A DIGITAL THREAD
FOR WEAVING SUCCESS
VESTAS WIND SYSTEMS
A DIGITAL THREAD
FOR WEAVING SUCCESS
Vestas had three key objectives - determine material traceability, increase the level of utilization, and to disseminate that information across the organization for better use.
Rigid systems based on manual documentation was a huge operational hindrance at Vestas. They had humongous information stored in Word files and data access, data consistency, data analysis and decision making were thus painfully slow processes.
Vestas operates in three broad business categories – first is maintenance and maintenance agreement models with full-service contracts, second is the information diagnostics and business intelligence and the third category is part sales. Adoption of Industry 4.0 was thus an imperative across all these three categories to improve internal operations as well as customer service. Few of the key challenges that Vestas aimed to mitigate with Industry 4.0 adoption were:
- No Single Source of Truth
- No clarity on digital thread and tool chain
- Lack of demarcation between systems
- Master data and design data issues
- Very limited use of PLM
- Design data was controlled in ERP System
- Legacy process and methodology
- Lack of common processes across organizations and provision/flexibility for site specific functionalities
- No systematic and integrated project management or CAD quality system
- Limited reuse of historical data
- Absence of collaborative platform for design data exchange across sites
Product representation throughout the value chain creates a foundation to work with product data in very unique ways. Vestas worked with LTTS to integrate their PLM system with their ERP and CAD systems to define boundaries between systems and right tool chains and standardization of master and design data as per UNSPC/ECCMA. This allowed Vestas to trace the material used in their products which was documented in physical form but not associated or tagged with a product structure. With the introduction of the digital thread through integration of PLM, Vestas is now able to create IoT applications, mixed reality applications to track, monitor, and trace these components. This has helped Vestas on multiple fronts such as:
- Building a digital twin model that enables generation of simulation data to better predict and analyze fault failure and systemic failures helping them in their warranty claims
- Building AR and VR models for training of their personnel on object recognition, process troubleshooting, and maintenance & management
- Opening of avenues for automation with machine vision
Vestas had three key objectives - the first one was to determine material traceability, the second objective was to increase the level of utilization by bringing up the level of information that they had, and then the third objective was to disseminate that information across the organization for better use.
The digital PLM thread across ERP and CAD systems helped them achieve all three objectives and helped them in ways beyond that. On the maintenance front, it allowed Vestas to be more competitive by driving down the cost. With S-BOM, they have an intelligent structure that gives much more foresight into parts traceability that helps them reduce the amount of times their service engineers have to visit the site to validate and procure the parts. It not only helps in faster procurement of the individual parts but allows Vestas to offer maintenance bundles and service sales to their customers leading to an alternate revenue source. In diagnostics, utilizing and leveraging the simulation models along with digital twin helps in simplifying the troubleshooting process and providing the prescriptions for resolving the issues in a much more streamlined and accurate way.
LTTS Our Partner in Success
One of the key things to work with a consultancy like LTTS is that we get a full-scale implementation team. It is like having a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of consultancy. It helps us seamlessly transcend various stages of maturity of a solution or product and move from concept into fully implemented ERP solution. And, I think that makes them a key ingredient in the recipe of our success. Our partnership with LTTS goes much beyond the ability to scale – yes we can easily ramp up when required but more importantly it is the assurance of getting the person with right skill-set as and when required without worrying about re-education of the newly inducted resource or implications of changing the team composition.
One thing that we have done really well with the partnerships is implementation of the best practices. The fact that we get exposure to the learnings of different companies across different industries makes the implementation more mature, especially on the PLM side.
We have a long-term engagement with LTTS, and we have had proven success with them on multiple projects. Over the time, this has built mutual trust which goes a long way in giving us the confidence that they will solve things if they have committed to it. Sometimes we also run into unforeseen issues but, we can still count on them to provide apt solutions to complex problems.