Smart factory automation

The tobacco industry is transforming its production plants into smart factories. Kodis – as a system provider – offers its clients a unique level of expertise dedicated to this complex task. IT and tobacco – Kodis does both.

Kodis joined the Hauni Group in 2014 and is a specialist in industrial software solutions, including customised Manufacturing Operations Management solutions following the ISA-95 standard for various industries. "We aim to improve processes continuously through digitization. The goals are greater efficiency, waste reduction, more flexibility and shorter time-to-market," explains Dr. Daniel Zamberlan, Managing Director. "We develop fully integrated, mobile solutions that allow our customers to operate their factories locally or remotely in real time."

The digital revolution creates different challenges in every industry and every company – so each individual case requires a specific solution. "Our customers are technical experts so we have to match their technical expertise in their respective fields," explains Zamberlan. Automation solutions from Kodis are primarily designed to address pain points in the tobacco industry. Kodis draws on its in-depth experience and expertise in this sector to develop comprehensive, integrated systems that create added value for its customers.


Digital as an enabler on JTI shopfloor


The company’s latest project is the introduction of a new Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), a system fully conceptualized by Japan Tobacco International (JTI), developed collaboratively with Kodis and providing remarkable insights into manufacturing processes. "JTI carries the DNA of a Japanese company. Continuous improvement (Kaizen), consumer-centricity and state-of-the-art management methods such as lean production are a way of life here," says Zamberlan. JTI has always taken an end-to-end approach; a long-term vision of full digitalization from raw material to finished product with MOM emerging as one of their global solutions. Elmar Schlöder, Process Control & Digital Technology Director at JTI, believes MOM is the future. "Digital tools are enabling flexibility and quicker changes. We started the roll-out of MOM, which makes logistics more flexible and promotes a paperless shopfloor. "JTI commissioned Kodis to upgrade key facilities and processes at two factories, in Asia and Europe, and to identify opportunities for digitization – the global rollout is ongoing. "JTI gave us complete access. We worked together productively in a very open atmosphere," reports Zamberlan. By looking closely at the two factories, JTI, together with the Kodis specialists, were able to spot criticalities and co-create solutions. With colleagues from various JTI locations, a collaborative team of JTI and Kodis developed digitization concepts.

The Kodis experts provide us with an exceptional service.

Elmar Schlöder

Process Control & Digital Technology Director at JTI

Elmar Schlöder believes “MOM” is the future. This includes new ways of working – such as replacing paper with tablets.

User-centric design, the key to digital adoption


Kodis was able to design, implement and deliver the new solutions at both plants. "These digital services and smart software solutions offer significant benefits, such as real-time global information, greater operational management flexibility and reduced down-time," explains Schlöder. Above all, they have contributed to transforming the way people work on shopfloors. Moving from offline to real-time online data collection provides real benefit and up-to-date information in an agile environment. A practical example: paper and desktop computers have in many cases been consigned to history and replaced by tablets.

It is important that employees find innovations useful, easy to handle and effective. "We are currently in the middle of a change process that would not be possible without the new MOM system. JTI is connecting apps, machines, materials and people in order to truly manage our end-to-end manufacturing processes with a view to optimizing efficiency" says Schlöder. "It’s vital to keep the end-user journey top-of-mind when developing digital solutions and the Kodis experts provide us with an exceptional service in that respect," says Schlöder.

News of Kodis’ smart factory expertise has spread to other industries as well. Zamberlan considers this a strategic two-fold opportunity: "We are gathering valuable experience in other industries, which opens up opportunities for growth whilst also benefiting tobacco players."

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