Rubbi SRL is a SME with more than 60 years of experience in precision mechanical structural work and machining. As the pandemic advanced, Rubbi became more aware of the huge competitive advantages that Industry 4.0 tools and technologies could bring to their business. As part of a large digitalization initiative, many key areas have been identified as potential game changers for the growth of the company.
LHP Europe SRL proposed themselves as partner in this 4.0 transition process. LHP Europe provides guidance and expertise in building a digital strategy. The path started with the identification of key “pains”. For example, the necessity of understanding the internal logistics’ potential for improvement and its consequent optimization. We have identified the Asset Tracking System as the solution to the key “pains.” The Asset Tracking system is a cloud-based platform capable of tracing the position and movements of any production asset, from raw materials to finished products.
WHY ASSET TRACKING SOLUTION
As noted by Rubbi’s Co-CEO, Maria Luisa Rubbi, “The location of our production assets is key for our business. As a Small Enterprise, we constantly face the need of optimizing our resources, and available floor is one of the most important”. Logistics can become complicated when a business grows and evolves quickly. Rapid growth might result in a loss of efficiency and a competitive disadvantage. So, knowing the best location to store and move assets is a very necessary aspect. Massimo Rubbi, Co-CEO and Director of Production, says “if we were able to anticipate where to store, when to move each production asset, and how to coordinate with our supply chain, we would be in a really nice place!”
Industry 4.0 allows everyone and everything to virtually connect across multiple organizations and domains. Rubbi aims to digitalize their process to gain more insights about criticalities and potential improvements. “As a manager, I am not always aware of everything that is happening daily inside our plant. To identify potential improvements, we need to be able to first see clearly what the key issues are”, Massimo said. Furthermore, Maria Luisa added: “We really want our employees to have the chance to be part of an organization that allows them to work in the best possible conditions and to simplify their work. Our goal is to create a workplace where everyone can produce value and truly understand their importance.”
Digitalization is not just technology. It is innovation at the service of the people through the improvement of operations and processes. Rubbi selected LHP Europe as their trusted partner to support this vision through the implementation of a digital solution called “Asset Tracking”.
Asset Tracking is a solution that aims to collect, analyze, and display information regarding the position of assets inside a space. LHP Europe has developed a digital platform for Rubbi that exploits Asset Tracking technologies using IoT devices. Each device has a wireless sensor that sends information about its location inside the plant, with respect to fixed IoT bridges strategically installed in the plant. Each IoT bridge defines an area and is capable of sharing data with the Cloud. By leveraging these technologies, it is possible to collect information in real time directly from the plant. All data is then saved into the cloud and made available through a web application.
The key to making this solution truly helpful for the customer is to tie the data to the processes. In this way, a true digitalization occurs, allowing for virtualization of the logistic processes. By connecting to the company’s ERPs and overall IT systems, every sensor is coupled with the asset, the corresponding Bill of Materials and production. The Web Application provides a set of features to analyze the logistics, key potential improvements and generate purchase orders. Additionally, it allows for control of the warehouse status with respect to the production plan and the forecasted sales. This helps plan the best workflow for the day and efficiently manage the warehouse. The platform is scalable and modular, so it can expand in the future to include new features. Particularly, to digitalize new processes or to extend the capabilities of the present solution.
Since the system was deployed, we have identified a significant impact on internal processes. Now, every employee has experienced a more organized work environment. A workplace where departments smoothly coordinate, and materials are available as soon as a new activity is ready to start. Productivity has risen by 15%, through dramatically decreasing waiting time between activities due to the wait for materials. The delay in delivering customer orders has decreased by 6% through the improvements in anticipating raw materials needed. Additionally, Asset Tracking has allowed for the identification of better positioning of stainless-steel rods to decrease related operations by 22%.
As Massimo and Maria Luisa said, “This is just the beginning for our digitalization program. We want to keep leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and solutions to keep our business competitive.” LHP Europe strives to support SMEs in their daily challenges. We aim to prove our expertise and creativity through innovating organizations.
Written by: Matteo Giunchedi – Project Manager, LHP Europe