Brembo is a world leader in the design, development and production of braking systems and components for cars, motorbikes, industrial vehicles, and machinery. They wanted a complete story of what was occurring on the production line so they could action these insights and improve throughout, all in a way that was quick to value.

The Challenge

Like many manufacturers, Brembo is looking to capitalize on real-time, smart technology to drive business growth. With 40+ facilities across a dozen countries, all with unique processes and equipment, Brembo had plenty of data but little insight. What they needed was a way to capture process data by integrating all the disparate sources and then serve up real insights into plant floor operations.

The Approach

Brembo went to the market to find an IoT platform and integrator that could deliver value in weeks rather than months. PTC’s ThingWorx appealed to Brembo because of its flexible foundation and ability to leverage investments in interfaces and data stores–meaning they didn’t have to start from scratch. Further, they wanted to ensure the approach proved functionality, while providing the proper framework to expand capabilities and scale across the enterprise. As a trusted ThingWorx integrator, PTC knew Brock could bring the automation and IoT expertise necessary, and methodology to design solutions with scalability in mind for large-scale enterprise customers.

Working collaboratively with the customer, Brock Solutions outlined a digitization roadmap, starting with a 3-line pilot followed by a phased approach to a full facility rollout, improving and enhancing along the way based on stakeholder feedback. This approach allows for other value-add enhancements and functionality from the 'wish list' to be addressed and deployed throughout the rollout.

The Solution

The solution leverages Kepware to tie in and integrate several disparate sources of data to capture and display a complete story of what’s happening on a production line. Sources of integration included various plant equipment (lathes, mills, robots etc.), PLCs, Quality Systems, ERP, Maintenance Systems, etc. In approximately 10 weeks from inception to delivery, Brock leveraged the connectivity of Kepware and rapid development capabilities of ThingWorx to collect and display this data on three custom mashups (see images) to provide three unique user groups with real-time actionable data. The plant manager can view overall operational efficiency of the facility in real-time on a tablet, a line operator can view their production metrics including actionable alerts like fluid refills on a single pane of glass, and a continuous improvement representative can troubleshoot events regardless of system, all in a single platform.

This automated data capture and visibility of the plant floor have given stakeholders across various levels of the organization the insights needed to make smart, informed business decisions leading to reduced scrap and overall downtime, ultimately impacting the bottom line.

Next Steps

With the 50+ line plant rollout coming to a close, Brock, ThingWorx, and Brembo are now working to deploy the solution to other manufacturing sites in the US and Mexico. Brembo is now looking at other ways to leverage the platform, exploring things like energy management, predictive analytics, and Automated Guidance Vehicle (AGV) integration.

"PTC’s partnership with Brock Solutions, along with the ThingWorx platform, have helped us accelerate our digital transformation. The solutions delivered have shown value in weeks, rather than months, and will help us drive business results and innovation."
Dan Sandberg, CEO, Brembo North America

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