Viking Analytics, a Swedish provider of advanced analytics solutions for predictive operations, and Bharat Forge Kilsta AB, one of the world's largest forging suppliers, began collaborating in a data-driven production quality project.
In the next months, Viking Analytics will prepare a detailed assessment of the data collected by sensors installed in the oven that heats steel rods used in the production of crankshafts and front axle beams for heavy duty vehicles.
In the plant located in Karlskoga, the forged steel is first heated in an induction oven, whose temperature varies according to different steel grades and products. If a disruption occurs in a later stage of the production line, the oven must be adjusted to keep the metal at a constant temperature. This process is currently performed manually, sometimes causing human-related deviations in the proper temperature level accounts.
Based on large amounts of sensor data from the oven, artificial intelligence (AI) should be able to control the system in such a way that adjustments can be made automatically. To achieve that, data scientists at Viking Analytics developed a digital twin that simulates the production stage and tests if adding more sensors or changing certain parameters can influence the quality of the data that will be used in machine learning.
Stefan Lagerkvist, CEO at Viking Analytics, explains that understanding data capability is an important first step for industries that want to increase productivity through data analytics. “Just collecting data is not enough. A data readiness assessment shows if it is ready to be used and what conclusions companies will be able to draw from it, as well as suggesting changes or improvements. We are very proud to be partnering with Bharat Forge Kilsta AB in this relevant digitalization process.”
Besides the direct effect in increasing production quality, the reduction of scrap material and optimization of energy consumed by the oven will also contribute towards the sustainability goals of Bharat Forge Kilsta AB. Hans Lindbäck, project manager at Bharat Forge Kilsta AB, continues: “For us, this is the first project where we apply artificial intelligence in our production. Our ambition is to apply similar solutions also in other production processes.”
The collaboration is the first stage of a broader program to drive competitiveness through AI involving Bharat Forge Kilsta SB, RISE, Karlstad University, Alfred Nobel Science Park, Ovako, Volvo, Business Region Örebro, and Viking Analytics.