S. Suresh, CEOWhile Silicon Valley and its environs may be strewn with successful consumer Internet giants (Airbnb, Lyft and Uber among them), more than their success, it is what one can learn from them is the key takeaway. According to Bill Ruh in his talk on Mind+Machines, their triumph lies not just in digitization, but also in taking an asset and making it more efficient, in other words ‘asset productivity’.
Digital transformation is not limited to internet sphere alone. Every industry has embraced this type of innovation. Manufacturing companies, though, have somewhat lagged behind in adopting this type of change. They are now realizing that if they wait any longer, they may well miss the boat.
Manufacturing leaders have begun to understand that competitive advantages of digital transformation benefits not only productivity but also quality, reliability and traceability. Nevertheless, they have faced significant challenges both in identifying the best place to start, as well as integrating legacy equipment that may span several vintages. This is the niche than Vistrian has been able to fill.
Vistrian is a Silicon Valley company founded in 2002, and whose early customers were technology companies, manufacturing semi-conductors and data storage products. Over time, Vistrian has grown and branched out, and now provides solutions to a variety of customers in the Americas and Asia, that span the spectrum of technology to food to garment manufacturers.
Their concept is deceptively simple. The Vistrian solution is comprised of two primary platforms. FactoryLOOK, collects data from the process and facilities equipment, analyzes data in real-time, and creates actionable information and insights. Data may be stored within the customer’s firewall, ensuring confidentiality. These are brought together in fully customizable dashboards, with ability to drill down to see the smallest details. This could be something as simple as comparing throughput trends between factories or analyzing more complex issues such as why Key Performance Variables are drifting. It is therefore easy to track plant performance, deviations, early warnings, root cause analysis and corrective actions in real time from anywhere in the world.
Insights derived in real-time from processes and machines, untouched by human hands are inherently trustworthy
Of course, it is the analytics on this data that ultimately allows their customers to derive insights into their processes.
Vistrian’s offerings have grown to include platforms such as BizFACTOR that is targeted at companies that outsource their manufacturing. Again, the wealth of information that is made available in this manner provides critical insights into how their product is being produced, making it possible to compare production and yield between different manufacturers, as well as determine how well their products are performing in the field.
The versatility of the Vistrian solution sets them apart from their competitors. They can work with factories that have decades-old equipment or with companies that prefer to work with an existing MES.
Vistrian’s products have proven invaluable to its customers by ensuring that product is being processed on the correct machine, with the correct recipe, and the operator is trained to run the machine, thus eliminating misprocessing in these factories. Testimonials are ample; one recent customer credited Vistrian with saving them more than $1 million a year in just one of their many plants.
Vistrian aims to eventually move toward a solution that would allow their customers to implement a fully virtual factory. “Our ultimate goal is to play a meaningful role in the creation of smart factories,” says S. Suresh, CEO. The key to achieving this is to make solutions easy to configure, administer and use. Suresh Adds, “With productivity improvements that represent a constant annuity stream of cash flows, commercial justification becomes a no-brainer. We hope to enter other geographies of the world and other industry verticals, wherever our customers take us.”