“It takes just an hour of avoided downtime per week to justify Samsara. The solution will easily pay for itself in a year or less."
David Peters, Director of Technical Services at Meridian Brick
As the largest manufacturer of brick and masonry products in North America, Meridian Brick partners with Samsara to improve production efficiency with automatic downtime tracking and OEE analytics.
Real-time data provides insights into downtime, throughput, and yield.
Easy-to-use HMI enables floor operators to quickly add downtime reasons to unplanned downtime for better issue diagnosis.
Remote visibility enables teams to view and respond to the latest performance metrics from any location.
Easy-to-install solution kit means going from unboxing to live data in less than 30 minutes.
Meet Meridian Brick
Formed in 2016 with the merging of Boral Bricks and Forterra Brick, Meridian Brick is a leading manufacturer of sustainable building products and construction materials in North America. Meridian Brick builds on the two companies’ histories of innovation while expanding its catalog to over 1000 products targeted towards residential and commercial use cases. With a supply chain that spans from raw material extraction to finished brick, the company understands the importance of accurate, real-time data in driving efficiency in its operations.
Real-Time Data Drives Operational Improvements
When a single hour of downtime at Meridian Brick costs thousands of dollars in lost revenue, having the most accurate downtime data is critical for the company’s bottom line. David Peters, Meridian Brick’s Director of Technical Services, is on a mission to improve operational efficiency, and knows that accurate production data is the first step in knowing what to improve: “The most challenging part of our manual data logging process is never having accurate times. All of the 30-second downtimes that go unlogged end up becoming death by a thousand papercuts.”
But with Samsara, the impact of real-time analytics on uptime, throughput, and scrap rate that can be accessed from any device has been immediate. “It’s been night and day,” says David. “The data is way more accurate than what was possible with a manual system. We’ve noticed for example that a significant amount of downtime was occurring at a particular plant due to raw material loading, something which wasn’t apparent in our manual data before.” Accurate downtime logging has empowered David and the plant managers to make more informed decisions around processes, resourcing, and capital expenditures in order to improve production performance.
Fast, Cost-Effective Deployment
Samsara first appeared on David’s radar during a quarterly best practices review where the plant manager for their Phenix City facility shared insights on using Samsara sensors for monitoring dryer temperatures. After further conversations, David realized Samsara’s Manufacturing Analytics solution, with its automatic downtime logging and flexible connectivity options, was a great answer to their most immediate data challenges surrounding inaccurate manual data: “We had explored other solutions in the past, but they either didn’t have the connectivity options for our facilities or were priced for much larger enterprises. Samsara offered a compelling feature set at a price point that made it a no-brainer.”
Unlike other solutions - which required Wi-Fi access and created broader corporate concerns around network privacy - Samsara was able to provide the Manufacturing Analytics solution entirely through cellular signal, allowing for fast and secure deployment to get the system up and running. The plant managers for Meridian Brick’s Columbia and Augusta facilities quickly saw the value of Samsara Manufacturing Analytics as well, and both sites were able to self-install Samsara with minimal support.
Simplifying Operator Workstreams
Samsara’s ease of use has made it an instant hit on the production floor as well. Operators at the Columbia facility were able to start and stop runs, enter downtime reasons, and view production progress through the Samsara HMI interface with zero training. Compared to the hours of manual work previously needed each week to log data, input the data into spreadsheets, and create customized reports, adding new products or shift schedules could be done in the Samsara dashboard in just a few clicks. “It takes just an hour of downtime per week to justify Samsara. The solution has already paid for itself in spades,” says David.