Swiss Steel: Cloud Success with Wabion
With Google Cloud Platform and Wabion, Swiss Steel built an infrastructure that could take in, transform, store, and analyze data from multiple sources to provide unique insight.
“Summary from a official Google Blog Post – Link to full Google Blog Post at the end of the article.”
Swiss Steel, a company of the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group, has been providing high-quality steel to the the automotive, engineering, and construction industries for over 175 years. With limited local mineral resources, Swiss Steel has had to constantly invest in innovation and new technology to remain one of Europe’s leading steel manufacturers for so long. In 2015, the company wanted to connect the various systems in its production chain onto a single, networked platform for the first time. To do that, it needed Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Flexibility, stability and security
Steel manufacturing is a complex process made up of several different systems. Without local resources and high operational costs, Swiss Steel knew that it had to find a radically disruptive solution to stay competitive. The company decided to build a networked platform that would monitor its mechanical and logistical processes and store the data in one place for the first time. In order to build such a platform, it searched for a cloud-based infrastructure.
Swiss Steel chose GCP for its track record with cloud technology, security, and innovation. Teaming up with Google Partner Wabion, Swiss Steel began by using Google Maps to visualize geographical data about its logistics network, while Firebase helped store the data in the best way for quick, efficient loading.
After success with the Google Maps project, Wabion helped Swiss Steel build a much larger platform using a number of GCP products, adding new processes in stages. Swiss Steel coordinated the various systems on its platform with Google Cloud Functions, while Google Cloud Pub/Sub helped the systems communicate with each other. The company used Google Cloud Dataflow to pipeline multiple data streams into Google BigQuery, where it could analyze trends and look for insight. Meanwhile, Wabion and Swiss Steel also used Firebase for the mobile application.
Turning insight into action
With GCP and Wabion’s guidance, Swiss Steel was able to build a secure, stable platform that linked all its processes together to provide powerful insight and optimize its processes. By equipping its plant workers with smart watches, for instance, Swiss Steel has made it easier and faster to raise alarms, which automatically and instantly provide vital information to repair teams, dramatically improving safety throughout the company.
With real-time data from Google Maps and other parts of the supply chain, Swiss Steel could make more efficient use of its transport network and not leave trucks idling. Along with these indirect savings, Swiss Steel and Wabion were able to iteratively build the Swiss Steel platform without heavy upfront investment because of the low GCP costs.
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