Quality, safety and reliability are top priorities in the aerospace industry. Therefore, certification in accordance with the EN 9100/9120 standards is particularly important. thyssenkrupp Aerospace, as one of the industry's leading supply chain specialists, takes these standards very seriously and certifies its 44 locations worldwide accordingly. It is the basis for the company’s global quality management system.
During the last fiscal year, all units in Europe, the USA, Canada and China had already been converted to the new versions of EN 9100/9120 certification. thyssenkrupp Autômata, the Brazilian site of thyssenkrupp Aerospace, now also meets all the necessary criteria and has just received certification according to EN 9120 in addition to the existing EN 9100 certification.
With the successful implementation of the certification requirements, thyssenkrupp Autômata is one of the first companies on the South American continent that is certified to EN 9120. "We are very pleased that we were also able to complete certification in Brazil. This shows that we are a reliable partner for the aerospace industry and that we meet the highest quality demands of our customers," says Wilmar Mello, Managing Director of thyssenkrupp Autômata.
thyssenkrupp Aerospace is a leading global supplier of materials, supply chain solutions and metalworking services for the aerospace industry. The company has a global network of 44 locations with over 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries.
thyssenkrupp Materials Services continues to drive digital transformation: Since early 2019 an artificial intelligence solution (AI), supported by Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure, has been integrated into the processes of the largest materials distribution and service provider in the Western world. "alfred" supports his colleagues at Materials Services in dynamically managing the global logistics network with 271 warehouse sites and more than 150,000 products and services. As with his namesake – Alfred Krupp – all information comes together at alfred. As a first step, alfred will help to optimize transport routes and thus save the transport of thousands of tons of material per year. In addition, materials will be available more quickly at the right locations in the future. In the medium term, Materials Services will be able to make all processes along the supply chain more flexible, for example, in order to better take into account specific customer requirements for delivery speed, pricing or material quality.
- thyssenkrupp Materials Services relies on Microsoft for in-house solution development
- AI as an essential component of the holistic digitalization strategy
- Customers benefit from individualized offers and more efficient processes
Klaus Keysberg, CEO of thyssenkrupp Materials Services, summarizes alfred’s strengths: "Artificial intelligence is one of the technologies that will make a decisive contribution to competitiveness in materials distribution in the future. With alfred we are taking an important step towards making our processes even more efficient and optimizing our value chain. At the same time, he gives us better insight into our customers' needs so that we can align our offerings accordingly. In the medium term, this holistic approach will also open up new business opportunities for us".
Using Big Data systematically
With the AI, the approximately 14 million order items received annually by Materials Services can be processed and analyzed much more efficiently. For the first time, the materials experts are also bringing all company data together on a single platform. Using self-learning algorithms based on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, alfred analyzes all relevant information, generates important findings and supports employees with appropriate recommendations: Which materials have to be assigned to which industry? Where are materials processed? What would be the most intelligent transport route to supply the customers with materials in the best possible way? What are the needs of the individual locations? "The intention is very clear: With alfred we are improving our own processes so that we can serve our customers all over the world more efficiently," says Axel Berger, Head of Digital Transformation Office at Materials Services.
The focus is on customer benefit
At Materials Services, the digital transformation is aligned along the value chain and consistently placed at the service of customer benefit – whether directly or indirectly. "From procurement through warehousing and logistics to sales, we rely on integrated digitalization concepts. While we simplify cooperation with our suppliers in the area of procurement by means of a cloud-supported platform, for example, we create possibilities for networking internal machinery with our self-developed IIoT platform toii. toii allows us to flexibly coordinate and optimize the processes of warehousing and logistics. In sales, we offer our customers access to 150,000 products and services at 271 warehouse sites sites in the world's largest virtual materials warehouse," says Klaus Keysberg. As a link between all these areas, alfred fits into the ecosystem and ensures continuous optimization of speed and service quality through intelligent data processing with corresponding recommendations.
Lifelong learning with Microsoft
In the company's own Digital Transformation Office in Essen, all strands of digitalization flow together. Here, integrated teams of IT experts, engineers and business coordinators work under the direction of Axel Berger on various digitalization projects that arise directly from the core business of Materials Services – including alfred. The materials experts were supported by Microsoft and its global cloud platform Azure. "Joining forces with Microsoft allows us to use advanced technologies for our in-house developments. This enables us to ensure that the projects are very closely linked to our core business on the one hand, and that they are technologically state-of-the-art on the other," says Axel Berger.
