Case studies

Cloud-based industrial monitoring sparks manufacturer’s digital transformation

Digital Twin Consulting extracts the hidden value of operations at carpet manufacturer Belogtex through the quick deployment of cloud-based industrial monitoring using u-blox IoT communication services.

Image of worker in Belgotex factory

An essential ingredient in designing production layouts and processes that increase productivity, eliminate wastefulness, and reduce costs while also maintaining quality is the ability to measure performance at each manufacturing step and to understand systems-level interactions. 

Digital Twin Consulting uses enterprise data and connectivity innovations to model, optimize, and transform business operations for its clients. This Industrial IoT monitoring case study demonstrates how Digital Twin leverages u-blox's device-to-enterprise communications solution to bring tangible business improvements for its client Belgotex. 

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Belgotex is Africa’s leading carpet and artificial grass manufacturer and is proud to take Africa to the world with its extensive product portfolio. To meet this ambitious aim, Belgotex entrusted Digital Twin Consulting to help it bring their traditional manufacturing environment to new levels of operational excellence. Digital Twin Consulting’s solution sparked a digital transformation at Belgotex, unlocking previously untapped value in manufacturing. 

Challenge #1: Each unit operation is doing their own thing

The first challenge that Digital Twin discovered was that each operational unit within the carpet manufacturing plant was doing its own thing. Under this practice, individual stations operating optimally when measured as a single unit can cause operational inefficiencies and waste at an overall plant level. 

Challenge #2: No central network connecting the plant at a systems level

Further compounding the challenge was the absence of a central network connecting the manufacturing plant at a systems level. This lack of a centrally coordinated communication infrastructure led to measurable inefficiencies in the manufacturing process that directly impacted the Belgotex revenues: excess inventory, poor asset utilization, and higher operating expenses. 

Challenge #3: The need to quickly show what is possible

Digital Twin didn’t have the luxury of developing a costly or time-consuming network infrastructure implementation. It needed to show rapidly that operational improvements were possible. 

The solution: Rapid deployment of cellular IoT edge devices combined with easy IoT device-to-enterprise communication

Digital Twin solved the connectivity challenge through the rapid deployment of Pigeon, Digital Twin’s cellular IoT edge device. By collecting industrial monitoring inputs throughout the carpet manufacturing plant through the quick deployment of a cloud-based industrial monitoring solution, Digital Twin Consulting was able to leverage Thingstream, u-blox's IoT communication services to extract the hidden value of operations at the carpet manufacturer.

“Pigeon provides the quick deployment of cellular connectivity that we need in challenging environments such as these traditional manufacturing plants. u-blox's Thingstream makes it simple to get IoT data from the device to cloud management platform where we can transform and optimize the plant and deliver a true return on assets.’’

- Richard Creighton, CEO of Digital Twin 

 

Digital Twin’s Pigeon cellular IoT edge device can be quickly installed to collect critical industrial monitoring data and deliver it to the enterprise via u-blox MQTT Anywhere communication service.

Getting data from IoT devices anywhere in the world to the enterprise is simplified through MQTT Anywhere, the u-blox IoT communication service delivered via the Thingstream IoT cloud platform. 

MQTT Anywhere offers: 

Outcomes: Enabling tangible business improvement and sparking a digital transformation

The digital platform, now dubbed “The Belgotex Smart Factory,” has further enabled the team with real or near real-time visibility of energy and productivity metrics across its vertically integrated processes, which supports the team’s drive for operational excellence and environmental performance.

Concretely, the solution offered Belogtex a variety of benefits: 

  • Enabled real or near real visibility of energy and productivity metrics across vertically integrated processes
  • Improved environmental performance
  • Increased performance in asset utilization
  • Reduction in operating expenses
  • Reduction in waste

 

“Layering tech into a traditional manufacturing environment is exhilarating because you know you are going to see your world through a new lens, but finding the right partner that appreciates culture, has the emotional intelligence to leverage what has worked well and make it more dynamic is truly unique. The value we have been able to unlock together is so powerful!” 

-- Ed Colle, CEO of Belgotex and client of Digital Twin Consulting