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The intelligent factory: think big, execute small

Industry 4.0, digital transformation, smart factory: how can you look beyond the hype, the buzzwords, and the abstract visions? Itility prefers to talk about the intelligent factory and uses a practical approach to translate the buzzwords into actual factory improvements.  

Their approach: think big but start small: engineer simple yet smart solutions on the shop floor. They are connecting digital know-how to manufacturing expertise. The trick is to work toward the bigger goal while delivering immediate results in the short term.  

Helmond-based high-tech manufacturer Schunk Xycarb Technology (SXT) is a big thinker: the ambition is to build an advanced factory in China. Itility teamed up with SXT to make this ambition a reality. From defining the factory’s new production line and shop floor processes to coordinating the design, prototyping, and implementation of systems like ERP, MES, data solutions, and shop floor control.  

In short, a project with massive scale and complexity. Cutting down that complexity means having the big picture in mind while starting with small solutions. 

To know more about Itility click here

Data-driven quality control 

For quality control, Itility’s moonshot ambition continuously aims to improve and control product quality and underlying production processes. With full, immediate insight into production and the right optimization mechanisms in place to prevent yield loss, identify failure modes, speed up root cause analysis, and approach near-zero defects. 
Using a data platform that automates data collection, processing, and visualization, Itility enables quality engineers to reduce their analysis work from hours to minutes— unlocking options to find patterns across all related products instead of only focusing on a rejected part. A step to enhance quality engineering abilities and speed in determining defects’ root causes and detecting scraps, delivering significant savings for the factory. And a step toward broader AI solutions for quality control, such as automated shop floor anomaly detection, eventually enabling predictive and prescriptive quality management to bring zero-defect manufacturing closer within reach.  

The use of augmented reality 

Schunk Xycarb Technology works with complex reactors, enabled by Schunk’s advanced equipment engineering capabilities. The China factory opens a new challenge: how to combine local and remote engineering support. 
With Augmented Reality (AR), Itility found a solution. And so, they turned this concern into a very practical engineering test: 
An operator performed reactor maintenance, equipped with AR glasses. 
An equipment engineer hooked up to the AR glasses’ live stream from a different room, giving instructions and watching the operation in real-time. 
This test provided enough faith that Itility can make remote support work and allows global engineering control within the Schunk Xycarb Technology business group. 


Young Professional Program: boost your cloud career 

The Itility Young Professional Program (YPP) helps talented young people to develop and boost their careers. It is designed for ambitious, recently graduated cloud and data enthusiasts who want to grow into an expert in their area of passion. Working as a team through a series of real-world assignments, the program develops both soft skills and technical knowledge. Lujaina Abuerban is Data Engineer at Itility and shares her experience in the YPP DevOps Engineer. 

"My journey started when I arrived in the Netherlands about 5 years ago, to start my studies in Computer Science. After my graduation, I was interested in working with technology as much as interacting with the business side of things. I worked shortly as an IT consultant. This allowed me to bridge that gap from the business side while using my background, but it was not hands-on enough for me. 

It was time for a new challenge. That is when I learned about the Itility YPP for DevOps Engineering. The program appealed to me since I was very interested in the cloud but had not yet had a chance to work in this field. It was a great learning opportunity for me."

Learning on the job 

"During the program, you work in a team, and as a team, we interacted with a customer to fulfill their needs. From gathering requirements to implementation and delivery. Our task was to design and implement a system for cloud resource monitoring. 

This project was similar to other projects that the Itility’s Cloud Control (ICC) team had implemented. For me, contacting and talking to members of the team was one of the most valuable parts of the program. Learning from their experience and from what they had already accomplished and applying those insights to our solution ourselves. This illustrates that Itility believes in learning on the job, with our coach - acting as the customer - giving feedback on the things we could improve. 

As cloud providers have a wide array of products they provide, the difficulty comes in choosing which provider to use, for which service, and why. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud often deliver products which have a similar functionality but with minor differences. Comparing these tools to each other to fit the customer’s requirements was extremely interesting. It is like building Legos: all the pieces are there; you just have to figure out how they connect to make the final shape you have in mind." 

Coaching and training 

"Throughout the program, we were assigned a dedicated coach who guided us along the way. From using the Scrum way of working to conducting meetings with clients. Knowing how to talk to customers is as important as your technical skills. Our coach helped tremendously by sharing his experience, providing information on best practices, and answering our questions. This is great for learning: working closely with someone who has hands-on experience and immediately applying your new knowledge in the field. This helped us grow, both as a team and individually, throughout the time in the program."

After the YPP 

"After finishing the program, I started my first customer project as a fully skilled Itilian. I joined the customer team as a cloud engineer, working hands-on with technology to create new business value. Looking back, my skills and knowledge have grown substantially during the YPP. A great way to develop myself and give my cloud career a boost." - Lujaina Abuerban  

Societal Impact

Building the intelligent factories of the future together

Itility is making steps towards an intelligent factory together with its customers, meaning that, as a company, they continuously invest in innovations to apply. New building blocks, designs, and solutions are constantly developed and released from Itility’s innovation lab. Examples of that: advanced process control that combines PLC software with self-learning algorithms, new MES solutions that bring together production insights and machine IoT data, and real-time OEE monitoring. By sharing experiences and subject expertise with the industry, universities, and knowledge institutes, together they build the intelligent factories of the future. 

Brainport Factor

Itility belongs where innovation happens

Brainport has grown into a melting pot of innovation attractive to both talent and companies. And that is exactly where Itility belongs: where innovation happens, on the edge of the impossible, looking for ground breaking solutions, connecting knowledge areas, and building a better future.