PR Newswire | September 27, 2023
Rockwell Automation, Inc., the world's largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, today announced the successful one-year implementation of the Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES) at BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, at its plant in Bizerte, Tunisia.
BIC's primary business drivers for digitalization and transformation are the standardization of production processes and integration across machines, people, and business layers. Plex MES was selected for its broad functional scope and technical capabilities, with cloud-based Software as a Service solution offering comprehensive support to BIC's standardization process.
Malte Dieckelmann, Vice President of Enterprise Software Sales, EMEA, explains, "Our collaboration with BIC marks a major milestone in digitally transforming its manufacturing operations. By leveraging Plex MES, BIC can transition to a more efficient, standardized, and paperless system. This development not only improves operations but also aligns with our shared focus on innovation and efficiency."
The deployment of Plex MES began in 2020 with a pilot project at BIC's production facility in Bizerte, Tunisia. The Plex MES system offers live reporting, enabling real-time visibility, automation of data collection, and tracking of production KPIs. The benefits of this project include improved inventory control, waste reduction, reduced error from manual processing, and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). It has also allowed for the automation of production integration, a significant change for people on the shop floor.
Rogelio Demay, Senior Manager Information Technology Manufacturing, at BIC, states: "Our journey towards digital transformation is fundamentally about integrating people and technology to improve operations. The shift from a paper-based system to Plex MES has been a tremendous step towards self-sufficiency, enabling us to react swiftly to issues, drive continuous improvement, and ultimately enhance efficiency."
Plex MES also serves as a foundation for BIC's broader Smart Manufacturing Initiative, including the integration of additional elements within the factory to help shift from a paper-based system to Plex MES and support self-sufficiency with a 360-degree view of the factory floor.
Rockwell Automation has been a key partner in this initiative, supporting BIC's vision of connecting operational technologies and the IoT world, bridging the gap between these two spheres and seamlessly integrating them into the company's operations to provide one single source of truth for manufacturing data.
Demay adds, "We value our past while embracing innovation, with a focus on breaking down silos to integrate technology and people. We believe our people are the first factor for success and integrating MES with daily routines is our way forward to improve operational efficiency."
BIC is poised to continue this digital transformation beyond the Bizerte plant and Dafni Vakasi, Smart Manufacturing Manager at BIC described how this approach will be applied across the other BIC factories in Athens, Manaus, and Mexico with the Plex MES solution playing a major role in the journey. The expansion will also deliver benefits beyond BIC's factory walls, helping to integrate suppliers on one side and delivery on the other to fully realize the goals of Industry 4.0, including driving actionable insights from data to empower decisions. With Rockwell Automation's support, BIC's journey is set to revolutionize its operations and establish a new standard in the manufacturing industry.
About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation, Inc., is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. We connect the imaginations of people with the potential of technology to expand what is humanly possible, making the world more productive and more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 28,000 problem solvers dedicated to our customers in more than 100 countries. To learn more about how we are bringing the Connected Enterprise to life across industrial enterprises, visit www.rockwellautomation.com.
A world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers, BIC brings simplicity and joy to everyday Life. For more than 75 years, the Company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable, essential products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide. Today, BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as BIC Kids™, BIC FlexTM, BodyMark by BICTM, Cello®, Djeep, Lucky Stationery, Rocketbook, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Us. TM, Wite-Out®, Inkbox and more. In 2022, BIC Net Sales were 2,233.9 million euros. The Company is listed on "Euronext Paris"," is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes and is recognized for its commitment to sustainable development and education. It received an A- Leadership score from CDP.
PR Newswire | October 20, 2023
Rockwell Automation, Inc., the world's largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, today announced the launch of the FactoryTalk® Optix™ portfolio to enable industrial organizations to build versatile human machine interface (HMI) solutions that meet diverse customer requirements and adapt to evolving needs and technologies.
Industrial organizations can now benefit from components designed for the development and programming of intuitive, easy-to-use industrial applications. The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio provides an open architecture along with options for design, deployment, connectivity and extensibility that empower users to create innovative applications.
The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio is a gamechanger, said Guy Lopes, vice president of operations at Wulftec International. It is an open solution that offers flexibility with a future-ready approach, and it allows us to design more innovative equipment faster through multi-user collaboration, web-based design and testing, as well as integrated version control. The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio is a big plus for us and we are very excited to have it standard on our machines.
The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio includes Rockwell Automation's HMI platform and remote access software, as well as Embedded Edge Compute Modules and a wide range of deployment options. FactoryTalk Optix software provides unlimited flexibility and efficiencies with object-oriented design, wizard-based workflows and pre-built libraries.
Rockwell Automation is continuing to introduce cloud-based solutions that will dramatically increase productivity by providing customers with new capabilities that overcome limitations and improve multi-user collaboration and support evolving workflows, said Brian Shepherd, senior vice president, Software & Control at Rockwell Automation. In a world that's changing faster than ever, the best technology is designed for agility and the FactoryTalk Optix portfolio gives users choices and flexibility across the HMI solution lifecycle.
The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio allows users to choose their own technology mix. For the first time, Rockwell Automation customers can use visualization software to design HMI applications that can natively work with both Rockwell Automation and third-party controllers and run it on their choice of hardware. Users can connect to a variety of third-party software, devices or systems using software designed for interoperability and full OPC UA support. Users also only pay for the features they need, reducing unnecessary spend on unused features.
