Impact Story

The Smart Factory: Harnessing Technology for Continuous Improvement
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Closing the Gap Between Shop Floor and Business Systems

Worthington Industries partnered with global manufacturing technology leader L2L, implementing solutions to form a unified view of production metrics and target operational improvements in a pilot facility in Westerville, Ohio. The technology has since been expanded to additional facilities. 

The Proactive Approach to Increasing Efficiency

In manufacturing, every second counts. A downed machine or unexpected issue can decrease productivity downstream. With market conditions in constant flux, we knew it was critical to anticipate challenges and get ahead of the curve. 

By deploying L2L’s Smart Manufacturing Platform, we set out to reduce unplanned downtime, drive waste out of the process, and react faster to change. The technology provided a single source of truth for production data, giving cross-functional teams the visibility needed to make the right decisions quickly to maintain forward momentum.

Jeremy Morrison, Transformation Coordinator

We're definitely more productive, we're reacting faster on our downtime, we're figuring out where our bottlenecks are quicker and turning machines on or switching lines.

Lean Manufacturing. Stronger Outcomes.

Our past practices of manually tracking production metrics in multiple places was inhibiting our progress. By tapping into the Smart Factory vision, we built a fully connected, adaptive system of lean manufacturing that can learn, self-optimize, and run autonomously. 

With greater visibility, team members from different departments and levels across the company can now address plant needs more holistically, driving stronger collaboration and efficiency. The Smart Factory program collects and displays plant metrics in real time from both operators and machines, driving accountability and action. It has also enabled process owners to prevent common problems from happening again through root cause problem solving.

Justin Skaggs, Delivery Manager, IT

It levels the playing field, it helps communication, it helps accountability, it helps everyone speak the same language.

Empowering People. Improving Performance.

Our Smart Factory deployment has yielded significant operational benefits. We owe much of that achievement to how eagerly our people have embraced the technology and used it to drive positive change. 

The Smart Factory program has provided transparency into our people's training, and we use this information to encourage rotations and upskilling. Another benefit is that our operators are increasingly empowered to share their perspectives and highlight opportunities for improvement.

Priya Rao, Senior Director, IT

Being part of something that is truly next gen that changes the culture and that touches more people in a positive way—that was a game-changer.

Award-Winning Results

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recognized Worthington with a 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Award for our Smart Factory initiative with L2L. Launched in mid-2019 at our pilot plant, our efforts have created more than $1 million in savings through reduced downtime over two years.

Geoff Gilmore, Executive Vice President & COO

“The real-time data has enabled us to make better fact-based decisions and quickly navigate ever-changing market conditions.”