Elisa Smart Factory collects all relevant data from machines, devices and systems into one virtualized data lake. With a real-time dynamic 3D holistic view of operations, Elisa helps to make better and faster decisions, reduce downtime, and improve product quality. The company is an enrolled member of the European 4.0 Transformation Center within the Smart Logistics Cluster on RWTH Aachen Campus.
Why and how does Elisa work on RWTH Aachen Campus? Kari Terho, Director of Elisa Smart Factory, responds in this interview.
Elisa is Finland’s dominant telecommunications provider. What is your strategy behind Smart Factory?
Our strategy is to be the leading provider for digitalized factories in Europe and even in global perspective. We provide real time visibility over data about what happens in the plant. The main target is to help factories increase quality and productivity.
What is your rationale to become a member of the RWTH Aachen Campus?
Elisa has over 130 years’ experience in telecom industry. For decades, our core business has been to manage a huge, mostly automatized infrastructure and to anticipate all possible incidents. At some point, we realized that this is something that we could provide to manufacturers also as the needs in the plant are similar with our industry.
Our vision is that in the future the most advanced plants will operate fully autonomous. Processes and machines in the production lines will be self-optimized by machine learning algorithms and AI. In addition, performance data of the plants are automatically distributed to relevant people with for example always updated predictions.
We believe that being a member of the RWTH Aachen Campus is a solution where everyone benefits. We learn the industrial process when building an industry 4.0 architecture. At the same time, we can provide our expertise about how to benefit from IoT solutions and how to build a fully autonomous plant.
How quickly could you make that decision?
As a typical Finn we didn’t need to think about the decision too long. The benefits were so obvious. Hence, the decision was made in less than a month.
What are Elisa Smart Factory’s key strengths and how do you put them in action within the European 4.0 Transformation Center (E4TC)?
Our key strengths are real-time visibility that we can provide to the plants, lean processes, and promptness. Within E4TC we are implementing our solution and delivering the process fast and in a lean way. We have a deep involvement in existing projects in the Demonstration Factory Aachen and upcoming at e.GO Mobile AG.
We are really keen on waiting the results on what we can reach with machine learning and use of innovative technologies within the European 4.0 Transformation Center (E4TC).
How do you compare manufacturing companies in Scandinavia and Germany, when it comes to digital transformation?
Based on studies, the Nordic countries, especially Finland, are ahead in digital transformation compared to the rest of the Europe. Finland is also leading the way how to implement new technologies in manufacturing industry.
How does the RWTH Aachen Campus platform help to leverage these kinds of experiences?
The RWTH Aachen Campus is a concrete place where we can demonstrate and develop new technologies as well as share experiences. We have an active role in Aachen and in the European 4.0 Transformation Center and we take actively part in different events, seminars, and conferences here. We also bring our customers to visit the Center and demonstrate the work that is done there.
What is e.GO Mobile’s role in this?
Elisa has been a part of developing the digital architecture for e.GO Mobile AG. In future, our role is to continue the work to digitalize the manufacturing processes. We create a digital twin from the plant’s processes to provide real time visibility, to find bottlenecks from the production and to increase the productivity.
What would you like to achieve in 2018?
We will leverage even more our cooperation with RWTH Aachen Campus and E4TC. We will arrange many customer events in Aachen in this year and of course we want to be part of the e.GO Mobile’s success.