Accenture collaborates with Mars, a food and pet care products and services firm, to advance its worldwide manufacturing operations with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, edge technology, and digital twins.
As per the deal, Accenture and Mars will work jointly to apply digital twin technology and models to the company’s manufacturing units. This will give Mars factory line operators real-time insights into current and predictive performance. In addition, Mars plans to apply them to dozens of use cases over the next three years.
Over the next two years, Accenture and Mars will jointly develop a new cloud platform for manufacturing applications, data, and AI to lay the foundation for its vision of the “Factory of the Future.”
Digital twins are virtual replicas of machines, products, or processes. Accenture and Mars have been trialing digital twins for Mars’ manufacturing operations since late 2020. Applied to its manufacturing plants, digital twins will help Mars to simulate and validate the results of product and factory adjustments before allocating time and resources in the physical space.
The organizations tested a digital twin to reduce instances of over-filling packages, a common problem in the food industry. The digital twin gave Mars a bird’s-eye view of the production lines at one of its factories in Illinois. The twin fed sensor data from manufacturing machinery into a predictive analytics model, allowing factory line operators to monitor real-time events and adjust the filling process. After the successful test, Accenture and Mars introduced the solution across the U.S. and developed similar solutions for their pet care business in Europe and China.
William Beery, VP and global CIO at Mars Wrigley, said, “Our collaboration with Accenture combined with our partnership with Microsoft, enables us to scale digital twin technology to reach this goal, delivering not just significant cost savings and sustainability, but preparing our manufacturing operations for the future of work.”
Larry Thomas, a senior managing director at Accenture and client account lead for Mars, adds, “Our work with Mars is about using the power of data, cloud and edge computing to modernize factories, boost business agility in response to change, and put power in the hands of Mars Associates so they can make informed decisions faster.”
Thiago Veiga, senior director of Digital Supply, R&D & Procurement at Mars Inc., said, “We at Mars are constantly looking for innovative and sustainable ways to create value in our end-to-end supply chain, and digital manufacturing is a key priority.”