AGC Aniche

Two years ago, pushed forward by a global Automotive digitisation programme, AGC Glass Europe decided to adopt Factry Historian as their standard tooling for data collection, production monitoring, and dashboarding.

In two years time, our IIoT platform was implemented in 8 sites and a multitude of production lines, with significant returns in terms of energy cost reduction, improved yield and uptime, time savings, and increased traceability.

About AGC Glass Europe

AGC Glass Europe is a leading manufacturer of flat glass, laminated glass, and other high-performance materials. With over a century of knowhow, it offers a wide range of glass products for various industries, going from Building glass to Automotive glass. It is part of the global enterprise AGC Glass, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with operations in over 30 regions and countries worldwide.

Use case summary

Their challenges

✔ Bring Automotive to Industry 4.0

With almost every global car manufacturer on their client list, AGC Glass is a beacon of industry trust and reliability. To enhance operational excellence in the European Automotive department, the group aimed to boost data transparency, IIoT connectivity, and facilitate user-friendly visual data analysis.

At the Building glass department, they were already collecting and analysing PLC data for years, using a traditional-vendor historian. At the Automotive side, data from only a few lines were collected and visualised through web applications that took a lot of time to build and maintain.

As soon as people realised what they could do with Factry Historian, they were hooked. All of a sudden, they could build any type of dashboard in two days, whereas it used to take six months to develop a custom application.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe
Mainteneance alerts at the AGC production plant

✔ Empower people with modern IT

Most importantly, the group wanted to empower people on the sites with the right tools to do their jobs better, and enable each site to develop its own use cases. Whether it is about enhancing operational processes, OEE, and traceability, or saving time when implementing a new production line.

In the past, people weren’t always thrilled about new corporate tools. Yet, the ambitious goal was to implement a new data culture at the Automotive department, and get employees on board fast with a user-friendly system that would enable them to work, troubleshoot, and exchange insights fluently.

From a group level, we want to empower people on each site to build their own improvement use cases. To us, IT really needs to play the role of enabler. Factry Historian plays that role really well, and we’re seeing great returns.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe

✔ Scale to new lines and sites cost-effectively

To digitise and connect its Automotive lines, AGC Glass Europe was looking for an open historian that combines functionality with unlimited scalability. One that is affordable, self-manageable, easy-to-use, and enables sites to build their own custom dashboards, without needing specific technical skills.

Bringing a new production line up to speed requires continuous finetuning. With certain production lines, it can take up to years to reach the optimal production yield. The data from Factry Historian now acts as an accelerator.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe

Factry solutions

With Factry Historian, we delivered a highly robust and flexible data collection and dashboarding solution, that enables each site to build its own interfaces, surface new insights, and exchange data between people and sites in a user-friendly way. From day one, user adoption has skyrocketed.

System architecture

  • The shop floor SCADA layer is connected to PLCs
  • Data is collected from the PLCs, or sent to the DCS
  • Data is sent to Factry Historian and stored in InfluxDB
  • Production data is analysed in real-time dashboards
  • Business-relevant production data is sent to the cloud
  • Cloud data is analysed on enterprise level in Tableau
  • Cloud data is used to feed custom-built AI algorithms

If there's one big differentiator, it would be the rapid availability of new functionalities. While traditional historian vendors are moving quite slow in terms of new functionalities, Factry Historian is continuously updated.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe
Automotive glass being produced

Product highlights

✔ Self-sustainable

Self-sustainability was key to AGC. People at each plant are able to build dashboards in a user-friendly way, without needing advanced knowledge.

✔ Unlimited tags

Before, a pay-per-tag model had put a brake on IIoT data collection at scale. Today, each connected site can deploy new initiatives using unlimited tags.

✔ Smooth scaling

Scalable technologies enable AGC Glass to get a group-level view on operations, and roll out new lines and sites without losing an arm and a leg.

✔ 24/7 support

Within a solid SLA, the company is guaranteed 24/7 assistance in case of questions or issues, including ones related to the technologies they use.

✔ Fast adoption

Before, people on the floor weren’t always thrilled about new corporate tools. Soon, they started using Factry Historian’s dashboards on an hourly basis.

✔ On any device

People on the floor can consult the data and join discussions from their mobile device, even when they’re not on site, allowing for quicker troubleshooting.

✔ Failover protection

Eliminating the collector as a single point of failure, the historian’s collector failover feature ensures the continuity of the data collection process.

The biggest added value of the Factry team? Their extensive experience. I can only say we are really happy with the collaboration, the company’s professionality, the way they manage projects, and the fast delivery times.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe

Factry Historian

The open data management platform for Industry 4.0

A range of use cases

✔ Real-time monitoring

Real-time process data collected by Factry Historian is displayed on TV screens directly on the production line, as reference for machine operators.

✔ Process optimisation

By enabling sites with the right tools and dashboards, they are able to deploy their own improvement initiatives, whether on traceability, quality, OEE, etc.

✔ Custom dashboards

Managers can easily create new dashboards to their needs, by duplicating existing dashboards or components, or set them up from scratch in no time.

✔ Automated alerting

In case of deviating values, a screenshot alert is sent to a Telegram group. This helps them resolve issues quickly, without having to make phone calls.

✔ Multi-site comparison

After the data is stored in InfluxDB, relevant Historian data is sent to the cloud for business analysis and plant comparison, within their BI tool Power BI.

✔ Feed AI-applications

After it is sent to the cloud, data from Factry Historian is fed to various AI-applications, going from leakage detection to quality issue detection.

✔ Energy monitoring

By using the historian for utilities and energy monitoring, they now have fine-grained insights on utilities usage, enabling them to pinpoint anomalies.

✔ Sustainability insights

Being able to pinpoint the carbon footprint of each windshield, and traceability throughout the entire process, has helped them meet new customer needs.

✔ Cycle time monitoring

The power to calculate the ‘Takt time’, or the total cycle time of different processes for laminated products, allows them to increase availability.

✔ Tag validation tool

A custom-built tag name generator verifies that each new tag applies to certain rules, and is validated that it exists in the database. Keeping tidy.

Another benefit of standardisation on the tag level is that it enables us to deploy great use cases on the enterprise level. For instance, from day one it allows us to send PLC data from all lines to the cloud with one type of algorithm. As such, we avoid double work when scaling to a new line or site.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe
The AGC plant

The results

✔ Increased yield

Being able to collect data and visualise data, and monitor the results of improvement initiates, has enabled them to increase yield significantly.

✔ Higher uptime

By being able to detect microstops, and by being able to match performance parameters with clear KPIs, uptime of production lines was improved.

✔ Improved traceability

Before, the Automotive transformation lines lacked real-time traceability. Today, the company has end-to-end visibility in the production process.

✔ Cost and time savings

Whereas it used to take 6 months to build a custom visualisation, they can now build a dashboard in a day, simply by duplicating and adjusting them.

✔ Faster time-to-market

By benchmarking data from other production lines, the company is able to implement new lines faster, as well as speed up the fine-tuning process.

✔ Increased engagement

Due to the high user adoption of the software, people in the Automotive department made a radical switch towards a data-driven mindset.

✔ Knowledge consolidation

By leveraging open technologies, instead of relying on the knowledge of one or two employees, data insights are consolidated within the organisation.

With Factry Historian, a new world of knowledge and insights has opened for the Automation department. That in itself has a huge return on investment. We are really happy with it, it is the daily usage of it that brings in the money.

Benjamin Léonard
Head of Enterprise IT Industrial Solutions at AGC Glass Europe
Frederik Van Leeckwyck

The open data management platform for Industry 4.0

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