The next generation of brake testing equipment
JJA Track, whose customers include Premier Foods and Cadburys has driven innovation in the food processing industry through the smart application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Using Edge technology and Siemens’ Industrial IoT Solution MindSphere, the firm has revolutionised the sector’s approach to machine maintenance.
By leveraging AI capabilities alongside the team’s existing knowledge of liquid moving machinery, JJA Track has:
- Drastically reduced machine downtime, saving clients millions of pounds in loss of revenue (several days downtime can cost millions).
- Improved customer service through better scheduling for pre-emptive maintenance.
- Offered more service options, such as lifetime maintenance for machines fitted with Edge devices.
- Made innovative AI technology more accessible for a client base of smaller food processing enterprises and machine builders.
The new approach to repair and maintenance has been a game-changer for JJA Track and marks a major shift in the sector. These techniques will be implemented into all of their build projects going forward.
Introducing JJA Insights
To the best of our knowledge, up until now, there has been no way of evaluating or comparing the data gathered by food process machines in a unified way. However, by leveraging MindSphere technology, AI, and its teams’ existing knowledge of machines, JJA Track has been able to teach AI what is normal and what requires a second look. This has allowed the AI to learn from the data it collects, and subsequently increase its degree of predictive accuracy.
This has completely changed its approach to maintenance, and provides a blueprint solution for the industry that streamlines the repair process and keeps machines up and running more reliably and for longer. This pre-emptive maintenance strategy saves clients money, reduces downtime, maximises machine efficiency, and minimises workforce disruption.
And this hasn’t just broken new ground for JJA Track. The partners are confident that it will ultimately revolutionise the industry’s approach to predictive and preventative maintenance.
There tends to be a presumption in the marketplace that technology of this kind is only available to large corporations. However, in implementing MindSphere, JJA Track has brought Siemens’ technology to users working on a smaller scale, fundamentally changing traditional working practices.
The firm’s engineers have been consistently using Siemens’ automation solutions in their machines since the business launched in 2011 – with motion control, factory automation, instrumentation and control products among the solutions already implemented and used.
Developing & Improving
JJA Track has been developing and improving this technology for the past six months, and its second system (the client machine) went online in March. So far, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, from both clients and colleagues.
MindSphere provides the business with an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard that allows customers to clearly view all insights pertaining to a specific machine, down to its production levels, its individual components, and whether or not it is currently running.
The team at JJA Track are able to view this data as well via the cloud. This means that, regardless of wherever we are in the world, they are able to keep track of clients’ assets and ensure they’re functioning properly. If a client reaches out, the team has all of the relevant information on-hand to discuss their issue and resolve it.
Before JJA Track implemented MindSphere into its machines, Jamie (JJA Pack’s Managing Director) would attend to all client calls. If issues couldn’t be diagnosed over the phone, he would have to visit the client’s site with a rough idea of what the issue might be. He’d then need to return back to the office, order parts, and visit the client again to make the repairs.
Now, his team is able to schedule visits and avoid wasted trips. When a machine is down, the clock is ticking, and a firm is bleeding money. Because of the costs associated with production losses, tensions were usually high when the team arrived on site, and they were often tasked with assuaging client concerns while trying to do their job. Now, visits can be planned, and Jamie’s team is able to work in a much less stressful environment. This has meant that our employees’ job satisfaction has increased alongside client satisfaction.
Accessing international markets has always presented challenges, as it’s difficult for any business to dispatch engineers when machines falter thousands of miles away. Thanks to MindSphere, JJA Track is looking to tap into markets further afield and expand into previously inaccessible industries.