The Danfoss Digital Transformation Journey Champions

Thursday, 14 February, 2019

The Danfoss Going Great Journey focuses on people and in building high-performing diverse teams, who have the passion to excel and strengthen our company as a great employer.

Digital Transformation Journey

Ankit Thakker and Sandheep Gopinath are a key part of the Danfoss Digital Transformation journey by being a leader/member for IoT and digitalization of 6 RAC Factories Project, globally across India, China, Denmark, Mexico and Poland.

The new journey was started in the end of year 2017, where they started extracting data from existing machines by leveraging Internet of Things (IOT) technology. The aim was to build a foundation for digitization for all 6 RAC factories.

The digitalization journey started with the first pilot project in India for filter drier production. The team involved an external vendor, who helped in exploring and implementing different functionalities, that can benefit our productions.  Traditionally, many activities are performed manually on the shop floor, that includes hourly registrations, data points of equipment efficiency and others, which are manually noted down by operators on paper, and later transferred to excel or stored as physical records. This makes the process inefficient, as well as the data captured cannot be used to its best.

The pilot project was aimed at

·         Reducing paper-based calculations

·         Improving the overall efficiency

·         Real time overall equipment efficiency (OEE)

·         Lesser Human Intervention

·         Exploring functionalities that could benefit productions

The Exploration stage:

The first year of the transformation journey was the exploration stage, where along with exploring functionalities, they also tried out to connect with different domains within Danfoss. They also spent valuable time with our Danfoss India R&D to understand the products better.

MCX Programmable Controllers was one such product, which they used smartly to fit in the digitalization application. The key was to identify products within the organization, customize it in a way that it suits the other applications as well.

The pilot was a success and team achieved the target. However, the approach to develop the solution had its drawbacks in terms of reliability, customization, time consumption and scaling up to all factories. This is when the team, came up with a strategy of using a common platform for digitalization and involving our own people to innovate and implement digital solutions. “This is the best way to leverage great experience and know-how of our own people and efficiently convert it into digital solutions”, says Ankit Thakker

Ignition platform

As a part of the new strategy, in July 2018, the team decided to use Ignition, an industry 4.0 SCADA solution by Inductive Automation as a common platform. The motto was to not rely on external vendors to carry out digitalization, but to use a platform on which we can build solutions on our own.

“The strategy will help us to arrive at a standardized approach and build competency within our organization, creating new opportunities for our people. It will also play an important role in the cultural shift towards digitalization, as we are inspiring our own people to innovate and implement. “, said Ankit Thakker, Senior Project Engineer, RAC-SCFTG.

The vision behind such Digital Transformation projects is

·         Increased productivity

·         Reduced consumption of Time and Paper

·         Higher accuracy in Data

·         Finding hidden insights

·         Removal of Human Intervention

·         Removal of manual paper work

·         Real time KPIs

·         Added skill development (Platform training)

·         Culture of innovation

“Earlier, we used to measure the cycle time of production manually, but now with the digitalization project, we have been able to calculate it in real time and analyze the performance”, said, Sandeep.

Going Forward:

In the last week of December 2018, the team has procured two licenses of Ignition, one for the India factory and the other for Kolding, Denmark. By the first quarter of 2019, the licenses for all 6 RAC factories will be procured. The pilot developed in India with external vendor is now being shifted to Ignition platform and is planned to be completed by end of January. Similar project is planned in Kolding, Denmark in 1st quarter of 2018. 

Leveraging internal employee’s competencies:

The team was also instrumental in creating a network of Danfoss employees (chatter group) who are competent in using the Ignition platform. This resulted in transfer of knowledge within the organization.

The Digital Supply Chain Initiative

Ankit and Sandeep are also contributing to Digital Supply Chain Initiative, under the guidance of Jarosz Lukasz – Manager, Global Gatekeeping – RAC-SCFTG , where they are working to create a catalogue of solutions, making it easy for employees in any segment to search existing IoT and sensor based solutions and implement it.

Thus, Ankit and Sandeep not only worked on coming up with a new strategy for the digital transformation projects, but also helped in leveraging internal employee’s competencies by creating a knowledge sharing platform and culture of innovation. Thus, bringing to light their focus on running the business like their own and thinking Danfoss.

Their decision-making skills and execution clearly shows their commitment towards their work and how they take the right decisions, reduce complexity, act with integrity and stay complaint all throughout.