Digital Value Enablement for Manufacturing
Lumada Manufacturing Insights
Lumada Video Insights
Established in 1985 and located in southwestern Kentucky, Logan Aluminum is an aluminum rolling mill and the largest single-can sheet facility in North America. Its single plant supplies nearly half of North American aluminum sheeting for canned beverages, such as beer, soda and water. This equates to more than two billion pounds of aluminum every year.
With the average piece of metal moving through the plant weighing between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds, employee safety and energy usage are of critical importance for the company.
“Using recycled rather than fresh aluminum uses about 90% less energy,” says Business Transformation Leader at Logan Aluminum, Vijay Kamineni. “Our product is already around 60 to 70% recycled.”
As new companies enter the market using digital technologies to optimize their rolling process, Logan Aluminum needs to ensure it remains competitive and cost-effective.
Despite having installed between 2,000 and 3,000 smart sensors on its 59 plant machines, Logan Aluminum was not harnessing the full value of the data captured. “We were data-rich but using less than 5% of the data for handling machine operations and customer queries,” reveals Kamineni. “Only the two people processing the data for each individual machine could access it.”
Logan Aluminum’s eyes were opened to new possibilities for leveraging its operational data at the Hitachi’s NEXT 2018 conference in San Diego. The company was inspired to embark on a digital transformation journey that would ultimately enhance the product quality.
Digitalization enables industrial companies to replace manual processes with automated workflows that can help to improve safety, productivity and quality. Digitalization doesn’t just impact processes; it impacts teams, systems and clients, and can change a company’s entire culture. For this reason, Logan Aluminum spent six months evaluating potential partners to guide it on its transformation journey. “We didn’t know how to go about changing our business with digital solutions,” admits Kamineni. “We needed an expert that could help us minimize the risk and maximize the return.”