How GE Digital is Using AI IoT to Upgrade Drink Packaging

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The combination of GE Digitals APM and ServiceMax applications will enable SIG to build an end-to-end digital platform that will bring new insights and data-driven intelligence to its customers worldwidehelping them and SIG transform how they predict, manage and service the entire lifecycle of SIG filling lines.

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Founded in 1853, SIG employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. In 2017, SIG generated €1.66 billion in revenue.

End-to-end Digital Platform for 400 Factories

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However,SIG, one of the worlds largest providers of packaging systems for the food and beverage industry, is always thinking about this process and how to make it better and more efficient. So is its chief software analytics provider, GE Digital, which deploys its Predix internet of things software platform to optimize the carton makers manufacturing process across 400 factories in 65 countries.

The two international corporations on May 30 announced a strategic partnership to create new processes using GEDs analytics tools in food and beverage packaging. SIG is deploying GE Digitals Predix Asset Performance Management (APM) and Predix ServiceMax industrial applications across in those 400-plus factories worldwide to find new levels of efficiency and create intelligent new solutions as new requirements come up.

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This was a very competitive bid for GE Digital to win, Ruh said.

SIGs customers fill more than 10,000 unique products into SIG packaging across 65 countries worldwide. In 2017 alone, SIG produced 33.6 billion carton packs for its customers. Through this large-scale partnership, SIG and GE Digital will co-innovate packaging solutions and technologies to address the industrys two biggest needs today:  improving asset performance and optimizing service delivery.

SIG has created a very unique product line, and theyre the leader in that business, Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital, toldeWEEK. This is a high-volume, high-tech and global business. Were bringing our entire Predix portfolio to those factories: the platform, APM and ServiceMax. Were re-thinking the idea of the machines, which are globally spread out, to make them more efficient. The people in the field are now able to interact with that machine data, and this allows them to become more efficient in how they deliver their services.

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How GE Digital is Using AI, IoT to Upgrade Drink Packaging

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It was run by a very sophisticated customer. What were really proud of is that we won this over a lot of other well-named sources, Ruh said. Whats going to happen here is were building some capability that no ones ever done at this kind of volumewhich is to automate these factories on a global, integrated, remote-monitored diagnostics level and analytics level, and then making the entire process more efficient.

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How GE Digital is Using AI, IoT to Upgrade Drink Packaging

By automatically tapping into billions of data points across its operations globally in real time, SIG and its customers can move beyond traditional asset monitoring and predictive service models to upgrade their supply chain.

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The initiative is currently in the production testing phase and is expected to go live in July with the global rollout anticipated to begin in January 2019.

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This is far from mind as we pop open the container and drink the contents down.

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In case you were wondering, SIG, headquartered in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, stands for Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (thats German for Swiss Industrial Company). Frankly, SIG is a lot easier to remember.

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Our ability to harness data is central to delivering on our promise of opening up new opportunities for our customers, SIGs CEO Rolf Stangl said in a media advisory. By tapping into information in new and innovative ways, we will be able to deliver an unmatched level of performance, security, transparency and creativity across the entire food and beverage supply chain through to the end consumer.

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Lastly, collecting all that data allows the factory itself to drive out cost and drive up productivity through automation and analytics.

High-Volume, High-tech and Global Business

Most of us dont think about what has happened behind the scenes to prepare our container of milk or fruit juice as it cools us down on a warm summer day. Literally billions of drink cartons each year are cut, printed, assembled, filled and sealed in assembly lines before you pick up the one that was destined to be yours.

The goal is to get 20 percent more efficiency throughout an entire food and beverage plant, Ruh said. This is highly attractive to the customer but achievable through these kinds of capabilities, he said.

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By automatically collecting and analyzing asset datatapping into billions of data points across its operations globally in real timeSIG and its customers can move beyond traditional asset monitoring and predictive service models to reimagine their supply chain, enhance quality control technologies and evolve their portfolio mix.

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The new digital service model will also enable SIG to deliver new solutions and business models based on advanced performance metrics, including as-a-service delivery, performance-based and subscription solutions.

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The food and beverage industry, like many other verticals, is an old industry thats ripe for digital transformation. At the same time, producers are facing competitive pressures, supply chain complexities and shortening production cycles that create an increasing need for new IT that can enable producers to quickly identify, predict and act on changing consumer and market demands.

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