Customer spotlight: HELLA

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HELLA deployed Drishti on a line they believed was fully optimized. 10 weeks later, they were full believers in Drishti.

Overview

HELLA became an investor in Drishti in June 2020, but that didn’t mean they would automatically become a customer.

HELLA’s operations team wanted to see if Drishti could truly find hidden opportunities for optimization, as advertised. So they deployed Drishti on one of their best-running, most highly optimized lines and waited to see what we’d come up with.

10 weeks later, they were convinced. Keep reading to learn what Drishti found, and what they did with the data.

Who is HELLA?

HELLA, a global tier-one automotive supplier, is an advanced manufacturing company with disciplined adherence to lean principles. They established their lean philosophy throughout the organization since 2007.

When their operations team learned about HELLA Ventures’ investment in Drishti’s Series B, they were intrigued. Could AI-Powered Production, driven by video and insights from cameras on the assembly line, truly find new opportunities for improvement?

To find the answer, HELLA engaged Drishti on a 10-week trial deployment on an automotive component assembly line in Guanajuato, Mexico.

What they deployed

HELLA sought out a line that was considered optimized based on their existing state-of-the-art lean methodologies.

They deployed 12 Drishti cameras running both tiers of Drishti software:

  • Drishti Trace, which allows manufacturers to use live and recorded video from every station to improve assembly line quality and productivity
  • Drishti Flow, which uses AI to continuously measures cycle time for monitoring and rapidly improving line performance

What Drishti did

Within just a few weeks of the engagement, Drishti delivered a massive dataset about the performance of HELLA’s line. This included more than 2,000 measurements of cycle time, with video to back every data point.

Marcos Aurelio Alves Junior is the operational excellence and industrial engineering manager at HELLA Mexico. He and his team suddenly had a far deeper insight than ever before, without any of the observation bias that afflicts data gathered using traditional methods.

Alves and his team used this data in the Drishti Portal to examine line balance and station variability at a much more granular level than ever before. With every data point backed by video, HELLA engineers could not only identify pinpoint statistical outliers and variance, but watch video to understand its root cause.

Drishti installed in HELLA factory

The results

At the conclusion of the 10-week deployment, HELLA’s engineers had used the data Drishti created to drive a a 7% improvement on throughput on the assembly line.

Engineers appreciated the ability to more granularly analyze cycle time to find new opportunities. For example, how did Tuesday compare to Wednesday? How did shift one do vs. shift two?

And on the line itself, operators were able to use video to learn from their past work, similar to how a sports team uses instant replay.

The reduction in cycle time and the improvement in adherence to standardized work were striking. A broader Drishti deployment is currently in the works.

“Drishti’s technology uniquely provides us with information about what’s happening on the factory floor, now and in the past, wherever we are. It helps us support our lean practices with data, and use the information we get from the cameras and AI to train our operators, improving their productivity and job satisfaction at the same time. It’s a win-win for the company and our employees.”

“Drishti Trace lets anyone with access to the Portal go back in time and see exactly what happened on the factory floor. It solves a number of questions about what happened in the past, making the process to identify deviations shorter and us more assertive in attacking the correct outliers in our histograms. And it’s particularly useful during the coronavirus because it doesn’t require our team to travel to the site to know what’s happening.”

“Standardized work is the foundation of our assembly operations, and finding opportunities to improve adherence has the potential to significantly boost our productivity.”

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