As digitalization and IoT become more of a reality across the cement industry, retrofitting manual operations becomes difficult. There is an increased need for Overall Operational Effectiveness (OOE). This proves to be a great challenge in a complex environment where various parts of the value chain are separated.
Lehigh Hanson, the North American subsidiary of HeidelbergCement, has grown through acquisition, therefore variability in location prevents a one-size-fits-all solution. Lehigh Hanson’s business focus is driven by tracking key touch points and measuring customer satisfaction.
This involves measuring service levels after process enhancement and performing customer needs analysis based on data analytics. This also enables Lehigh Hanson to ensure regulatory compliance and improve safety and efficiency.
Lehigh Hanson worked with Atollogy to kickstart a digitization journey that leveraged computer vision technology. Together, the two companies built a real-time and continuous-improvement solution that tackled operational, customer experience and safety challenges.
The first steps toward improving operations and customer experience was to recognize and understand the bottlenecks of every situation. Using a combination of computer vision, cameras, and edge computing, Atollogy launched the Connected Yard 4.0 solution.
By leveraging computer vision technology on top of camera imagery, Lehigh Hanson was easily able to identify yard operation pain-points in real-time. Cameras were installed at different points of interest quickly and easily, providing results within days.
By combining this information with customer data, Atollogy helped the Lehigh Hanson management team understand and measure true customer experience.
Atollogy’s advanced machine vision and AI technologies allowed them to quickly recognize bottlenecks and safety issues in each of their yard locations, regardless of variations in processes, layouts and traffic types.
This solution enabled the different cross-functions (plant management, sales team, continuous improvement team, etc.) to use this data as their single source of truth, resulting in better collaboration and ability to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
- Uses camera vision, edge computing, and AI capabilities to transform data into information to improve efficiency.
- Provides real-time visualization of what is happening in the yard including times trucks enter and exit the facility and reach bulk loading and safety stations.
- Connects automatically to our operations cloud to feed the AI processes.
- Requires no internal IT resources or integration into existing systems.
- Provides actionable insights immediately, allowing Lehigh Hanson to improve traffic throughput.
- Identifies unexpected events (such as back up at scale or loading site) in order to mitigate the problem before it occurs.
- Alerts on safety and hazard issues in real-time.
Results and Impact
Atollogy’s Yard Operations Solution creates a baseline for companies to measure customer experience that did not exist before. Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, Atollogy built around the size and complexities of each specific plant, creating a single source of truth for all levels of management to collaborate around.
With this solution the operational team can quickly and easily work jointly with sales to identify whether the root cause of poor customer experience was a plant-related or customer-related issue.
In addition, Atollogy is able to leverage computer vision technology to track truck speeds and pinpoint process exceptions. This helped to prevent potential safety violations and flag speeding trucks.
Atollogy – Yard Operations Solution: www.atollogy.com