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Improve environmental sustainability and accelerate manufacturing processes by delivering insights faster.
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Blechwarenfabrik Limburg GmbH is a leading manufacturer of tinplate packaging. The company employs 400 people with headquarters in Germany and locations in Denmark and Poland. Every year Blechwarenfabrik Limburg uses 22,000 tons of tinplate to produce 80 million canisters, cans and bottles for chemical-technical liquids such as paint and adhesives.
Daniel Jung, Head of Business Intelligence at Blechwarenfabrik Limburg, says: “We want to be as sustainable as possible. That means using the data we already have about materials and outputs to optimize our operations. And by adding sensors, real-time analytics and automation — we can further accelerate our processes, reduce waste and save money.”
Beyond sustainability, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg wanted to streamline processes and management of its subsidiaries with new insights.
“Previously, every department and subsidiary did things their own way,” adds Daniel Jung. “We recognized that a standardized business intelligence architecture would increase transparency across the company. We wanted to enable everyone to understand what drives the business — from the controller in the finance department to production line workers and warehouse managers.”
To make better use of its data and gain new insights faster, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg evaluated several data warehouse and analytics solutions.
“We had to build up our business intelligence architecture from scratch,” says Daniel Jung. “Lumada DataOps Data Integration and Analytics, powered by Pentaho, offered us all the building blocks we needed to get started quickly. Having a single point of control for data pipelines and reporting was a great benefit for us.”
The Lumada licensing model enabled Blechwarenfabrik Limburg to start small and scale up dynamically without worrying about costs. Additionally, the open-source core of the solution ensures that the company is not locked in a proprietary platform, and always has the flexibility to expand the platform as needed.
“We’re working closely with our partner it-novum GmbH to provide extensive training for 60 key users,” says Daniel Jung. “These trained key users will then support their colleagues, allowing us to roll out more analytics capabilities faster to more people.”
The team at Blechwarenfabrik Limburg uses the Lumada DataOps to integrate and analyze information from a wide range of systems. Data from the management execution system, production planning and control system, and warehouse management system that is refreshed every two minutes. This gives users a continuous near-real-time view. The company also imports records from its ERP, staff management and customer relationship management applications to enable 360-degree analysis of the business.
“We really like the no-code, visual development of data pipelines in Lumada DataOps,” says Daniel Jung. “It makes it much faster to compose the different steps to transform our data, compared to coding all the queries manually.”
Blechwarenfabrik Limburg has 15 autonomous electric forklifts that whizz around its cutting-edge warehouse. It’s only with real-time insights and intuitive visualization that the company can manage its complex warehouse logistics to seamlessly ship 1,000 pallets of goods every single day.
“Our reporting used to be based on spreadsheets. Usually, it takes two weeks to get updated figures,” explains Daniel Jung. “Thanks to Lumada DataOps, we can now generate more than 100 dashboards and 700 reports automatically. This empowers employees to analyze data flexibly and make fast, data-driven decisions that maximize profitability and minimize waste.”
To improve access to these new dashboards, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg has installed 60 large screens across all departments — some in individual offices, others in shared areas. “Our analytics dashboards automatically turn on and off to reduce energy consumption,” notes Daniel Jung. “They provide instant access to key data, without the need to turn on a computer or navigate reports and spreadsheets. This has a real impact on our productivity: staff in the factory can now easily see inventory levels and manage jobs flexibly. In the past, they had to ask colleagues who then needed to check with other colleagues in different departments or click through various reports.”
Business intelligence is also at the core of the company’s efforts to innovate in manufacturing. “On the factory floor, we’re adopting the Industrial Internet of Things to implement our vision of Industry 4.0,” says Daniel Jung. “Sensor data from production lines is integrated into our data warehouse, allowing us to monitor performance and increase operational efficiency.”
By combining smarter materials management and continuous energy reporting with anomaly detection, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg has successfully streamlined its operations and made them more sustainable. For example, with Lumada DataOps, the company can now analyze real-time data streams from its energy management system. By correlating electricity consumption, compressed air usage and cooling water flow with production schedules and outputs, it can determine optimal performance metrics.
Daniel Jung explains: “The analytics solution knows exactly when each piece of equipment is needed and can determine when machines such as high-energy induction furnaces could be turned off. Automation based on these data insights reduces energy usage along the entire production line. Similarly, the monitoring of our compressed air systems enables us to identify even small leaks almost immediately, so we can react quickly and minimize the waste of valuable resources.”
These data-driven sustainability improvements have been recognized. In 2020, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg was awarded the German Environmental Prize which was presented by the German Federal President.
“We strive for continuous improvement,” confirms Daniel Jung. “Data analytics and automation have facilitated substantially lower energy and resource usage, saving us about half a million Euros per year.”
Self-service reporting has helped Blechwarenfabrik Limburg improve sales and customer service, too. “Our sales team can instantly get the latest reports including margins, prices and order volumes for every customer,” says Daniel Jung. “Customers automatically receive notifications about all important decisions, including supporting documents such as CO2 certificates.”
Finally, the data warehouse can even be used as backup for operational systems, as it includes the source data of all connected business applications. This configuration improves the company’s business continuity and reduces risk by limiting the potential impact of IT issues across the entire system landscape.
Daniel Jung concludes: “Lumada DataOps saves time and increases the efficiency of our sales team, while also increasing value for our customers.”
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We strive for continuous improvement. Data analytics and automation have facilitated substantially lower energy and resource usage, saving us about half a million Euros per year.
– Daniel Jung, Head of Business Intelligence, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg GmbH