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How a Cognite-powered data foundation creates value for manufacturers

The machining company Aarbakke used Cognite Data Fusion® to create a rich data foundation with a reusable data model to build solutions across asset management, quality, sustainability, and robotics.

The data foundation shortened Aarbakke's time to value and set the company on the path to becoming a digital leader in the industry.

Within 8-12 weeks, Aarbakke rolled out solutions that increased machine utilization by 10%, reduced machine service costs by 25%, and optimized tooling to reduce excess inventory by 60%.

Challenge

Lay the foundation for digital success

Many manufacturing companies lack a data foundation that's usable by all domains and scalable across the enterprise. Without such a data foundation, it can be difficult to use data, scale solutions, and collaborate.

Leaders at Aarbakke, one of the world's leading machining companies, saw a robust data foundation as a key part of the company's digital transformation.

Previous attempts to create this foundation had proven challenging. It had taken an entire year just to connect all the equipment on the shop floor, with minimal value delivered to operations.

The challenges included:

  • Previous tools required server infrastructure to host the databases, which didn't scale well with new machines and routinely overloaded CPUs, resulting in downtime.
  • Setting up static dashboards for every machine at Aarbakke's factory required significant manual effort.
  • There was no good place to store contextualized data. All if it was done in configurations specific to each use case, similar to a large spreadsheet with mappings.
  • Monitoring was limited. Solutions only alerted users if they stopped working.
  • It was difficult, if not impossible, to share data with partners and other external stakeholders.

Solutions

A data foundation powered by Industrial DataOps

Aarbakke chose to partner with Cognite for the second attempt to develop an operational data foundation that met the company’s needs.

Using the Industrial DataOps platform Cognite Data Fusion®, Aarbakke was able to integrate and contextualize all of its machine data in weeks instead of months. In addition, Cognite Data Fusion® integrated data from Aarbakke’s MES, ERP, quality system, and tooling database.

The end result was a rich data foundation with a reusable data model.

Combining this data model with Cognite’s open, API-first approach made data meaningful and accessible for Aarbakke’s digital team to deliver use cases.

To reduce the effort to maintain solutions, Cognite Data Fusion® also provided the data governance and quality monitoring required to minimize the data management burden on Aarbakke’s digital team.

Impact

Reduced time to value that scales

Aarbakke and Cognite began delivering use cases within the first 8–12 weeks of the partnership, enabling Aarbakke to increase machine utilization by 10%, reduce machine service costs by 25%, and optimize tooling to reduce excess inventory by 60%.

Aarbakke’s two-person digital team saw a fivefold increase in solutions delivered: They delivered 15 over the next 18 months, compared with only three every 18 months previously.

Use cases included an energy monitoring solution to reduce energy consumption and real-time quality reporting that reduced the number of quality incidents by 10%. In just under a year, the team at Aarbakke was able to deliver 6% of annual revenue in recognized value.

Aarbakke’s digital team has continued to build out the industrial data foundation and is currently developing a solution to cut CO2 emissions, with the ambition of becoming one of the world’s greenest suppliers in the energy sector.

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