Consumer Healthcare Leader

Turning manufacturing data into streamlined operations

AI / Manufacturing Optimisation
Consumer Healthcare
Azure ML
Azure Stream Analytics
Power BI
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Reducing manufacturing waste and production time by a third, through real-time equipment monitoring

Improving the quality and efficiency of the manufacture of millions of toothpaste units annually 

Our client is a leading consumer healthcare organisation with manufacturing plants worldwide producing thousands of household name products. 

Some of their largest toothpaste brands have a more complex formulation, resulting in a 3 times higher production time and increased quality issues for a quarter of their billion pound turnover toothpaste portfolio. 

Our client needed to be able to monitor and correct the manufacturing of toothpaste in real-time to ensure batches are consistently and efficiently produced. The two primary objectives are to 1. Decrease production time by a third to free up capacity and enable higher returns on existing assets, as well as reduce energy and water consumption 2. Improve batch quality to reduce throw-away waste, improve customer satisfaction, customer complaints and reduce quality checking tasks and lead times.

Empowering workers with a real-time manufacturing monitoring dashboard

Limited detailed batch data was available to site operatives, they undertook manual batch inspections and there was limited visibility of this across the Production, Quality, Continuous Improvement and R&D teams. 

Using newly installed state-of-the-art equipment sensors, we collaboratively developed a sophisticated, real-time dashboard to identify and track key metrics such as temperature, pressure and speed throughout the manufacturing process to inform the right corrective actions to be taken. 

  • Collaborative approach blending Datasparq’s Product and Data Engineering expertise with our client’s Data Science team and Business Domain knowledge
  • User focussed design, putting wireframes and early versions of the dashboard in the hands of users throughout the design and development process
  • Bespoke development to meet the complex process requirements, there are no off-the-shelf products able to deliver the intelligence and capability required
  • Uses real-time data, updated every 60 seconds — our client’s first real-time data science product
  • Built from scratch in Haleon’s environment

This data product rests at the core of our client’s strategy, enabling staff to ensure that operational improvements are maintained over time, alongside enabling them to identify problem steps in the manufacturing process to improve.

  • The Production team can understand current manufacturing progress against a standard in order to take mitigating actions when a batch deviates from the standard or is not reaching the right level for optimal batch results.
  • The Quality team can have assurance that a batch has been produced to the required standard.
  • The R&D team can identify problem steps in the process for targeting improvements such as changes to recipes and manufacturing parameters. 
  • The Continuous Improvement team can define improvement plans, track their success and ensure that they are being maintained over time.

Innovating with a first-of-its-kind, real-time data product

There can be up to 12 batches in progress at any one time and for each batch there are over 30 steps in its production. The batch manufacturing equipment has sensors that detect key parameters related to its production, such as speed, temperature and pressure. However, the sensors are unable to detect the specific step of production that the product is at. At each stage, the parameters have different tolerances, which are crucial to successfully manufacturing the product.

The real-time monitoring dashboard is powered by  algorithms that intelligently analyse the sensor inputs to determine at which step in the process the product is at. The dashboard monitors the parameters and their respective tolerances at each given stage of the production process. Users can see live and historical data from equipment across all sites and interrogate a specific batch to identify its progress within the 30 step process and against its parameters. Users can also receive alerts to inform them when there is risk of exceeding the parameters and a deviation from the standard so that they can take immediate corrective action. 

Moving to predictive management of manufacturing batches 

The real-time monitoring dashboard is live across the 2 largest manufacturing plants and is being scaled to include new types of product line. The experience of the Site Operatives has been transformed, with actionable insights now available for immediate implementation. 

The next phase is to develop the capability to predict the optimum parameters for each batch, monitor the batches and recommend corrective actions when there is a risk of a deviation to occur.

What could AI do for you?

Datasparq is a specialist AI & data firm that designs, builds and runs solutions that drive real business value. We work with world-leading brands like GSK, GXO & Four Seasons Hotels (to name a few) to make AI a reality.

We’re proud to be practitioners—not PowerPointers; people who things done. We help our clients at every step of the journey; whether they have a data team and need extra support to get pilots into production or they want to find new ways that AI & data can create value in their business.

So, if you want to explore AI—or are curious about the value locked away in your data—get in touch with us today.

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