Citect’s CitectHistorian data solution improves US company, Bostik’s bottom line through greater data visibility and access.
Bostik Inc began its life in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in1889, as the Boston Blacking Company, an early pioneer in the development of specialty adhesives for the emerging footware industry. Throughout the 20th century, Bostik’s product line grew and became more diversified. Today, Bostik Inc is a unit of TOTAL, a US$93-billion multinational company that is among the world’s largest adhesives and sealants manufacturers.
Bostik Inc’s facility in Middleton, Massachusetts in the USA, is part of the Global Transportation Division of Bostik Inc and serves the automotive, aerospace, marine and truck/bus/RV markets. Its manufacturing and warehousing operations are strategically located throughout the United States to provide high-quality products and responsive service to end-users and distributors alike.
Bostik Inc has been a CitectSCADA customer for more than ten years. Three years ago, it turned to Citect’s distribution partner, Control Point Inc in the USA, to implement the historian solution, CitectHistorian, with the help of Citect’s Professional Services team.
The sticky challenge
Bostik Inc needed real-time information to be able to make correct business decisions, but only historical data was available to the company. The historical data was on local PCs, which meant it was easy to lose, hard and time-consuming to retrieve and limited in scope.
However, there was a lot of resistance from employees about changing the system, as these employees were generally uncomfortable with complex computer and IT systems. Consequently, Bostik Inc was unable to make many critical business decisions due to a lack of information, as follows:
* What is the cycle time on equipment?
* How do we improve quality?
* What is our regular rate of production?
* How to provide data to chemists on quality issues?
* How does management know what is and is not profitable?
Bostik Inc now has 15 SCADA workstations installed throughout the facility that tie back to a single CitectHistorian server. They have a VPN with Citrix clients so that users can remotely access data from outside the plant. Citect’s Professional Services team worked closely with Bostik staff to install and configure the system and then train them to maintain and expand the system.
Over the course of a typical week, approximately 12 users from maintenance, engineering, production, chemists and management interact with the system, many on a daily basis. Others use the system on an on-demand basis.
Bostik chose the CitectHistorian solution because the other systems the company examined were more cumbersome and less user-friendly, according to the company. The installation base for CitectHistorian was stable and the company offers valuable local support.
Using CitectHistorian, Bostik Inc’s purchasing department can now monitor the status of bulk storage so they know when to order materials. Previously, they ordered based on expected, rather than actual, use and often a delivery truck would arrive with no place to unload.
Because of the type of materials Bostik uses, that either meant the truck had to return to the manufacturer’s location 1,500 miles away or sit on-site, incurring back charges to Bostik. Now, the purchasing department has become so accustomed to relying on CitectHistorian that if a sensor fails, they are the first to notify maintenance.
Cycle time has been improved because of visibility to resolve issues in real time, 24 hours a day. Previously, there was supervision only on the first shift, but now they can also check on the process remotely, after hours.
Quality improvements were recognised on a specific product when they were able to use the data collected by CitectHistorian to draw a correlation between agitator amps, batch temperature and hold times. The result was to decrease the rate of heating and the batch hold time from four hours to 90 minutes. Prior to this analysis, they had lost ten batches, each one worth US$26,000.
Site-wide data sharing has been one of the most important benefits seen by Bostik Inc with the implementation of CitectHistorian. Chemists can now see all data required to solve manufacturing problems as they arise. Additionally, management can now monitor overall production, which allows them to assess product profitability based on a calculation of production time versus sale price.
Data from CitectHistorian was instrumental in the decision to turn off one of the boilers for part of the year. This, along with other efforts, has reduced fuel usage by 2.5 per cent, saving them US$75,000 a year.
In addition to power consumption monitoring, Bostik Inc is also benefitting from utility monitoring. CitectHistorian monitors warehouse temperatures and utilities such as nitrogen (they use approximately US$35,000 worth annually) to ensure they are not seeing losses from open valves, and so forth. Supervisors and operators now see exactly what the plant manager sees, making them more accountable.
CitectHistorian’s functional real-time reporting also allows Bostik Inc to monitor the destruction of hazardous waste on-site with an EPA licensed Regenerative Thermal Oxidiser (RTO), proving they are within their emissions limits.
Gia Laverne, CAP coordinator
02 9496 7300