Bringing clarity into the complexity of processes and plant automation

INDUSTRY VIEW

Kari Terho, Director, Smart Factory, Elisa Industrial IoT, Corporate Customers 

IoT and its usage in manufacturing is a burning topic of discussion. A surprising challenger in the market is Elisa, a leading telecom company from Finland. How is it possible that a rather small telecom company from the North is challenging the big players in Europe and has become a forerunner in IoT solutions?


Finnish telecom company Elisa has over 130 years’ experience in the telecom industry. For decades, the company’s core business has been to manage a huge, mostly automatised multivendor infrastructure and to anticipate all possible incidents in it. Currently, the infrastructure operations use machine learning for closed-loop network optimisation. At some point, Elisa realised that this knowledge is something that the company could also provide to manufacturers – the needs in factories are quite similar to the ones in the telecom industry.


Traditional factories are made up of machines, equipment and systems that produce valuable data. Typically, manufacturers cannot utilise the data because the systems are siloed and do not communicate with each other. Thus, the operational efficiency, competitiveness, and the quality of the produced goods are not optimal.


Elisa Smart Factory Management brings clarity into the complexity. The solution uses IoT to collect and combine all the machines, devices and systems into one virtualised data lake. It enables intelligent optimisation, improving productivity from single processes to the whole factory. With real-time data, advanced analytics and 3D view into every part of the production, manufacturers are able to detect anomalies at multiple levels, optimise sub-processes, simulate changes and establish “golden operation” benchmarks, increasing the productivity, quality and uptime of the plant’s operations.


“Our vision is that in the future the most advanced plants will be fully autonomous. Processes and machines in the production lines will be self-optimised by machine learning algorithms and AI. In addition, performance data of the plants is automatically distributed to the relevant people alongside with updating predictions. The basic idea is the same as what has been our goal for decades: to manage a huge automated infrastructure, as well as to anticipate and prevent malfunctions,” says Kari Terho, Director, Smart Factory, Elisa Industrial IoT, Corporate Customers.


To become a global driver of this major technological shift is certainly an ambitious vision from a northern domestic outfit.


Bring clarity into the complexity of process management and plant automation.