The individuality of internal and external structures and processes of companies often prevents the implementation of generalist digitization solutions. Experience across industries shows that corresponding tools are only successfully implemented in production operations and consistently used – i.e., accepted – by machine operators if a great deal of effort has previously been invested in analyzing the overall “production operation” system, identifying technical and organizational interfaces, and introducing the products in practice. This applies to both technical and organizational, as well as psychological aspects.
We consider these aspects as the basis for MADDOX’s sustainable and beneficial integration into our customers’ production environments and workflows. Together, we adapt MADDOX to the individual requirements of user groups such as machine operators, technical staff, job planners, OEE specialists, and many more, even across sites. We see MADDOX as being at the center of an ecosystem that not only ideally contributes to a more sustainable elimination of production disruptions, but can also function as the central hub of knowledge management and machine data recording and analysis in an international production context.
Essentially, our customer projects can be divided into five – or optionally six – sections that overlap in terms of content, run in parallel in terms of time, and thus merge smoothly into one another:
- Analysis of the status quo and kick-off
- Joint development of a roadmap
- Technical integration of MADDOX at a pilot plant
- Introduction and pilot phase
- Roll-out phase and long-term use
- Optional scaling to additional production sites and networking of MADDOX instances
Analysis of the status quo and kick-off
The initial phase of the customer project is characterized by the analysis of the machines used and the IT infrastructure, getting to know the user groups, and the identification of optimization potentials within production, such as the standardization of data and knowledge sources or protocol management.
With a focus on maximizing customer value through the integration of MADDOX, in joint workshops we therefore analyze:
- Type, structure, and interlinking of the production machines used
- Sequential machine and associated organizational processes as well as typical malfunction patterns
- Existing methods of knowledge management in the production context
- Tasks, responsibilities, tools, workflows and communication channels of relevant user groups and their roles in the company
- Data processing systems used in the production environment and beyond with regard to data acquisition, data provision and processing, data use (user group-specific), available infrastructure, and existing links between the systems
- Data protection aspects in dialogue with the Works Council
- Optimization potential in the production environment with regard to
- Data transmission and use
- Logging (technical, organizational, etc.)
- Single source of truth: Unification of data and knowledge sources
- Appreciation and knowledge sharing within the workforce
In further workshops with the customers’ machine suppliers, we clarify which data nodes need to be taken into account in order to fully exploit MADDOX’s potential for our customers. In addition, we are investigating how a beneficial and sustainable cooperation between Peerox, machine manufacturers, and plant operators can be designed. For example, it is conceivable to offer a standardized data exchange between machine manufacturers and customers. This would enable manufacturers to identify potential for optimizing their machines or to offer their own services and products. In addition, plant operators can benefit from machine manufacturers’ contributions to knowledge maps with a view to sustainable troubleshooting strategies.
Joint development of a roadmap
In the subsequent project phase, the establishment of an internal customer consortium plays a key role. It unites all relevant stakeholders from the production environment (personnel managers, order planning, OEE, technology, etc.) and serves as a discussion and solution platform for organizational and administrative hurdles. The consortium is an active driver of the project progress. Through mutual cooperation within the consortium, a roadmap is developed which enables the smooth integration of MADDOX into existing technical systems and the operational business.
The roadmap answers questions about:
- Technical integration
- Machine or IT infrastructure connections
- Integration of customer-internal software, analysis, and visualization systems
- Implementation of extraordinary, customer-specific software adaptations such as plugins or services
- Placement of MADDOX-enabled terminals in production environment
- Execution of a training plan for relevant user groups
- Organizational integration of MADDOX and usage phases including scaling approaches
- Introduction and pilot phase
Technical integration of MADDOX
With the technical integration of MADDOX, the basis for its use is created, i.e. Peerox transfers all points shown in the roadmap into a technically flawlessly functioning system. Technical details, such as access to the existing IT infrastructure like machine servers, data sinks, and cloud-based services, as well as the software integration or interface connection with , are the focus of this project stage. Partial aspects are the configuration of the machine event creation via trigger signals / trigger nodes, the integration of machine-specific error codes, and the setup of the sensor data-based training of the self-learning search algorithm.