"At this point in history, manufacturers need to become digital companies to lead in their industries. thyssenkrupp Materials Services is not only adapting digital technologies, they are building their own digital capabilities and portfolio to elevate their logistics business with AI services to the next level. They unlock new business opportunities by merging their industry know-how with the core of AI: large volumes of relevant data as well as strong machine learning methods and algorithms”, said Çağlayan Arkan, Global Lead Manufacturing & Resources, Microsoft.
Klaus Keysberg is also convinced of the synergies of the partnership. "The collaboration with Microsoft makes the implementation of projects like alfred much more efficient. Ultimately, it will enable us to apply our in-house developments more quickly, gather important insights there and develop new business models from them.
About thyssenkrupp Materials Services
With around 480 locations – including 271 warehouse sites – in over 40 countries, thyssenkrupp Materials Services is the biggest materials distributor and service provider in the western world. The broad service spectrum offered by the materials experts enables customers to concentrate more on their individual core businesses and spans two strategic areas: global materials distribution as a one-stop shop – from steel, tubes and pipes, nonferrous metals and specialty materials to plastics and raw materials – and tailored services in the areas of materials management and supply chain management. An extensive omnichannel architecture offers 250,000 customers worldwide cross-channel, round-the-clock access to more than 150,000 products and services. A highly efficient logistics system ensures that all requested services are smoothly integrated into customer production processes “just-in-time” or “just-in-sequence”.
Quality management standards in the automotive sector are extremely exacting. The latest IATF certification (IATF 16949:2016), which defines additional, stricter requirements than the existing EN ISO 9001 standard, sets a new benchmark. thyssenkrupp Materials Processing Europe, the service and processing specialists from thyssenkrupp Materials Services, has successfully certified ten sites in Germany, France, Spain, Hungary and Poland to the new standard.
Marcus Wöhl, Chairman of the Management Board says: "Certification to IATF 16949 is an important step for us toward meeting stricter customer requirements and remaining competitive as an important service partner to automotive OEMs and suppliers."
IATF as the current benchmark for increasing requirements
On the basis of numerous risk analyses in various areas of activity, the assessment of all process opportunities and risks, and supplementary process instructions, the IATF standard sets stricter requirements and defines more systematic processes. Many topics are also subject to greater management responsibility in the event of process deviations, such as customer scorecards or the assessment of potential field failures. The standards were developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) which comprises representatives from leading auto manufacturers and suppliers.
thyssenkrupp Materials Processing Europe meets all the requirements set out in the new IATF standard, as Quality Manager Dr. Gerd Gränzdörffer says: "We are delighted that we were able to complete this project promptly and without any major nonconformities thanks to very good employee preparation and awareness at all levels. We also view compliance with the stricter standards of the auto industry as confirmation of a structured and systematic approach in our processes." The certification is valid for three years and is reviewed in annual internal and external audits at the sites of the Europe-wide network.
A UK subsidiary of a global engineering firm has recently launched an innovative new app that allows people to make complex calculations and gain valuable information about different metals more easily than ever before.
The thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) app, which is available to download for free now via Google Play, has been developed by the leading supplier of stainless steel, aluminium and mild steel products.
The tool can be installed onto Android mobile devices and includes a metal weight calculator, an imperial to metric converter, as well as access to aluminium and stainless steel data sheets.
While the calculator allows thyssenkrupp Materials’ customers to determine the weights of various forms of metals including aluminium grades, stainless and mild steel, copper and titanium, the converter also enables users to transfer imperial measurements into metric quantities, and vice versa.
The Basic Data Sheets function displays information on a range of stainless steel and aluminium grades, such as their chemical compositions, and provides a link to the full material data sheet on the website.
What’s more, the app also features a map showing thyssenkrupp Materials’ key locations and the services on offer, as well as a list of all the useful contact numbers for the division along with a dial option.
Simon Fletcher, Senior eCommerce Manager for thyssenkrupp Materials, worked closely on the development of the app.
“We decided to develop this app to allow people in the industry to access a number of useful materials-based functions remotely,” he explains.
“Put simply, this tool brings together everything that you need to know about the materials we provide and makes determining the costs and quantities when purchasing metal that much easier.”
“We are constantly striving to be innovators within the industry, and tools such as this show that we are leading the way in investing in new technologies for the engineering industry.”
Further details about the app and how to download it are available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=thyssenkrupp.materials.uk.
thyssenkrupp UK Plc recently made headlines in the West Midlands after opening a new national HQ in Solihull and throwing its support behind the Midlands Engine strategy. It employs more than 2000 people across the UK, including over 400 in the West Midlands.
