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Where Robots Do the Dirty Work

October 27, 2015 by Judith Magyar

A Brazilian manufacturer unlocks the benefits of IoT and goes beyond customer relationship management (CRM) with SAP solutions.

Locks have been used to safeguard property since the days of the Pharaohs, but back then slaves worked the metal. Today’s high-speed processes can be dangerous and hazardous; that’s why PADO, a Brazilian manufacturer of door locks and padlocks, purchased six robots for the filing stations on the production line.

“We are very concerned about the health and safety of our employees,” says Matheus Hirata, head of infrastructure at PADO. “Robots are extremely expensive. We only use them where they really make a difference in terms of safety and productivity.”

Adapt or Die on the Shop Floor

Besides ensuring safety, any manufacturing environment requires a continuous cycle of monitoring and measuring to drive productivity, making it a Big Data bonanza.

“SAP’s adaptive manufacturing approach allows us to respond dynamically. With 1,000 machines in the factory sometimes you don’t immediately notice if one breaks down. Now the system immediately sends an alert to the shop floor supervisor. If the machine is not serviced within an hour, it sends another alert to the company’s president,” says Hirata.

All of PADO’s machine data such as oil temperature or number of machine strokes is collected and analyzed on the SAP HANA platform. The data is accessible on screens all around the shop floor, enabling preventive maintenance in real time. And if a customer returns a defective product, it can be traced back to the exact machine which in turn will be serviced to prevent further errors.

“SAP MII connects the shop floor to our ERP system which has been running on SAP for years,” says Andrea Gardemann, a business administrator at PADO. “We can now make adjustments from our central station without interrupting production. Because it is all running in the cloud, you can access data from any device anywhere, anytime. This has reduced the time it takes to make decisions by 50 percent! SAP’s tools also allow us to visualize data in many different formats. Machine operators can pull up the designs of the locks they are working on in 3D right at their stations and make changes on the spot.”

Going Beyond CRM

With almost 75 percent market share in Brazil, PADO’s salesforce is scattered around a country of vast size and great differences in geographical and digital accessibility. “Previously, sales people in remote locations such as the Amazon weren’t always able to access the CRM system, leading to delays in customer service. With everything running in the cloud, we’re no longer dependent on the Internet,” says Hirata.

“Our sales teams are much more flexible,” adds Andrea. “They now have reports and sales details at their fingertips. Customers also benefit. We’re developing a portal where they can check the status of their orders, payments and invoices and use our 3D imaging tool to speed up the product selection process.”

With tools like these, PADO can truly engage employees and customers for the long term!

@magyarj

The Disruptors is a series of short stories of customer innovation from around the world.

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