About Philip Morris International
Philip Morris International (PMI) is a Swiss-American leading international tobacco company with over 73500 employees, 38 production facilities around the world, and products sold in over 180 countries. PMI is much more than just another tobacco company. A sense of mission and social responsibility led to the decision to produce and sell smokes-free products to replace traditional cigarettes. The company is committed to creating a future without smoke, so it is working intensively on products with reduced harmfulness as an alternative.
PMI has taken a new direction and began developing alternative products to traditional cigarettes. Such products were manufactured on a modern production line in one of the company’s factories. The company pays great attention to the optimization of the manufacturing process, actively seeking ways to reduce possible quality, productivity and cost losses.
In order to do that PMI has conducted Proof of Value on subset of example losses. The purpose of this project was to quickly identify disruptions, improve production work and reduce downtime. A software to quickly identify a solution based on the error code related to the machine stop.
The tool is supposed to match the error code from the database with the relevant, validated and available knowledge. The pilot project, created in collaboration with TT PSC, was designed to prove that it brings the expected value and confirm that the direction of changes is right.
Challenges and needs
Philip Morris International had already available an extensive repository of knowledge which contained an information about historical machine stops. It was stored in the form of doc or pdf files which may have caused some difficulties in restoring necessary data in the right time.
Company needed a system that would be able to retrieve the right knowledge document/s based on an error code, if existing. It would significantly speed up the data retrieving process and provide the necessary information, exactly when you need it.
This would allow PMI to make better use of available information and the knowledge for improving processes where in the places where it would have the biggest impact on production performance.
Solution: Knowledge Management System
Considering the specifics of this case and PMI’s needs, we have suggested the most beneficial solution – Knowledge Management System based on Amazon Web Services. The idea of the system is to quickly identify the solution for a problem occurring on the production line based on its error code. Previously this knowledge was not widely available, and not all employees were able to access it. As expected, the system is designed to match the error code from the database with relevant, verified, and available knowledge. This helps the employees to get to the desired documentation and, thanks to that, faster deal with the encountered problem. What is important – the use of the serverless technology allowed for a very fast deployment of KMS and testing the effectiveness of this pilot project.
The Knowledge Management System is distinguished by functionalities such as:
- show the available knowledges for a top recurrent machine stop.
- gather feedback on the quality and usefulness of the solution proposed, if put in place.
- track the searches and rate the most searched machine stops for which no knowledgewas available yet.
We were pleased to note that the effects of the implementation satisfy the company and meet PMI’s expectations. The results, that we have achieved together, increased business awareness and are now being considered for the next steps on the roadmap. Assumptions, which were the reason for starting the cooperation, have been fulfilled:
The implementation of KMS reduces the time needed to reach the information about errors, which translated into an increase in line productivity. The success of this implementation will perhaps serve as inspiration for the digital modernization for the repository of the knowledges and reapplication process. Specialists from TT PSC are pleased to have been able to contribute their knowledge and experience to a smoke-free future and to help PMI with achieving business goals.