FIELD INTELLIGENCE: Smart Processes, Solutions & Strategies
Dana Inc., the automotive supplier that outfits many of the world’s leading automobile brands with drivetrain components and more, is building something very special in-house.
Dana, which is based in Maumee, Ohio, and has 159 plants in 33 countries, is constructing the digital factory of the future that can serve as a model for other manufacturers. Its Toledo facility is its most advanced, but replication efforts are ongoing at its other U.S. plants and are planned for operations.
Fluke solutions, such as eMaint CMMS, Fluke sensors, Fluke Connect software and the Fluke Sonic Industrial Imager, are key components of this visionary digital transformation.
People may be most amazed at Dana’s Factory Digital Twin mapping system implemented at Toledo and other U.S. plants. This interactive system modeled after Google Earth enables zoom-in, zoom-out views while you move around the facility and its assets — from a PC or smart device. What’s more, authorized users from executives to maintenance technicians can click on facility maps to find:
- individual machines, machine prints and other machine data;
- asset-condition data, and
- continuous predictive monitoring from their Fluke-connected assets.
The mapping system also includes video footage of assets in hard-to-access locations that can be played back and zoomed in on for troubleshooting.
“Some of the technologies we are rolling out are just awesome,” said Robert McKenna, Dana applications specialist and manufacturing asset management lead.
The software that makes machine data widely visible to Dana employees on display screens and PCs is eMaint Computerized Maintenance Management System software from Fluke. Dana began using eMaint in 2014 and has rolled it out to 39 plants (with another 22 on the list for this year).
One of the problems that many global companies face is having “siloed” plants, McKenna said. “We wanted to get away from that,” and executives at Dana were highly supportive.
eMaint is a central repository enabling single-pane management of plant asset data and the sharing of live data from plant to plant. For example, Dana personnel can select a view of another company plant using eMaint—anywhere in the world—and zoom in to get condition data for those assets.
Also being rolled out are detailed whiteboards that document performance and maintenance issues for production lines at each plant. From these whiteboards, they can create maintenance work requests.
With the Fluke acquisition of eMaint in 2016, Dana was introduced to related Industrial Internet of Things technologies—Fluke Connect, the Fluke 3540 FC Three-Phase Power Monitor, and the Fluke 3561 FC Vibration Sensors—to help track asset conditions, supply data and crystalize the effort to digitalize its plants. “The use of these sensors with eMaint has really worked out well for us,” McKenna said.
In a webinar McKenna led, he showed how the Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager detects compressed-air leaks in pipes, tubes and equipment. Pictures of these expensive leaks can be attached to work-order requests in eMaint.
“Dana is working to be a center of excellence; to be a model manufacturing plant for all other plants to follow,” said Fluke’s Frederic Baudart, who is working closely with McKenna and others on the rollout. “We have a great relationship with Dana and definitely feel good about being partners in this.”