International Paint adds EMI to its production IT palette

For actionable intelligence based on real-time visibility, International Paint is using IncuityEMI, an enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution.  Recipes are downloaded from a QAD enterprise system to the production system, including supervisory control software. Incuity is linked to the production system via standard OPC connectors to access both historical and real-time production data.


Rapid growth led to major capacity constraints at International Paint , a global supplier of marine and protective coatings, and an operating unit of Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel. As a result, it faced a crucial decision.

International Paint's Houston-based plant was running three shifts a day—full tilt. Was it time to invest in expanded capacity, or use information technology (IT) to improve productivity from existing capacity?

In choosing the latter course, actions taken included unleashing productivity held captive by latencies in getting information from its data historian into printed reports. For actionable intelligence based on real-time visibility, International Paint implemented IncuityEMI, an enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) solution from Incuity Software .

“With the old system, it took time to get operators information about how much material was in our mixing vessels, how long production cycle times were, and how many cans or drums were filled,” says Jean-Paul Scheepens, production manager. “Incuity gives us the information fast, and makes it easy to analyze by batch or shift. We weren't necessarily looking for a dashboard, but getting one was a real plus.”

KPI mix-in

Recipes are downloaded from a QAD enterprise system to the production system, including supervisory control software. Incuity is linked to the production system via standard OPC connectors to access both historical and real-time production data.

The plant operates 13 mixing vessels and four filling lines.

“We've uncovered inefficiencies with end-to-end line studies—from incoming raw material to outgoing finished goods—using Incuity to look at cycle time data,” Scheepens says. “It's not a problem gathering the data. The bigger question is, what are you going to do with it?”

Users say it's easy to create and test key performance indicators (KPI) using real-time production data. The system then tracks the KPIs, presenting the context-rich results within a management dashboard that allows drilling down into process details. KPIs are tested, validating assumptions, and are easily modified as needed.

“You have to put considerable thought into it if you want meaningful, successful KPIs,” Scheepens explains. “It has to be something more than a gauge that says something is good or bad. A KPI means nothing if it's not associated with a cause. We spent a lot of time defining KPIs and what was behind them. You need to understand that to take proper corrective action.”

Process profile

Incuity tracks the weight of materials going into mixing vessels; the time they take to fill; weight of materials coming out; time between batches; filling line rate speeds; and weights for some 600 individual SKUs. Current annual production volume is six million gallons.

Line and shift managers analyze batch profiles by product category and shift. “Incuity allows shift supervisors to drill down into performance during the shift and see where problems are, to determine process actions that improve performance.”

In this way, International Paint slashed end-to-end process cycles 35 percent, improving productivity by a similar number in the first six months of the project. That made it possible for the company to comfortably eliminate its entire third shift while still boosting overall output.

“We're gaining new insight to operations, but cycle-time reduction alone justified the project,” Scheepens concludes.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me