30 August 2019

“I feel like we have advanced 20 or 30 years ahead…”

Register for our upcoming webinar where Siemens will share experiences and insights from Ashington – and reveal the secrets to successfully navigating a highly complex, incredibly ambitious and ever-evolving project.

Every day we talk to customers about the digital transformation and the huge benefits it can bring to their businesses. For many, it can often feel quite overwhelming trying to uncover the best way to utilise the array of digitalisation tools available. But, in manufacturing, there are massive gains to be made.

Just last year, AkzoNobel managed to make significant increases in production through automating every process at their paints and coatings plant in Ashington, UK. As well as meeting the ever-increasing needs of their customers, automation has helped AkzoNobel reach their sustainability goals and manage the minefield of safety legislation with ease. Through looking closely at their  challenges, we have created a unique solution that helps answer their business needs today and prepare them for the unknown threats of tomorrow.

Connecting the dots

Automation is not a new concept but integrating the automation of every process in a plant into one homogeneous system, connected vertically and horizontally, is very much at the leading edge. And it’s a feat we’re very proud to have achieved with AkzoNobel. We’ve helped many customers over the years gain crucial insights into areas of their production plants that have helped them run more efficiently.  With AkzoNobel, we’ve taken that learning and applied it to every single process in the plant, so each element can be constantly monitored, modified and improved.  

How to plan for the unknown

Process automation, whether for small or large-scale sites, is constantly evolving. Being agile is essential in the management of these projects, and it is a quality that Siemens employed at Ashington to help AkzoNobel reach full scale production. Complex projects like this also benefit from a consistent support network to seamlessly handle each stage from inception right through to life cycle management. There will always be unforeseen obstacles or exciting new avenues to explore and having a robust, experienced, team that can adapt is the key to handling both successfully.

The long and short of it

As well as the project evolving, technology is always evolving too. However we have ensured that the system deployed is future-proofed so that AkzoNobel will be able to take advantage of new innovations as they become available.

What we’ve provided for AkzoNobel is a system which gives a complete insight into their business – from raw materials in, to finished goods out -allowing them to improve the efficiency, productivity and safety of their plant today and for years to come.

I feel like we have advanced 20 or 30 years ahead

Jeff Hope, Head of Manufacturing, AkzoNobel, Ashington, UK

The full package

The potential of this technology is useless without one key ingredient – people. Our goal with every company we work with is to help them become self-sufficient in the digitalisation age. To do this, we provide intensive on and off-site training for all staff. For AkzoNobel, this means that the engineers and technicians running their plant are at the very forefront of process automation.

An impossible dream, realised

Many people told AkzoNobel that this sheer level of automation was impossible. But at Siemens we live by our mission to deliver “Ingenuity for Life”, by working closely with the AkzoNobel team to make their automation ambitions a reality.  

To learn how you can advance your business using process automation, click here

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