Introduction and Pilot Phase
At the beginning of the MADDOX introduction and pilot phase, all key stakeholders are involved in the project. In the course of this phase, training is provided for HR managers and middle management. Suitable pilot users are then identified and pilot teams are formed from this group of people, which are intensively trained and supported by Peerox until the higher-level roll-out. This involves workshops with pilot teams and HR managers, as well as individual training sessions on site. When the pilot teams officially start their work, Peerox begins with “customer internal marketing”. Our goal is not only to inform the entire workforce along all hierarchical levels about MADDOX, the integration project, and its progress, but also to ignite a passionate feeling of product ownership. Ultimately,the goal is to minimize any perceived barriers on the part of the user groups regarding the introduction of the assistance system, and MADDOX should be perceived internally as “our system”. For this purpose, we use a broad portfolio of newsletters, circulars (various distribution lists), publications in customer magazines (company newspaper), presentations, video introductions, on-site visits, and other methods that we have developed and optimized over the past years in the course of constant, close customer contact.
Roll-out phase and long-term use
The successful analysis and evaluation of the pilot phase is followed by the identification of final organizational and administrative stumbling blocks that could potentially slow down the upcoming smooth roll-out of MADDOX within the entire production environment. Working with the project consortium, final hurdles are overcome, e.g. by designing incentives or integrating MADDOX into recurring routines such as shift changes, and the following scaling approach is implemented:
- Increase in the number of pilot teams
- Increase in the number of people per pilot team
- Broad-based, user group-specific training and intensification of internal customer marketing measures – online, via video, or on site
Peerox focuses on the intrinsic motivation and commitment of the user groups in all phases in order to increase the number of users and user activity – in line with the company philosophy. The integration of MADDOX into everyday operations should at no time feel forced, and yet at the same time, not be perceived as optional.
After the roll-out, Peerox’s main goal is to stabilize user activity and acceptance for the long term, which is why MADDOX’s use is continuously supported through usage and login monitoring, as well as appropriate measures as personalized queries. During usage, this includes the identification of concrete, product-specific, or organizational reasons for inactivity, as well as counter-reactions by means of individual training, the offer of remote support, and feedback-based product improvements.
Optional scaling to additional locations and networking of MADDOX instances
Optional scaling to additional locations and networking of multiple MADDOX instances
Due to rapidly advancing developments in the digitization of production environments and the associated competitive potential in the context of increasingly converging intra- and transnational production sites, our customers are right to think big. For this reason, we are fully committed to supporting them in efficiently exploiting cross-site synergy effects by means of a large-scale roll-out, and multiplying MADDOX’s benefits many times over for all user groups. Because the networking of parallel MADDOX instances enables the common and temporal use of the same databases – even of spatially separated locations – all stakeholders benefit from executed machine learning trainings or extensions of the knowledge database, e.g. by entries of machine operators. We offer the optimal scaling solution for every situation:
MADDOX is a cloud-enabled complete solution, which is why machine data that is already provided live via cloud services can be easily integrated into MADDOX. Therefore, the cross-site integration and maintenance of MADDOX is completely possible via remote access.
If our customers do not have any machine connections to the cloud but do have mirrored machine parks, an uncomplicated copy-paste strategy is used. Here, the assistance system, including all configurations, trained ML algorithms, and knowledge databases are smoothly and remotely transferred and maintained from the servers of an already equipped machine park to those of the machine park to be equipped. Data transfer between the sites is ensured via secure VPN connections. The security of our customer connections and data is always in focus. In the case of similar machine parks, i.e. similar machines and machine linkages of the same machine manufacturer at different locations, our customers only have to make minor adjustments to the MADDOX ecosystem. It goes without saying that we will come up with precisely tailored solutions – even for unusual compositions and requirements of the most diverse machine parks – in order to connect customer sites to MADDOX and thus network the sites with each other. The same applies to the connection to documentation, ERP, or MES systems.