Stora Enso is the renewable materials company. Smart Factory enables us to achieve the highest operations efficiency possible by digitally augmenting the capabilities of our people and equipment. The journey to Smart Factory is not simple and involves multiple things you need to do in order to succeed. There are, however, three key things you must pay extra attention to. They are a Smart Factory vision & strategy, technology and change management.

It is very hard to start concrete actions if you don’t know where you need to go. You must have a reason for the change, and you must know what to change. New technology as such is not a good reason alone. The need must come from business – you want to grow your business, bring down costs, and make your operations safer and so on. You also need to decide high level guidelines how you want to achieve the change related to your goals. Do you want to lead it yourself or hire an experienced partner to lead? What about the overall approach; all businesses together or by using a federated model where businesses lead their own efforts? The options have their pros and cons and you need to weight them against your target state i.e. vision as well as your existing business model and structure. Also, you will make mistakes so be prepared to be agile – collect continuous feedback and adjust your plans accordingly. Once ready, you have your first Smart Factory vision and strategy formulated as the base for the transformation.

Without technology you cannot make your factory smarter. Even if technology alone is not a good reason for change, it is one key component of your strategy implementation. There are thousands of companies providing products and services for smart factories - machine manufacturers, IT service providers and start-ups are all after your business. Based on your smart factory vision and strategy you can identify the key problems to solve and key opportunities to take advantage of. Then you look for solutions to the instead of trying to think about what you should and could do with the new technology. There is technology to do all things needed so technology is not a bottleneck of the transformation. When you know where to go and how, you are in control instead of some 3rd party. The technologies you will need to consider without a doubt are:

• Data management

• Cloud and edge

• Advanced analytics and AI

• Machine vision

• 5G / Wi-Fi / LoRa

• IoT and related sensors

The third and crucial factor of your smart factory transformation is change management. Smart Factory technologies will change the way people work so their involvement in the transformation process is required from the start. New skills will be needed as well as new thinking. Decisions on the factory floor have been made based on long experience or facts if real time reporting solutions are in use. With advanced analytics and prediction this will change. Predictions are never hard facts; they are approximations of the future with certain probability. Predictions are extremely powerful to avoid unwanted events to happen if you know how to make decisions based on the predictions. They give you the sixth sense and combined with your professional experience and competence, you can make real difference in work performance. Another important aspect is the ease-of-use. If the new smart factory tools are hard to use, they will be abandoned after a while. Using time together with end users to refine the user experience of the new tools pays back in long term.

“You can’t make your factory smarter unless you have the right technology. As when it comes to strategy implementation, it’s important that you don’t overlook the role technology can play”

At Stora Enso we have addressed the three key things during our whole five year long digital journey. Smart factory, or Smart Operations as we call it, is one stream in our digital transformation. At the very beginning of the five-year period we created a corporate digitalisation strategy. It was a one-off exercise which after digital has been an integral part of our business strategy. Based on the digitalisation and operations strategies we created our Smart Operations vision. We even created a video of the vision for effective communication of our target state. Our Smart Operations development projects are problem focused and the problems come from the front line i.e. shop floor in the factories. We don’t let technology lead but our concrete business problems and targets. Our factories have Digital Mill Roadmaps for project prioritization. From technology point of view, we have selected so called anchor technologies we use in most of the solutions we have implemented. They are a cloud, a maintenance management system as well as our Stora Enso Extended Design System (SEEDS) for unified user experience across smart factory solutions. For change management we have a cross-business collaboration body called the Smart Operations Working Group. It consists of operations and digitalisation leaders from all business divisions to coordinate between corporate, division and local needs and priorities. Different factories have different needs so one-fits-all approach is not something we are trying to do - factories and their needs lead always. Because change management is so important for total value delivery of the transformation, we have dedicated resources in business divisions and corporate to help factories in their transformation efforts. With this formula we have manage to progress well in our journey and are currently scaling successful solutions out to multiple factories.