For more information, visit www.thyssenkrupp-materials.co.uk/
A milestone for the digital transformation: thyssenkrupp connects the machinery of the materials division via a new digital platform. Thanks to toii all machines can communicate with each other. Due to predictive maintenance the platform is also supposed to forecast the necessity of machine services in the future. The name chosen by the business area is a double play on words - it spells IIoT backwards, the abbreviation for “Industrial Internet of Things” - and it is pronounced like the word “toy”, an indication of how the new platform makes linking heterogeneous machines to existing IT structures “child’s play”. toii was developed completely in-house by company software engineering experts and tailored to the specific requirements of Materials Services.
One platform for each and everything
The machinery belonging to the business area, which focuses on global materials distribution and processing services, is highly diverse: The machines perform a wide range of tasks, were made by various manufacturers and differ in age. Now toii makes it possible to connect bandsaws and bending machines, mobile objects like cranes and forklifts and even complex production facilities such as slitting and cut to length lines and sophisticated processing solutions through milling machines and laser systems digitally in line with the Industrial Internet of Things. The digital platform allows the machines to share data and communicate with one another and with the IT systems. Processes can be planned and coordinated optimally and flexibly – across locations, worldwide. As a further major benefit, the platform simplifies data analysis. Which product has been produced when and in what quantities? Which machine needs maintenance? What could be developing into a problem? What additional materials need to be delivered? The system answers all of these questions and many more by gathering and analyzing data. The results are just a mouse click away – clearly structured and easy to understand.
- IIoT platform “toii” is an in-house development that connects machines of different makes and generations
- Due to predictive maintenance the platform is also supposed to forecast the necessity of machine services in the future
- Processes can be planned and coordinated optimally and flexibly
“We’ve created an end-to-end solution that is tailored specifically to our needs. It will enable us to accelerate the automation of our production operations and make our processes much more efficient,” says Hans-Josef Hoß from the board of thyssenkrupp Materials Services. “We are now taking the digital transformation to the core areas of our business: our production shops, our machinery and equipment, and our materials. Our customers will feel the benefit – and so will we.”
Close teamwork of man and machine
toii has already successfully proven its worth in several pilot projects. For example, at Materials Processing Europe in Mannheim, a new, highly complex cut to length line that cuts sheet from coil was fully connected with the platform. The result: toii transfers work orders directly and in real time from the SAP system to the machine and controls its settings from sizes and weights to volumes. The platform also automatically retrieves the machine information required by SAP. As a result, the status of production and the finished products can be viewed at any time. Other machines have also already been digitally connected and automated using toii, for example measuring the thickness of metal strips for effective quality control and automatic blanking. In the latter case, the platform even made it possible to fully integrate the blanking operation into a production line. In other areas, from high-bay storage to mobile construction machinery, toii is improving efficiency as well.
The platform is an in-house development, highly scalable, and can integrate up to several hundred machines a year. An international Materials Services team of IT professionals from Germany, India and the USA worked together to develop toii. Alongside various projects in Germany, there are already plans to deploy the system in the UK and the USA. All data are currently hosted on a central server in Germany. But to be able to comply with all data protection law requirements, local servers will also be created in the UK and USA as part of the further roll-out.
thyssenkrupp Materials Services is systematically driving the digital transformation of the business area throughout the entire value chain. In many areas, connected collaboration and interactive processes are already well established – from logistics, warehousing and line utilization to purchasing and administration. The focus is on customers and their individual requirements. The aim: to continuously develop and implement made-to-measure digital solutions that allow for smarter and more effective collaboration and open up completely new possibilities.
About thyssenkrupp Materials Services:
With around 480 locations in over 40 countries, the Materials Services business area specializes in materials distribution, logistics and services, the provision of technical services as well as services for industrial plants and steel mills. In addition to rolled steel, stainless steel, tubes and pipes, nonferrous metals, specialty materials and plastics, Materials Services also offers services from processing and logistics to warehouse and inventory management through to supply chain and project management.
thyssenkrupp is a diversified industrial group with traditional strengths in materials and a growing share of capital goods and service businesses. Over 156,000 employees in nearly 80 countries work with passion and technological know-how to develop high-quality products and intelligent industrial processes and services for sustainable progress. Their skills and commitment are the basis of our success. In fiscal year 2015/2016 thyssenkrupp generated sales of around €39 billion.
Together with our customers we develop competitive solutions for current and future challenges in their respective industries. With our engineering expertise we enable our customers to gain an edge in the global market and manufacture innovative products in a cost- and resource-friendly way. Our technologies and innovations are the key to meeting diverse customer and market requirements around the world, growing on the markets of the future, and generating strong and stable earnings, cash flows and value growth.