Capmation helps Park Industries translate data into customer productivity
Park Industries builds high-precision machines for stone and metal fabricators. With over 15,700 machines sold, the company has become North America’s largest manufacturer of stoneworking machinery, with the metal industry not far behind. Part of Park’s success has been driven by investing in state-of-the-art technology in its machines as well as expanding its breadth of digital solutions.
Park Industries wanted to develop a digital solution that allows its customer to make the most of their fabricating machines. The solution, called Park IQTM, would provide real-time visibility into the workings of these machines so users could operate more efficiently and productively.
“We wanted to leverage data from the machines and present it to the customer in a way that allows them to make decisions based on what’s happening within their business or on a specific machine,” said David Lloyd, Director of Information Technology at Park Industries. “It’s something our customers have asked for, and it’s the first product on the market with its comprehensive capabilities.”
Creating the solution would mean capturing vast amounts of data from individual machines throughout the country; pushing that information up into a customer-segregated, cloud-based data lake; segmenting and analyzing the data per machine and user; and then displaying it on an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard instantaneously.
David wanted to expand the internal development team to include a deep level of expertise on data analytics to the project. He had worked with Capmation on previous projects and knew those were skills the company would bring to the table.
The success of the project hinged on being able to collect, move, analyze, and distribute data very quickly. David believed Capmation’s experience would be critical.
“Knowing that this was a data analytics type of solution, as well as the complexity of the software we were developing, I knew Capmation would fit very well. Dave (Capmation’s CEO) also has an engineering background—and the core of our businesses is designing, engineering and manufacturing machines—so he had a good understanding of our business,” said David.
To move and house the vast amounts of data needed for the project, Capmation built a data pipeline and data lake in the cloud. Once the data from the customers’ machines gets pushed up into the cloud, the system determines where that information should be stored and what type of transformation needs to happen. From there, the analytics engine reformats the data and instantly pushes it out to the customer’s dashboard, presenting only the data that’s relevant to that specific company and user.
“We have lot of data in the data lake. It can relate to everything from job performance—such as square inches cut—to maintenance schedules. The system determines what data is available to which users, based on their role and privileges,” he said.
Some information is more critical for the customer to know. For example, if an alarm on the machine goes off that could impact the performance of the machine or the quality of the job, the team wanted that data to take precedence on the dashboard. They also needed that information to display as quickly as possible.
“To find out five minutes later would be too late and could lead to costly mistakes and or a defective product coming off the machine. So Capmation built the system to analyze and move data through the system extremely fast. That was a big focus of the design,” said David.
The data collected on the machines also helps customers proactively manage the maintenance of their machines, which reduces downtime and improves the quality of their product. As a result, market validation at the beta stage has been extremely positive.
“We’ve had customers ask for a solution like this for years. This product has more capabilities than many of them expected and will continue to evolve with updates. It gives them an advantage over any competitor because they have access to information that enables them to make quick decisions—everything from shift scheduling to maintenance to making repairs,” he explained.
When asked which of Capmation contributions impacted the project most, David said it was a combination of services.
“Capmation has a lot of specialized expertise that was extremely beneficial to me, from data analytics and web application development to IoT services,” he concluded.
- Allows customers to analyze and improve their shop’s performance in real time
- System transforms vast amount of data into customer- and machine-specific metrics
- Precise data analytics helps customers improve their returns on investment