Doosan Bobcat Moves from Paper-Based to Digital Production

June 18, 2020
Implementation of FactoryTalk InnovationSuite is helping Doosan Bobcat create a five-year technology advancement program to take its operations digital and enable data-driven decision-making at all levels.

During the ROKLive DX Strategists Conference held virtually by Rockwell Automation, Hiram Sosa, the senior automation manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) at Doosan Bobcat, explained how and why the company is digitally transforming its production operations. Doosan Bobcat is a supplier of construction equipment, such as compact loaders and excavators, telehandlers, and air compressors. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Fargo, N.D., with facilities located around the globe, including the Czech Republic where Sosa is located.

According to Sosa, the automation team at Doosan Bobcat EMEA began its digital transformation with a focus on providing “connectivity for all manufacturing areas with a flexible, modular, and scalable solution, allowing us to integrate all the data silos we had and provide dashboards for all manufacturing staff and other areas of the organization.”

 Doosan Bobcat chose FactoryTalk InnovationSuite from Rockwell Automation and PTC for this project to target specific manufacturing key performance indicators such as downtime, production output targets, and quality assurance.

The company began implementation of FactoryTalk in January 2019. Since then, Sosa says that, with this shop floor system in place to monitor and control manufacturing, Doosan Bobcat has been able to create a road map for the next five years of its operations. As part of this five-year plan, Sosa said the company will be adding new manufacturing execution system and product lifecycle management technologies with an Internet of Things approach.

“We want to make sure all levels of our staff are making data-driven decisions,” Sosa said.

 He noted that, prior to the company’s use of FactoryTalk, production operations were paper-based. “All the data was in silos, so there wasn’t a lot of data availability. Our mission was to focus on what we call TDK—transfer data into knowledge. We wanted a platform that would allow us to visualize the data coming from manufacturing or from different silos [in the organization] and make it available to everybody to minimize the non-value-added time our staff used to spend searching through data to contextualize it and create charts.”

To gain staff acceptance of these new technologies and this new operational direction for Doosan Bobcat, Sosa said the company held a technology day where the staff was able to interact with the new technologies the company is planning to implement.

“They were able to ask questions and test some of the technologies like augmented reality, viewing dashboards, and working with the self-serve reporting system,” said Sosa. Doosan Bobcat also regularly conducts training sessions for its workers with these new technologies and performs assessments to “know exactly what levels our staff is at,” he added.

Beyond this high level of engagement with the staff around the new technologies, Doosan Bobcat is stressing the importance of having its staff stay mindful about how the company wants to scale the deployment of these technologies across its global operations. To facilitate this, the company created a digital council to provide guidance and implement governance of technology deployments to “make sure that, when we get good benefits from a solution, [those benefits] will be communicated to other regions.”         

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