Success Story: Manufacturing, Automotive

Continental AG

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Hanover, Germany

Continental AG is the world’s fourth largest tire manufacturer. Almost every third car in Europe is delivered with tires from Continental. When the company sought an update to their process analysis and control systems for their passenger car, light truck, bus and truck tire production sites, they selected ICONICS’ HMI/SCADA suite.

Challenges

  • Handle near real-time data collection from production equipment for process and product analysis and optimization.
  • Improve the company’s production processes based on statistical process control (SPC) measurement of product performance-relevant data.
  • Handle equipment or network failures and prevent data loss.

Results

  • ICONICS automation software is transparent, web-based, and has a light installation footprint.
  • The HMI/SCADA suite includes a mechanism for decision and escalation workflow, as well as for SPC online.
  • Redundant architecture, including data buffering at sources, provides peace of mind that no data will be lost.
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Continental selected ICONICS automation software solutions due to the company’s product scope, in terms of technical solutions, and the flexibility of its available modules. Continental favored ICONICS’ strong customer orientation, the flexibility and availability of its employees, and the fact that they were solution-oriented.

— Sebastian Amlong, DOPAC Project Lead | Continental AG

About Continental AG

Continental AG (www.continental-tires.com), headquartered in Hanover, Germany, is the world’s fourth largest tire manufacturer. Founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, the company now contains additional divisions handling brake systems, interior electronics, automotive safety, powertrain/chassis components, tachographs and additional parts for the automotive and transportation industries. Almost every third car in Europe is delivered with tires from Continental. Its Division Tires features tire brands like Continental, Uniroyal, General Tire, Semperit, Barum and many more. Today the company has over 227,000 employees in 56 countries.
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Continental selected ICONICS automation software solutions due to the company’s product scope, in terms of technical solutions, and the flexibility of its available modules. Continental favored ICONICS’ strong customer orientation, the flexibility and availability of its employees, and the fact that they were solution-oriented.

— Sebastian Amlong, DOPAC Project Lead | Continental AG
Continental Tire Manufacturing In Process Continental Tire Manufacturing In Process

ICONICS Software Deployed

Continental AG selected ICONICS’ HMI/SCADA suite, in addition to the high-speed, reliable, robust plant historian.
Continental Tire Manufacturing In Process Continental Tire Manufacturing In Process

Project Summary

Condition Testing for Continental’s WinterContact Tires Condition Testing for Continental’s WinterContact Tires
Continental sought an update to their process analysis and control systems for their passenger car, light truck, bus and truck tire production sites, within 18 separate locations worldwide. The company’s initial aim was to develop a system that could handle near real-time data collection from production equipment for process and product analysis and optimization. Thus, “DOPAC” was born.

DOPAC was the internal project name initiated by Continental, standing for its planned “Database for Online Process Analysis and Control”. A pilot project began in 2016 in the company’s Puchov, Slovakia plant, with a year spent on prototype development. Continental decided early in the process to move on from installed legacy systems and, after considering multiple vendor solutions, decided upon ICONICS HMI/SCADA and data historian to comprise the heart of DOPAC.

Continental’s new system was intended to steer and continuously improve the company’s production processes based on statistical process control (SPC) measurement of product performance-relevant data. A taskforce was put together to clearly define the company’s IT requirements, as the right pertinent performance data was deemed necessary for continuous improvement. On top actual product and process data were for intended advanced analytics.

During the pilot phase, Continental prioritized its expected core functionalities for their new system. High on the list was real-time data collection. Another necessity was a redundant architecture, including data buffering at sources. The company also highly valued integrating specification systems, high-rate data compression and data mapping.

Next on the company’s list of priorities was process analysis. Their selected system needed to include a mechanism for decision and escalation workflow, as well as for SPC online. Rounding out Continental’s core functionality priorities were dashboarding and archiving abilities. At the end of Continental’s pilot project, DOPAC will be installed in two locations on more than ten pilot machines in each facility. The company continues to validate DOPAC’s business use case through the performance of defined technical test cases. When finalized, the system will be expected to work with multiple brands of PLCs, handle initial groups of sensors/tags defined by central functions, and an interface with the company’s current MES systems.
Condition Testing for Continental’s WinterContact Tires Condition Testing for Continental’s WinterContact Tires
Testing at Continental’s Contidrom Track Near Hannover, Germany Testing at Continental’s Contidrom Track Near Hannover, Germany

Benefits of the System

Continental selected ICONICS automation software solutions due to the company’s product scope, in terms of technical solutions, and the flexibility of its available modules. Continental favored ICONICS’ strong customer orientation, the flexibility and availability of its employees, and the fact that they were very solution oriented. Among the perceived benefits of ICONICS automation software, Continental highlighted its transparency, Web-based utility, and light installation footprint.
Testing at Continental’s Contidrom Track Near Hannover, Germany Testing at Continental’s Contidrom Track Near Hannover, Germany

Conclusion

Nobody knows product “rollout” better than a tire manufacturer. Following the pilot phase of its DOPAC system, Continental expects to roll out ICONICS HMI/ SCADA and data historian solutions throughout its remaining 20 passenger car, light truck, bus and truck tire production facilities throughout the world.