NEONEX in an interview with Martin Heier, Process Performance Engineer at KSB SE & Co. Kgaa in Pegnitz

Mr. Heier, at KSB you are currently in the process of recapitulating the value creation process of pump production together with STAUFEN.DIGITAL NEONEX in order to make it more efficient. What possibilities do digital solutions offer you?

A few years ago, the focus was clearly on lean production and the associated process optimization: the focus was on adding value, minimizing waste and reducing throughput times. This is still the case today, but the opportunities offered by digitization and Industry 4.0 are significantly more extensive: with more precise data acquisition, we have a much more detailed picture of the processes and can use this to identify and correct potentials more easily.

What are the biggest challenges at KSB regarding digital transformation?

A key challenge at KSB was and is to take the employees along in this way. We humans tend to be initially skeptical about changes. It is therefore important to communicate advantages correctly and to involve the employees concerned in the redesign process from the very beginning. This is the case in cooperation with NEONEX: information is always obtained at the scene and changes are initiated in exchange with the employees on the shop floor.

You have implemented a large number of use cases within two years. How could they be realised so quickly?

For me, agile project management is an essential factor for the rapid success in our transformation project. By breaking down complex topics into small work packages and processing them piece by piece, we made very quick progress in implementing the digital factory. In just eight months, we built our pilot assembly cell in Pegnitz based on lean criteria and introduced paperless production including the manufacturing execution system and one-piece flow. That would not have been possible without NEONEX's agile project method.

The interview was first released as part of the 2020 program of the Digital Transformation Academy in September 2019.