A large manufacturer of steel wanted to find a way to improve their quality controls. As they are using automatic cranes in their storage facilities to store finished products, it sometimes happened that these cranes accidentally damaged a product. However, from experience the client knew that if one product was damaged it often happened that the adjacent product also got damaged. Quintus was asked to create a report that showed all the adjacent products in the time the product had been stored. That products moved around in the storage facility made this more complicated as one product could have had more than 50 adjacent products during its lifetime in the warehouse. Quintus created a tool in Spotfire where the client could fill in the damaged product number and get both a list and a visual representation all the adjacent products, over time. This helped the client improve the quality of their product as they are shipping out less damaged goods.
A large manufacturer of car brakes was facing challenges with their testing. Their manual and error prone procedure for evaluating brake test took long and lacked homogeneous testing results. Due to this they also faced high time to market issues. Using Spotfire in combination with ultrasonic test equipment a simple and intuitive way for calculation and validating clustered test results was created. This led to boost in test productivity, better quality evaluation process and farter time to market.
For a large international company, we created a tool for predictive maintenance. This weighed the costs of scheduled replacements of valves compared to the costs of unexpected breakdowns. By using data collected over time, replacement schedules were created in Spotfire using R. These were specific per factory per valve model and manufacturer to minimize maintenance costs.
Tibco has created accelerators for Spotfire. This are best practices created by Tibco for the biggest, worst digital business innovation problems in an industry. These accelerators are extensible and reusable. Tibco has created multiple accelerators for the manufacturing such as: High Tech Manufacturing, event driven rules, activity monitoring and risk management in high frequency events. Below is a short clip from Tibco where they showcase their High-Tech Manufacturing Accelerator.
How information management by Quintus leads to more efficiency at Energie Beheer Nederland
Data is vital for Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN). The organization, a non-operating partner to nearly all gas and energy transition projects in the Netherlands, uses massive amounts of data to increase efficiency and create market value. In order to have access to all data and their smart aggregation, EBN relies on the expertise of Quintus. Manager Information Management Martin Hoff elaborates on this partnership.
EBN is active in the Dutch gas and renewable energy markets. The company provides policy advice to the government and shares knowledge with third parties, large actors in the gas and energy value chain. As non-operating partner, EBN participates in their projects. Most of the projects involve either the exploration, extraction and storage of Dutch natural gas, decommissioning of infrastructure, or geothermal energy and carbon capturing and storage.
“The availability of reliable information is crucial to our business objectives,” says Martin Hoff, EBN’s Manager Information Management and Chief Information Officer. He explains that most information is generated by cleverly processing and presenting data from various internal and external sources. It provides insight into crucial aspects of the business, such as gas production, reserves and forecasts per location, benchmark information, its financial status and operational risks, Hoff details.
From data warehouse to dashboard
At the heart of EBN’s data management lies a data warehouse. Here, data from numerous applications and external sources is compiled and prepared for further processing. It is made accessible to data analytics tools that allow visual presentation in dashboards. To have this process run efficiently and gain maximum insight, EBN relies on the expertise of Quintus consultants.
IT service provider Quintus is responsible for managing the data warehouse and delivering regular and incidental reports to EBN. Their consultants provide and maintain the tooling for correct data access, aggregation and visual presentation, Hoff explains. They also perform high-level quality checks prior to data admission to the warehouse. This gives EBN a reliable picture of both specific projects and generic trends. Anonymized information is also made available to the market.
Strategic information management
EBN first selected Quintus back in 2017, for implementing data analytics and reporting tool Spotfire. This tool was an addition to EBN’s existing SAP Business Objects suite that could not integrate GIS maps, Hoff says. Since then, Quintus has expanded its responsibility to include the more tactical side of information management. Hoff notes that most application-specific data is checked and managed either by the IT demand managers with support of the data program team at EBN or by the respective data supplier.
Four Quintus consultants participate in the scrum team, says Hoff. The team also includes EBN and third-party employees. Hoff is pleased with the input from Quintus. “They do a good job and are an integral part of our day-to-day business. They are familiar with our company culture and demands, realize which data is relevant to us and know extremely well the meaning of various data. When problems arise, they know whom to consult and never complain or disagree.”
Data efficiency with new technology
Hoff plans further digitization and even more efficient and effective use of data in the years to come. “As a company we shift focus towards energy transition. To facilitate this transition, we need extreme data efficiency. We have to embrace new technology in the future, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our current tooling won’t get us there. As long as we do not update our quality assurance and data processing capabilities, it will simply take too long.”
With that in mind, Hoff’s team has started the implementation of a data lake, in which raw data from applications and suppliers appears. “It’s going to be a challenge to us all,” Hoff concludes. “We need new knowledge and tooling to compare and bring these datasets together. Everyone will have to prepare for this, including Quintus. We are happy with their hands-on support.”
For sixty years EBN has been a participant in nearly all projects involving gas extraction, infrastructure decommissioning and energy transition in the Netherlands. The organization participates in, gives advice to and serves as information broker within its partnerships. EBN is fully owned by the Dutch state, but operates independently. It currently employs approximately 130 people.
Objective: smarter insights from a variety of datasets
Solution: data warehouse and information management
Result: more efficient and effective data use, prelude to further digitization