Hindalco Industries Limited is the flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. With a consolidated turnover of US$18.7 billion, Hindalco is an industry leader in aluminum and copper. Over the years, Hindalco has been investing in building up its world class manufacturing facilities and increasing its global footprint and today it has become a major exporter of its aluminum output to the markets like Korea, USA, Malaysia, and Japan.
Hindalco aims to further strengthen its position as one of the world’s largest Aluminum companies. As a part of its overall growth strategy, the company is undergoing a digital transformation that enables it to focus on its core business and build business resilience in a challenging economic environment.
As part of its digital transformation roadmap, the group has always understood that the true value of technology lies in its ability to solve a particular business problem, and has never been overawed by the technology itself. This pragmatic approach has helped Hindalco adopt different emerging technologies for different use cases.
Atanu Pramanic, Joint President & Chief Information Officer, Hindalco, explains,” We have used the power of technologies such as analytics and IoT to significantly improve our efficiencies. We monitor the key parameters of our equipment through sensors, and whenever they go outside a pre-defined upper or lower limit, we send alerts to the concerned team. What we have done differently is to display this number in display stations on the factory floor so that anyone in charge – a shift engineer or even a shift worker can know if there is any aberration happening, and take an immediate decision. For example, if the display station shows that a particular motor is showing abnormal data values of parameters such as temperature, vibration or RPM, then it can help the operating person on the shop floor take a decision without any inhibitions. The display units or the visualization centers are helping us prevent downtime of equipment in a big way.”
Similarly, the use of AI and analytics has helped Hindalco improve productivity. Today, by using the cloud, Hindalco has been able to capture data of critical equipment and analyze them using AI-based models. For example, if a machine has run for 2000 hours, then the AI model can trigger an alert based on historical data of the possibility of the machine breaking down. This has helped in reducing downtime in a big way, through predictive maintenance.
Analytics has also helped in extending the life of its equipment. For example, user manuals of OEMs mandate replacing of their equipment after a specific period. Typically, Hindalco used to refer to the standard practice and replace equipment as stated in the user manual. However, by using analytics, it found out that some of the equipment never broke down as specified in the user manual.
Explains Atanu, “In many cases, we found out that a equipment which was supposed to be replaced after 365 days never broke down, and some worked even for 500 or 600 days. Today, by using analytics, we have created a model, where we can confidently predict the life of the equipment. While historically we have had this data in multiple systems for the past few years, in the absence of an analytical model, these insights were never captured. Today, by capturing data digitally, we have been able to apply analytical methods. As many of these equipments such as motors and pumps are extremely expensive, we have saved significantly by extending the life of specific equipments.”
Leveraging the power of the cloud
The cloud is the default choice today for any new provisioning, and Oracle has been a partner of choice. States Atanu, “As a group, we have used Oracle for a long time, and it has made logical sense for us to use Oracle Cloud. We have zero downtime, and have found the platform to be extremely fast and easy to provision. With Oracle Cloud, we can even tweak our instance provisioning to the exact point where we want. We can for example, run an instance in the morning at 8 am and close this at 6 pm in the evening. With our landscape, we have no problems of integration, and benefit from the quick provisioning.”
Hindalco also uses Oracle Analytics Cloud to accurately perform real-time tracking of various HR, Compliance and Commodity Dashboards. For example, with the HR dashboard, Hindalco is able to track real-time data of open positions, the time taken to fill these open positions and for monitoring band wise training completion status. Using the Compliance dashboard, the Company Secretary can access any compliance related information such as checkpoints or action items instantly.
Using Oracle Integration Cloud, Hindalco’s IT team is able to easily create extensions to run Hindalco’s erstwhile on-premise version of Oracle Ebusiness Suite on Oracle’s second generation cloud infrastructure. It is also used for integrating on-premise applications to SaaS based applications like Oracle Transportation Management to streamline its supply chain.
Additionally, a number of Hindalco’s mobile apps are powered by Oracle Visual Builder. For example, the night duty observation (NDO) app captures abnormal conditions in different areas of the manufacturing plant, and shows detailed descriptions in the web app. Any abnormal or out-of-pattern activities in any of the plant’s areas are immediately identified and managed through this app. Similarly, an employee health wellness app provides information about Covid-19 to Hindalco employees. This also helps the company keep a check on the health status of employees and their families. This is targeted for use by Hindalco’s nearly 10,000 strong employee base in India. Hindalco has also partnered with Oracle to leverage its second generation cloud that offers enterprise grade capabilities such as extreme performance, superior security, greater cost benefits.