton versions is available at all times without the machine operator having to take care of the replenishment every time by foot.

This was done by placing a card with an RFID chip under the last of each carton. When the supply level of a carton size goes below the minimum amount, the machine operator can notify the logistics department of this via an NFC reader. At the same time, the corresponding LED on the rack lights up red via a radio signal. Via the MQTT protocol, the need for new cartons is transferred to an Intrexx portal and displayed there in an overview of all stockyards and carton types. The logistics department confirms the request directly in the portal. The machine operator is informed of this when the corresponding LED lights up yellow. Once the stock is replenished, the signal card is read once more and deposited in the stockyard. The green LED then indicates that enough cartons are available once more. This ensures that everyone involved is always best informed about the current process status.

“We deliberately selected an uncritical process to test the new system. We are now planning to introduce the eKanban in other production areas – through to material commissioning”, explains Marvin Schmidt, who is responsible for improving processes at Späh. Very flexible industrial-suitable standard components based on RaspberryPI were used to implement the solution. Therefore, additional processes can also be modelled easily and cost-effectively in the future with the appropriate sensors. To develop new ideas on the basis of this application, a cross-departmental innovation team was formed.



  • Accelerated processes in the production
  • Digitalization of the packaging feed process
  • Automatic information exchange between production and logistics
  • Optimization of additional processes


Stock overview for all stockyards and carton types An RFID chip denotes the minimum stock level of cartons
 

Screenshot #1: Stock overview for all stockyards and carton types
Screenshot #2: An RFID chip denotes the minimum stock level of cartons

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