In August 2020, Eziil Production Intelligence OÜ started to develop top-level functionality for project-based metal production companies in the framework of a 1.7 million euro project under the "Norway Grants "Green ICT" programme that promotes long-term business cooperation between Estonia and Norway.
The goal of the project idea was to develop a complete software solution for project-based production companies in the metal sector, which aim to increase efficiency, become more environmentally friendly and thereby reduce costs. The software helps better planning and higher automation in production and will do even more effectively so with the support of the project.
During the project, Eziil will develop the modularity of the software, that allows for fast and flexible design and implementation of the components. The production software's integration capacity with other systems and hardware will be increased. The software will also start measuring the ecological footprint by providing products with a CO2 validation certificate.
Together with the strongest metal manufacturers, already in the first six months of the project, Eziil has developed a BOM or Bill of Materials software. The BOM makes it easy to manage everything in project-based metal production and allows project managers, technologists, and draftsmen to prepare the production documentation much faster.
Eziil's BOM software has helped plan nearly 1.5 million kilograms of metal production to date. The software is actively used in AS VMT Tehased, one of the largest subsidiaries of Viljandi Metall in steel structures. According to the company's technologist Rauno Kuhi, giving work orders has become a matter of seconds and the workload for project reporting has halved, thanks to the new software. Another great value that the software creates is the increasing reliability – introducing technology reduces the number of human errors.
According to Rainer Kütt, the CEO of AS VMT Tehased, the project has had a positive effect on the accuracy of planning, both in terms of material, manpower, and other resources. "This is an agile cooperation project aimed at efficiency. In our opinion, more precise planning could lead to increased efficiency by 20-30%," said Kütt.
Maido Janke, co-founder, and CEO of Eziil, said that the BOM is only the first stage of the 30-month project. Further simplification of the procurement management, production planning, and other important parts of the production cycle for project-based metal products will be pursued. According to Janke, the benefit of the project for production companies is likely to surpass the 20-30% increase in efficiency, expected by Kütt, because VMT Tehased was chosen as the project partner precisely due to its high level of efficiency.
Janke added that the Norwegian cooperation project has brought focus and clarity to Eziil. The Norwegian partners have shown a sense of duty in performing the tasks undertaken and a willingness to deeply understand the challenges facing Estonia. In addition, the project offers great added value in raising producers' awareness of the use of resources and the carbon footprint, which, according to Janke, brings a completely unique consciousness to Estonia.
"So far the results of production were measured mostly in money, but cooperation with Norway is bringing environmental awareness to the production companies in Estonia. While it is an important issue throughout Norway, Estonia is still taking its first steps there. Eziil has a great opportunity to pass the importance of this principle to local companies," said Janke, adding that it is now that a generation of pioneers in this field is created – in 5-10 years green technologies will already be the new norm in Estonia.
Another project cooperation partner Nordic Shelter Production OÜ produces complex products in coordination with their Norwegian and Swedish offices. According to Janke, it is the production of such high value-added products that helps Estonian manufacturing companies to rise in the value chain. The support developed by Eziil within the project increases the cooperation capacity of the same type of project production factories, which is necessary for the implementation of more complex production projects.
According to Reio Rahumägi, CEO of Nordic Shelter Production, together with Eziil, the company has mapped activities towards data transparency and better ability for prompt decision-making. "Through the implementation of Eziil software, the company can now see the state of production in real-time at all levels, including a clear overview of the costs," said Rahumägi. He added that another point of value of the software is the adaptability to the company's business profile.
Eziil has opened the opportunity for other project-based metal production companies to join in as project clients, in order to keep up with the developments from the beginning. One of the companies weighing in this opportunity is Vertex Estonia. Ten more companies will get the opportunity to go through the development process together. Due to the high level of interest, the circle of beneficiaries is likely to close in the coming months.
The project is implemented together with well-known players in the industrial and IT sectors: VMT Tehased AS, Nordic Shelter AS, Nordic Shelter Production OÜ, Energex Energy Experts OÜ, Mobi Lab OÜ, and Thorgate Digital OÜ. The project will run until the end of January 2023.