Smart science to improve lives™

Digitalisation in manufacturing

We can see the potential of big data, robotics, analytics and the Internet of Things to drive manufacturing excellence and contribute to our right first time agenda. We have several projects running to explore the potential of these tools and how we might quickly scale them across the group. This work is laying the foundations for digital integration between factory floor and supply chain, with improved resource efficiency a key output. 

For example, advanced analytics is providing new insights from the vast array of data at our manufacturing site in Mevisa, Spain. We are identifying patterns and connections that would be impossible manually due to the data volumes. The team has already seen results including reduced cycle times, improved yield and lower energy consumption.

In another example, our complex chemistries have historically used traditional methods for quality analysis and control, taking samples during manufacture, conducting laboratory analysis then adjusting operating parameters. This cycle is often repeated several times to meet precise customer specifications, which can be time consuming and increase resource consumption. Our manufacturing site in Gouda, Netherlands addressed this issue through innovative process design and adopting the latest near-infrared analytical capabilities. This enables real-time quality measurement coupled with predictive control, reducing batch cycle times, optimising utility consumption, and eliminating the need to take and destroy samples. Validation in 2021 will be followed by rollout to other Croda sites.