Tech Mahindra: Improving shop floor traceability with CATS

By | 6 minute read | April 24, 2017

Hannover Messe is massive! This year, seven international leading trade fairs will happen at the Messe, covering a wide range of themes and exhibits – R&D, industrial automation and IT, industrial supply, production engineering and services, as well as energy and environmental technology. In Hall 7, Booth C18, we caught up with the Tech Mahindra team who are showcasing the Cognitive Asset Tracking System (CATS).

A Tech Mahindra presentation on the IBM booth at Hannover Messe

What is CATS (Cognitive Asset Tracking System)?

Cognitive Asset Tracking System (CATS) brings end to end shop floor traceability, powered by Watson IoT Platform, Cognitive and Predictive Analytics. The full CATS experience leverages the Internet of Things, connectivity, and AI to push the quality and productivity envelope in manufacturing.

End-to-end shop floor traceability, powered by Watson IoT Platform, Cognitive and Predictive Analytics

Large enterprises experienced the first wave of transformation with Enterprise Resource Planning systems, which simplified the management of a large number of ‘resources’, even if they existed in diverse other systems.

CATS represents the second wave of transformation. CATS leverages today’s cutting edge – IoT, Analytics, Mobility driven Service Design, LPWA – to go beyond the simplification of planning and management of assets.

The average manufacturing enterprise has an array of assets that are an integral part of the company’s operations. Any shutdowns, failures and maintenance will lead to disrupted supply chains and significant losses. CATS equips you to connect, acquire and analyze data from all your assets to optimize, simplify and transform various parts of your operations.

With CATS, your assets are a source of operational insight, rather than being the target of an IT implementation. And, because your assets are a source of real-time, ‘credible’ data, your business can become more intelligent and orchestrated. Apart from real-time asset-level data, CATS leverages data from workflows and processes via Maximo and manually entered data to provide an overall picture of operational processes for decision making at various levels, from the shop floor to the top floor.

CATS equips enterprises with the ability to achieve real-time orchestration across the value chain, delivering extraordinary operational transformation and laying a platform for automation.

Figure showing assets analytics and orchestration

Figure 1: Assets, analytics and orchestration

End-to-end traceability on the shop floor

Shop floor efficiency is susceptible to a range of issues such as time wasted in tracking the exact location of tools, gaps in defining and monitoring status of work packages and limited data availability for continuous process improvements. CATS addresses these by bringing a new level of traceability into the shop floor.

Figure showing CATS plus Maximo on shop floor operation

Figure 2: CATS + IBM Maximo on the shop floor

How CATS works:

  • CATS integrates with IBM Maximo to streamline Work Package creation and allocation for mapped workers by allowing planners to create Work Packages for each worker mapped to them.
  • The Work Packages are sent to the CATS IoT application, which are configured to individual Local Gateways. Local Gateways are deployed on individual workers’ cell phones.
  • CATS verifies the Work Packages and publishes them to the appropriate Local Gateways. All Local Gateways that are connected will receive the Work Packages immediately.
  • Workers cell phones frequently poll the Local Gateways for new Work Packages and updates. Work Packages, if any, are downloaded to the worker’s cell phone.
  • When the worker accepts the Work Package, the Local Gateway pre-validates the task and sends a command to the worker’s phone and the connected tool needed for the task.
  • When the task is completed with the tool, the worker ends the task and CATS validates completion.

The CATS differentiation

  • Connect fleets of tools using Watson IoT platform to monitor their location and status.
  • Integrate with IBM Maximo to dynamically allocate work packages with defined checklists.
  • Dynamic allocation of work packages and worker management based on parameters such as worker skill levels
  • Identify potential quality issues and mitigate risk based on asset data for focused QA inspections

How CATS can transform your shop floor operations

CATS automates traceability in assembly by supporting precisely timed MES tasks. With the ability to accurately locate fleets of assets within the shop floor, CATS helps workers receive guided alerts with detailed instructions for assembly and perform guided tasks on the shop floor through a mobile app.

CATS comes with intuitive, feature rich applications designed to simplify and streamline managing shop floor operations. A variety of reports and dashboards equip various roles such as Plant Manager, Line Manager, QA, etc. to get a holistic view of various stages of the manufacturing work flow through the shop floor, in real-time.

CATS applications, dashboards and reports and integration with IBM Maximo brings end to end traceability in manufacturing, all along the process chain, that can transform quality and productivity in the shop floor.

Preventive maintenance and equipment availability

The world is powered by an extraordinary array of equipment and machinery that produce the goods we use. Any shutdowns, failures and maintenance, planned or unplanned, will lead to billions of dollars in losses and affect upstream and downstream supply chains. It is here that CATS, together with Watson IoT Predictive and Cognitive Analytics, can transform equipment availability.

  • CATS can connect and acquire real-time data from machines and equipment through protocol agnostic IoT gateways. For example,CATS can interface with NC and PLCs to extract machine parameters such as Speed, Torque, Spindle position, Feed Rate, Vibration, and Temperature.
  • CATS leverages Watson IoT Predictive and Cognitive Analytics to make equipment smarter and more ‘self-aware’ with comprehensive analytics on acquired data.
  • CATS uses the real-time data and Watson IoT intelligence to predict potential problems with the monitored machines and machining operations.
  • CATS uses APIs to integrate with a variety of enterprise systems to automate enterprise function, such as raising service requests.

With a world of meaningful data and insight at your fingertips, CATS allows enterprises to predict, prevent and pre-empt problems.

CATS integration

CATS is comprehensive. It works well with a range of devices and can acquire data from a variety of sensors. It is scalable and includes end-to-end security, from the edge to the applications.

Figure showing CATS integration

Figure 3: CATS integration

What to expect with CATS

  • ~ 10% Overall Equipment and Asset Efficiency
  • ~ 20% improvement in worker efficiency
  • Transform your shop floor to a predictive, cognitive manufacturing operation
  • Significant improvements in process traceability within the shop floor
  • Significantly reduces equipment downtime and maintenance cycle times
  • Identity and pre-empt potential quality issues in machining
  • Track Time to Failure for all shop floor assets
  • Scale seamlessly without friction

Tech Mahindra is a proud partner for Watson IoT

Every tool, equipment, and machine will soon be digitally controlled. Industry 4.0 technologies such as connectivity, AI, robotics, nanotechnology, and 3D printing are already maturing and transforming manufacturing as we practise it. This convergence of technologies is influencing entire value chains.

As a global System Integration leader in IoT and Digital Transformation, Tech Mahindra is helping enterprises around the world embrace Digital to transform their shop floor and manufacturing operations. Together, IBM and Tech Mahindra deliver end-to-end IoT solutions, from the farm to the car to manufacturing. The combination of IBM’s IoT technology and Tech Mahindra’s System Integration expertise helps companies minimize IoT complexity by integrating technology to successfully plan and deploy complete IoT solutions. Tech Mahindra is also located at the Watson IoT HQ in Munich, co-creating and showcasing new solutions based on IBM’s Watson IoT

HANNOVER MESSE: Where physical meets digital

IBM Watson IoT is uniting the digital and physical worlds to advance Industry 4.0. The IBM digital twin strategy bridges engineering and operations to manage a complete business lifecycle, with solutions for product design, engineering, manufacturing and asset management, with security built in. IBM Watson IoT cognitive capabilities generate insights that enable continuous improvement — accelerating time-to-market, improving asset utilization and creating new revenue streams.

Stay tuned for more coverage of news and solutions from #WatsonIoT #HMI17

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