Owens Corning

Weekly question solving for Owens Corning

Managed Services works continuously to improve industrial automation

  • 6 September 2022
  • 3 minutes

Owens Corning is the world's largest manufacturer of fibreglass composites. ICT Group has been working for the production site in the Netherlands and built Owens Corning’s entire industrial automation from scratch. Now the focus is on process improvements and implementation of changes.

First time right

To keep the processes for producing fibreglass fleece continuously up to standard, Owens Corning comes up with weekly requests and proposals for adjustments, improvements and renewal. Employees on the shop floor regularly comment on these, because they know best how the machines work and how their people work with the machines. That knowledge is indispensable for developing a practical solution that works immediately. This is an essential requirement because it is absolutely not permitted that the production process comes to a standstill. ICT Group can only carry out its work on special 'stop days', so it has to be right the first time.

Successful approach

Maik Verheijen, Service Engineer at ICT Group's Managed Services is the point of contact for Owens Corning: "Of course those stop days are sacred to Owens. We can't just deviate from them or add a day if we haven't finished. So we have to prepare everything down to the last detail, and this is why we always perform a testing process before resuming production. There is no time for a test report; instead of a report we discuss everything during an evaluation moment with the customer on the shop floor, and we record the results in special documentation. This working method is very successful in practice. We now have so much experience and domain knowledge that we hardly have any failures anymore! The customer is very satisfied and that’s a great compliment!

"The customer is very satisfied and that's a great compliment!"

Maik Verheijen, Service Engineer at Managed Services
Maik Verheijen

Taking initiative

"We also come up with ideas in order to resolve problems. For example, some time ago there was a water tub that regularly overflowed, which the client then had to pump out manually. We resolved this together with the client by programming the tub to automatically pump empty when it reached a certain point in the production process, while taking into account the water that would still return from the pipes. Perhaps this issue and its solution is nothing new, but it did resolve a recurring problem for which there was  no current solution. In that case, we take the initiative, and because of our knowledge of the client’s machines and processes, we can quickly implement a practical solution.

"Another example: Owens Corning frequently works with large storage tanks for which a pressure sensor measures the fluid pressure. When a liquid with a high specific gravity is stored in one of these tanks, it seems to fill up earlier. As a result, they are not using the maximum storage capacity of the tank. We solved this by creating a list of specific gravities and calculating the allowable pressure per liquid and linking that value to the pressure sensor. Now the tanks are always optimally filled. "

Continuity of work

"This is how we continuously invent smart improvements. After all, ICT Group is about 'Making the world a little smarter every day'. We do the same here and Owens Corning is very happy with that. The cooperation is excellent. In fact, an additional, new project team will start work soon. That shows a lot of trust. And meanwhile here at Managed Services, we continue with our improvement list."

Owens Corning

Owens Corning is an American company that develops and manufactures insulation, roofing and fibreglass composites and related materials and products. It is the world's largest manufacturer of fibreglass composites. Owens Corning has been the world's leading producer of sustainable building materials for more than 80 years. Some 170 technical employees work on the high-tech production of fibreglass fleece at the company’s Apeldoorn production plant.