Suresnes FRANCE, 14th June 2021

TERREAL, an international manufacturer of clay building cladding, commits to data collection and analysis of their industrial equipment in France. As part of their digital transformation plan launched in 2018, the company therefore are fulfilling their objectives for improving the performance of their production lines as well as product quality. Amongst many projects carried out, TERREAL is currently testing the AsystomPredict solution designed by Asystom, a start-up from the Toulouse region specialising in predictive maintenance for the industrial sector. The devices have already proven their worth on the TERREAL site of Rieussequel and are now being tested on the Ségala, Colomiers and Saint-Martin-Lalande sites.

A solution « made in France » adapted to the characteristics of Terreal’s industrial environment

Following a « proof of concept » phase on the Rieussequel (Tarn, FRANCE) site in 2019 where building cladding materials are manufactured, the benefits of the devices connected to AsystomPredict were clear and three more TERREAL manufacturing sites were added to the testing phase.

Using a secure LoRa network, the cloud-based solution allows the detection of anomalies to prevent failures, thanks to a beacon with embedded intelligence, attached directly onto machines.  The predictive maintenance system can connect an unlimited number of IoT devices in a non-intrusive way across the entire site, to collect and analyse the data for machines’ operation. Anomalies are highlighted by the drift of measurements such as vibration, ultrasound, shocks, pressure, humidity, temperature as well as more intricate data related to lubrication. Sensors feed the data back to the operator who receives an alert in order to perform maintenance work before a failure occurs.

« As a manufacturer, our objective is to be able to define predictive trends, to understand events that generate faults and therefore establish a plan of action to improve our processes and the end-product. Data is more and more valuable in our profession and we use it to allow our process engineers and our IT department to collaborate and improve our clay manufacturing processes such as extrusion, pressing, rectification, etc.», explains Jean-Frédéric Dalmasso, Head of development for mechanical processes within the Innovation and Technical  management team at TERREAL.

“We were excited by Groupe Terreal’s initiative to evaluate new technologies particularly focused on the remote monitoring of their production lines. It was a real pleasure to go on this journey with them by collaborating closely with their teams and to help them improve their competencies on digital transformation. Our technology is relevant in many sectors and is particularly suited for manufacturing, making it ideal for Groupe Terreal’s factories. The latter has many machines which require optimum operation to ensure high quality production. The challenge for us was to demystify innovation in this sector of industrial maintenance, so that the teams could adopt and get maximum benefit from our solution very quickly. The first results are very positive, with more than 4 faults detected and diagnosed», comments André Naccache, Managing Director of Asystom.

Digital solutions : improving  industrial performance 

Since its deployment on the Rieussequel site, the system has already enabled the detection of faults which would have resulted in production shutdowns and costly repairs. The faults were :

  • The detection of a broken shaft on the gear box of a moulding machine that makes clay pads, preventing 2 to 3 days loss of production;
  • Looseness on a bearing for an oven fan was diagnosed, which had it failed, would have required 8 hours to repair.
  • Replacement of a faulty gear box on a cart avoided an estimated 4 hours repair.

Terreal is carrying out other projects in parallel which were put together by the group’s management of both the Digital Transformation team and the Technical and Innovation team. They are looking into designing a monitoring tool based on the latest AI and data visualisation technologies. This learning program aims to aggregate the data output from the machines on the industrial sites so that it is available to operators, allowing the improvement of the manufacturing processes (clay tiles, bricks and pads).

« Our transformation plan is starting to bear fruit and has enabled us to identify areas of improvement for our industrial operations. We are running several pilot projects in order to evaluate their efficiency and the ROI of digital solutions for our factories in France. The priority for our digital transformation is the group’s cybersecurity.» comments Alexis de Nervaux, Director Digital Transformation at Groupe TERREAL since 2018.

About Asystom

Created in 2016, by Pierre Naccache, supported by an experienced international team, Asystom is located in the Toulouse region of France. The company specialises in the development, manufacture and marketing of universal smart monitoring solutions for predictive maintenance.

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Inspired by the beauty and the natural qualities of terracotta for over 150 years, TERREAL has continued forging ahead, meeting the market challenges to become a key building materials player.

Now with a turnover of 626 million euros ( pro forma of the CREATON acquisition) and over 3300 employees worldwide, TERREAL is a leading player in innovative building envelope solution design. With its global building envelope solutions, TERREAL works in 4 main areas of activity – roofing, facade, structure, and decoration – on 33 industrial sites located not only in France but also internationally. We are the European leader of clay tiles.

Central to its corporate mission, TERREAL contributes to improving housing by providing its business customers and end users with not only economic benefits but also benefits in terms of implementing our solutions, while also enhancing both beauty and comfort. Our company supports its customers – project owners, advisors, contractors, distributors, and installers – in designing beautiful projects that are more accessible and functional, and respect human health and the environment

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