Swedish Match produces and sells tobacco and lights (matches and lighters) and has a strong position both in Scandinavia and many other markets. The global arena is constantly pressing down margins, and machine uptime and availability is always an important issue for all manufacturing companies. As the product range has continuously grown, the demand for accessibility and maintenance of manufacturing machines have increased.
Mattias Fritz Wermé, Global Project Manager for Swedish Match, is the link between the business’s needs and IT.
“The wear and tear meant we needed to keep better track of machine costs and capacity. We realized that optimizing the use of existing equipment was necessary to keep operating costs in check and thus remain competitive.”
All the way to value
Swedish Match depended previously on a number of different solutions for managing maintenance at its factories, which made it difficult to compare and improve processes. With sights set on a standardized solution, they scanned the market. IBM Maximo Asset Management, an integrated platform for managing maintenance work, matched their criteria best. Together with IBM's partner Enfo and their concept All the Way to Value, IBM Maximo was implemented at three manufacturing sites in Sweden and the USA.
“We wanted the factories to think the same way even though their conditions differed,” says Mattias Fritz Wermé. “Together with Enfo, we reviewed the processes, cut out everything unnecessary and thus got a shortcut to achieving value faster. Agreeing on the current situation first is extremely important for implementing a business-adapted solution.”
Doubling preventive maintenance
Once the new solution is fully operational, Swedish Match will be able to compare workflows, share experience and implement improvements. They will then have ideal conditions for proactive maintenance, with improved opportunities to plan and prevent machine downtime – something that is already a reality for some production lines in the United States.
"So far, we’ve been able to double the amount of preventive maintenance,” says Mattias Fritz Wermé. “Hopefully this will lead to increased availability and productivity."
The investment pays off
Improved stock overview has created conditions for annual savings of two percent per year per factory. More improvements are expected, and Mattias and his team are counting on a return on investment in three years.