"Cloud infrastructure and software-as-a-service offerings are unlocking tremendous value in nearly every corner of the business world, and manufacturing is no different," said Craig Resnick, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group. "Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk Optix portfolio provides this value by helping to unlock new possibilities in the world of HMI through the cloud and on-premises. The portfolio is designed to help enable users to create more innovative designs and scale through seamless access to physically distant sites while also offering more flexible deployment choices, including dedicated graphic terminals and industrial PCs to support a wide array of applications."
The FactoryTalk Optix portfolio includes five core solutions:
FactoryTalk® Optix™ Software
FactoryTalk Optix software is an HMI visualization platform that users can access from their browser or download to their computer. It delivers flexibility, scalability and interoperability and enables users to design and deploy an HMI that meets their needs. This new platform includes features such as multi-user collaboration, web-based design and test and integrated version control.
OptixPanel graphic terminals are sealed HMI appliances that come pre-loaded with FactoryTalk Optix and FactoryTalk Remote Access software licenses. This means that the device is an all-in-one solution that's ready to run at first power-up. The pre-installed, closed OS reduces risk in implementation and maintenance.
FactoryTalk® Remote Access™ Solutions
FactoryTalk Remote Access provides secure remote connectivity, so users can view, assist, manage and troubleshoot from anywhere in the world. This allows teams to respond to needs faster and rapidly resolve production issues. FactoryTalk Remote Access quickly connects domain experts to critical issues, no matter the physical location of either, increasing responsiveness and reducing the costs associated with travel and asset downtime.
ASEM™ 6300 Industrial PC
ASEM 6300 Industrial PCs are available in box and panel form and allow for greater customization. Innovate with FactoryTalk Optix software and seamlessly deploy HMI solutions to the ASEM 6300 device that best fits customer needs.
Embedded Edge Compute Module
The Embedded Edge Compute Module provides a packaged solution for users to process visual data locally and remotely while maintaining the capability to grow and scale your system as their needs change.
Business Wire | October 26, 2023
Operating capacity for the electric heating technology pioneered by Chromalox more than 100 years ago will be expanding at the company’s Ogden, UT, facility during 2024. In conjunction with Utah’s Weber County Economic Development Office, Chromalox announced a major upgrade and expansion to its Ogden factory that produces thermal electric heating technology used for sustainable heating applications in industrial and commercial installations throughout the globe.
Chromalox is part of the Electric Thermal Solutions (ETS) Business of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a leading global thermal energy and fluid technology solutions group. The Ogden facility supports Chromalox’s mission of providing customers with highly efficient, modular and scalable electric heating solutions for decarbonization of process heating, steam generation and temperature control systems. When complete, the new building will also be LEED Gold certified, within the LEED framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.
The Company is investing more than $58 million in a major expansion project with EK Bailey Construction to increase capacity, create jobs and advance to new manufacturing technology, while also implementing key technology and systems in accordance with Spirax-Sarco Engineering’s One Planet Sustainability Strategy. The One Planet vision is to be a global leader in industrial sustainability by increasing energy efficiency, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and improving water efficiency. To that end, the facility is making a significant investment in a ground source heat pump system to efficiently heat and cool the facility year-round with renewable, geothermal energy. Additional investments will include LED lighting and high efficiency systems to conserve water consumption and improve recycling. State-of-the-art paint booths will utilize environmentally friendly paints and incorporate advanced filtration systems all while reducing operational energy consumption.
Investment in Biodiversity
Chromalox is committed to investing in the local ecosystem to offset the impacts of the expansion by working to restore nearly five acres in the Ogden Nature Preserve. This work will include restoring natural vegetation, wildlife habitat and land right in the Ogden area that was historically impacted by past military operations and adverse weather.
Colleagues working at Chromalox have a strong and proud history of helping their home communities by supporting and leading volunteer activities and projects each year. Teams from the facility coordinate over 12 volunteering and charitable donations projects annually in the fields of education, food insecurity and biodiversity, to name a few. In addition, every colleague is provided 24 hours of paid leave time to perform volunteer work for causes with meaning to them.
Why Ogden, Utah?
Armando Pazos, President and Managing Director of ETS, praises Ogden as a location with “an experienced workforce (including some with as much as 40 years’ experience with Chromalox, as well as highly qualified future hires), as well as existing infrastructure and certifications for seamless transition to the expanded facility.
“Over the recent decades, our engagement with the state of Utah and particularly the Northern Weber County region has been highly effective for Chromalox,” Pazos said. “We have made great strides in our quest to set the bar progressively higher for clean and sustainable energy and to meet these demands with operational excellence.
“We are a key supplier to help industrial customers decarbonize with our patented offerings to electrify industrial processes with our electric heating technology and solutions, and Ogden is the center of our operations for the manufacturing of these products,” he concluded.
“This upgrade and expansion will increase sustainability and biodiversity at Chromalox’s Weber County facility and is a proactive step in enriching our community,” said Gage Froerer, Weber County Commissioner. “We look forward to working with Chromalox as a global leader in paving the way in thermal electric heating technology.”
Among its many benefits, the new facility will
Continue the Company’s emphasis on ensuring the safety, satisfaction and work environment for colleagues, supporting both retention and recruitment,
Provide an environmentally controlled facility to increase product yield and life,
Enhance customer service and continuity of supply, and
Secure the future growth of the business in which Chromalox’s colleagues and vendor partners can thrive.
Chromalox anticipates completion of the new facility by the end of 2024 and will be providing updated news as the project progresses.