Thirty years ago, Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in North America. Like most American teenagers, I was immediately enthralled; unlike most American teenagers, I didn’t have my own copy. I had to continuously invent excuses to get myself invited to my cousin’s house to play.
Sitting in Uncle Gary’s basement, I got pretty good at the first few worlds and the new Mario mechanics (racoon tail attacks, statue crushes). But I never made it to Bowser. I just never had the time to grind through the early worlds before my mom got back from her shopping trip or Auntie Annie forced me out into the dreaded “fresh air”. Bowser was destined to be my Rosebud: I could envision it — I saw it in my dreams — but I never had enough time to achieve it.
And then, one day, I learned about the warp whistle.
Crouch on a certain white block in World 1-3, wait a few moments, and suddenly the laws of Mario physics (such as they are) are suspended. I enter a Toad House, I receive a magic whistle, and suddenly I can transport myself to worlds that would otherwise take me forever to visit.
I didn’t need to beg my aunt for an extra five minutes: time was no longer a constraint for achieving my goal. Bowser was mine.
Data is an assembly line’s warp whistle
I’m all grown up now (biologically, at least.) As part of the manufacturing industry, I now look at the world in terms of constraints. And constraints are what holds back most manufacturers: They know exactly what their goal looks like, but they never have the time to achieve it.
It turns out, though, that time is not actually the constraint — data is. You lack data, so you spend massive amounts of time collecting it: running time studies, studying the process, observing and noting and recording data.
If you could warp directly to the point where you already had the data, then you’d have all the time you needed to achieve your goal.
And that leads me to the news we announced today with HELLA.
HELLA became a Drishti investor in June, but that didn’t mean they’d automatically become a customer. And so they gave us a challenge: They deployed Drishti on a line in Guanajuato, Mexico that their world-class lean engineers had already optimized, to see if we could truly live up to our promises.
Drishti’s simple value proposition is that IIoT projects cannot gather data from the ~70% of factory activities that are performed by people. Drishti fills in that data gap using AI and video to find many more opportunities than could otherwise be recognized and achieved.
Within weeks of the start of the project, Drishti’s data showed HELLA engineers opportunities for even greater optimization where they’d previously had no visibility. After 10 weeks, we’d already run a kaizen with the HELLA team to help them realize these opportunities.
Drishti became HELLA’s warp whistle.
On the ground with HELLA
Here’s what we did: We deployed Drishti Trace, which allows manufacturers to use live and recorded video to learn from what has happened; and Drishti Flow, which adds AI to provide continuous cycle time data for closely monitoring and rapidly improving performance.
Our customer experience team worked closely with the HELLA team, helping their engineers identify places where standardized work adherence could improve, as well as situations to reduce process delays and microstops.
HELLA used the AI-generated data points from their assembly line in the Drishti Portal to pinpoint abnormally long cycle times. Our technology provides so much cycle time data — thousands of cycles measured, in fact — that it was easy to identify outliers. It was just as easy to watch video of each abnormal cycle, which let the HELLA team see exactly why any given cycle was longer than the norm, and making it easy to improve overall cycle time as a result.
In other words, not only did the team have more data, they also had more time to act on it. In a world of fewer constraints, the outcomes are necessarily better. Or, to go back to my Mario metaphor: Drishti warped HELLA past the grind of data collection, and straight to the world where the data was waiting for them.
Congratulations, Mario! You get a card.
Check out the full HELLA case study.