Advantech > Case Studies > Smart Factory Solutions for Tobacco Industries: Bridging the Manufacturing Generation Gap and Improving Operational Efficiency

Smart Factory Solutions for Tobacco Industries: Bridging the Manufacturing Generation Gap and Improving Operational Efficiency

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 Smart Factory Solutions for Tobacco Industries: Bridging the Manufacturing Generation Gap and Improving Operational Efficiency - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
  • Networks & Connectivity - Ethernet
Applicable Industries
  • Equipment & Machinery
  • Transportation
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Maintenance
Use Cases
  • Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence
  • Manufacturing System Automation
  • Hardware Design & Engineering Services
  • System Integration
The Customer

British American Tobacco

About The Customer
British American Tobacco (BAT) is a British multinational company that manufactures and sells cigarettes, tobacco, and other nicotine products. BAT was seeking a solution to automate their product control processes and support the continuous use of legacy equipment to sustain high production levels. The company also needed to meet changing regulatory guidelines, particularly in terms of labeling requirements. BAT's production targets were impossible to meet without improved and precise quality measures at every stage of production.
The Challenge
The tobacco industry, represented in this case by British American Tobacco (BAT), is facing a decline in cigarette volumes worldwide. This decline has led to an increased emphasis on efficient supply chains and optimized production processes. The industry is also grappling with the need for agile production facilities and the integration of Industry 4.0 to accommodate diverse production requirements. BAT, in particular, was seeking a factory solution to automate their product control processes, from the transportation of tobacco and cigarette paper to the placement on cigarette machines and the packing conveyor. The company also needed to support the continuous use of legacy equipment, such as relay-controlled cigarette machines dating back to the 90s and AMK servo drive systems, to sustain production levels at speeds of 8000 to 16000 pieces per minute. Furthermore, changing regulatory guidelines necessitated flexibility in labeling requirements.
The Solution
BAT partnered with Advantech to develop a customized solution for their unique case. The solution combined the ARK-1124U and ADAM-6251 into a single system for data collection and analytics processing through a standard Ethernet interface. On the manufacturing floor, the networking framework was resolved using the EKI-5526I-AE industrial switch to unify communication between the various subscribers on the production line. These devices were designed to function in an industrial environment, operating without failure through vibration and high-temperature conditions, and could be easily mounted on DIN rails. The solution also incorporated the TPC-1551WP, a thin client terminal specifically designed for a variety of applications. This terminal provided the barcoding aspect necessary for the final requirement step, allowing BAT to meet changing regulatory guidelines.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of Advantech's smart factory solution transformed BAT's production process. The smart monitoring systems improved in-factory logistics management and equipment maintenance by automatically communicating across the network and collecting production data. The use of networking devices allowed for the development of a smart factory solution that effectively transformed the factory's production. The solution also provided the flexibility for BAT to meet the barcoding requirements on all products and comply with governmental regulations. Additionally, the modularity and flexibility of the Advantech products allowed BAT to capitalize on a minimal hardware footprint, further minimizing requirements and maximizing production efficiency.

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