September 23, 2019
Solution Enables Covestro to Digitize Shift Operations and Shop Floor Data Collection
Global software developer eschbach announced today that Covestro has successfully deployed eschbach’s Shiftconnector solution across more than 40 plants worldwide and has plans to add 50 more plants across the globe by the end of 2019. U.S. sites include plants in Baytown, Texas, Newark, Ohio, and South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Covestro is using Shiftconnector as part of its digitization initiative to improve shift handover throughout the company. Once the solution is fully deployed, 8,000 production plant users will use it to perform their daily tasks and support safe and effective shift operations.
Covestro's digitalization team recognized the clear advantage of providing a digital solution for collecting production data and performing shift handovers: empowering employees at production facilities. "The key advantage of Shiftconnector is to digitize communication and documentation in production," explains Andreas Eschbach, CEO of eschbach. "We have repeatedly heard from Shiftconnector users that a great advantage lies in the simple, continuous recording of tasks to make all relevant information immediately available during shift changeovers, promoting efficiency and safety."
The interactive shift book solution from eschbach has been on the market for more than twelve years, and Covestro recognized the potential of Shiftconnector when the digitization team turned to eschbach. "Shift handovers are traditionally a pain point in a 24-hour shift operation," says Dr. Klaus Schäfer, CTO and board member at Covestro AG. "With Shiftconnector, we now have an instrument with which we can further increase quality, efficiency and ultimately safety of our operations.”
As part of the company-wide digitization initiative, Covestro decided to improve this critical process and standardize it globally. A core requirement for IT was to implement a globally uniform electronic system for shift handover. Additionally, Covestro wanted a system that could be used worldwide for all production plants, even if there were regional differences in requirements. Previously, the materials manufacturer had used different electronic and paper-based solutions for shift handover.
Digital and web-based shift handover
The most important expectations of the new digital shift log was that it be web-based, could operate from different locations, and that it had an interface to SAP. Another central aspect of the international roll-out was the active involvement of all employees in the company. Enabling all employees in production facilities to work more easily and efficiently using Shiftconnector plays a crucial role at Covestro. The success of the project to date has been confirmed by Covestro. Due to the successful rollout of Shiftconnector, the project team won Covestro's Innovation Award for Business Processes in 2018.
Integration across departments and hierarchies
An interface to the SAP Enterprise Asset Management application was implemented to ensure that communication between the plant maintenance and production teams was seamless. In addition, the Shiftconnector implementation was deployed so that it can be accessed by all employees down to the shop floor level. This provides all stakeholders a transparent view of plant operations and activities, and removes the burden of data collection on supervisors, who previously had the onerous chore of collecting data for a given production area themselves. The roll-out to the other 50 production lines is currently in the final stages. By the end of 2019, the company will equip almost all facilities worldwide with Shiftconnector. In the final expansion stage, 90 plants across the world will be able to use Shiftconnector to support operational best practices and shop floor collaboration.