Piramal Glass transforms manufacturing operations with Microsoft Azure IoT

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Piramal Glass, a global specialist in design, production, and decoration of glass packaging (flaconnage) solutions for Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics & Perfumery, and Specialty Food & Beverage industries, has deployed Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform to digitally transform its manufacturing operations.

An early adopter of the technology, Piramal Glass has currently implemented the solution, Real-Time Manufacturing Insights (RTMI), on 46 production lines across their four plants at Kosamba and Jambusar in Gujarat, India, Sri Lanka and the United States of America. The plants have an overall capacity of 1375 tons per day, with 12 furnaces and 60 production lines, all of which run on a 24/7 basis.

Piramal Glass has leveraged IoT to get real-time visibility into its line manufacturing operations and to analyze production line losses at various stages. Using Azure IoT Hub, Microsoft helped Piramal Glass acquire data from sensors on production lines to identify quality parameters at each stage and get insights on line efficiencies in real-time. This resulted in improved production efficiency and cost reduction up to 70% as compared to a glass industry manufacturing execution system (MES).

Vijay Shah, Director – Piramal Glass & Executive Director – Piramal Enterprises Ltd, said, “As the world’s most preferred supplier of glass packaging solutions, Piramal Glass is committed to continuously adding value to its customers. We are happy to have collaborated with Microsoft on our journey towards digital transformation and business critical future readiness. Glass manufacturing is a complex process with many interactive variables. Combining digital technologies with precision high-quality glass manufacturing, has helped us fortify our accelerated growth path.”

The Azure IoT platform enabled Piramal Glass to connect and monitor their equipment to gain real-time visibility into operational data that was previously unavailable. The technology integration was designed for fast and easy set-up to rapidly showcase the results and build on its existing sensors, equipment, systems, and data.

Sashi Sreedharan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, said, “Microsoft is committed towards the technological advancement of the manufacturing sector in India. We are excited to partner with Piramal Glass as they create a strong foundation for driving transformational change. It is significant that Microsoft technology enabled plant operations to continue as usual during the rollout of the Azure IoT solution, ensuring no disruption to the core manufacturing and deep integration with critical business processes.”

To facilitate this transformation, Precimetrix, a Microsoft partner, brought in its Plant Monitoring System hosted on Microsoft Azure. The sensors on high speed conveyor lines were interfaced with data acquisition devices that record the key metrics, as the bottles move along the production line. This data is aggregated on an edge gateway and then pushed to Precimetrix’s Plant Monitoring System on the cloud.

A custom solution was developed on top of this platform to provide stage-wise losses, production reports, quality control workflows as well as role-specific KPIs on PCs and smartphones of plant personnel. Actionable alerts are sent through SMS, email and push notifications whenever there is an anomaly detected or the production efficiency drops. In summary, RTMI has democratized real-time information availability to all plant stakeholders, enabling them to take faster decisions.

Piramal Glass is the largest specialty glass player in Asia and has been the fastest growing glass company in the world for over a decade. The company is the only significant player from Asia with a strong presence in the premium segment. It has progressed rapidly on its Digital Transformation journey and has made substantial investments in IoT as well as other digital technologies. While many of its digital initiatives started as experiments, a number of these have been scaled up, namely, computer vision to improve worker effectiveness, persuasive technologies to drive innovation, bots to enhance employee productivity & AI to create a manufacturing process Digital Twin.

IoT has reached an inflection point and is helping businesses improve operational efficiency and generate new business models from their existing assets and equipment. Microsoft believes that in the coming years, this will be the new normal across all industries and that companies will need to leverage IoT to maintain competitive advantage. Piramal Glass is committed to fast tracking its journey towards Industry 4.0 by leveraging Microsoft’s end-to-end IoT platform & Cognitive Services.

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