Since the late 1980s, the Fortune 500 American corporation Avery Dennison has operated in Luxembourg. Its Rodange plant, which produces almost half of its output in Europe, is its biggest manufacturing facility in the region. “Conducting business in Luxembourg has many advantages: the country is located in proximity to other important European markets, there is a logistical ease of doing business, and a long-term commitment to industrial growth,” says Adrien Villani, Plant Manager at Avery Dennison Luxembourg.

Innovation and digitalisation are strategic concepts. “Avery Dennison has always been engaged into Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. Innovation and digitalisation are a good means to achieve our goals, manage complex supply chains and increased orders. They also help refocus human efforts to more value-adding tasks and streamline processes,” explains Mr Villani. Luxinnovation has supported the company with applications for R&D and innovation funding several times in the past, and when the L-DIH team knocked on the door to discuss how it could support Avery Dennison in its integration of industry 4.0 technologies, the interest was immediate.

Design thinking workshop

The company invited Luxinnovation to hold a design thinking workshop in August 2022 at its premises with representatives from its other European sites in attendance.

The purpose of the workshop was to develop a strategic roadmap for digital innovation using a bottom-up approach, with in-depth discussions on artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things (IoT), and cybersecurity.

Digital transformation journey

Avery Dennison also volunteered to host the one of the stops of the DIH ON TOUR bus which cross-crossed the country to support the local manufacturing sector’s digital transformation and the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies through a series of visits to industrial zones. The hosted sessions sparked discussions with one of the invited speakers, software solutions provider DataThings.

“DataThings presentation inspired a lot of new ideas. Recently, we held a meeting with CTI Systems – with whom we have worked in the past on the automation of our warehouse management system – and DataThings to scheme how we could take our automation and digitalisation initiatives further,” states Mr Villani. In the long run, Avery Dennison intends to integrate its warehouse management system with its planning systems and, eventually, to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning, though that thinking is already embedded in its processes. Other projects in the works include replacing operator-performed quality tests on machines with new algorithms that can predict quality levels and reduce the number of test runs.

According to Mr Villani, hosting DIH ON TOUR ’22 gave the company many new ideas, provided an opportunity for data gathering and knowledge sharing, and highlighted potential collaborations that could support the company’s digital transformation further. “Thanks to the tour, we realised that one of the major areas where we could do something was machine learning and artificial intelligence for our automated warehouse. The more we work on improvements, the more we realise that tasks that require lots of iteration must be performed by computers.”

Photo credit: Sophie Margue/ Luxinnovation

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