Glass Company Increases Profitability With True-North Metrics

Riveron — 2023 Finalist

10 min video  /  4 minute read

Project Summary:

HMI Glass was facing numerous challenges impacting profitability, leading to reduced earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) since 2018. The scope of the project was to utilize intelligent manufacturing data to implement a lean management model and drive cultural transformation. The success of the project was tied to fees based on performance and utilized a gainshare model based on a cost of poor-quality improvement.



The project’s goal was to implement a lean management system utilizing intelligent manufacturing data for the company’s headquarters and main production center in Louisville, KY. The facility had no consolidated mechanism to track machine utilization and availability, scrap by part/size/reason, cycle time, missing WIP, downtime reason input/reporting and Andon screens, route bottlenecks, and hourly production report by work center. Individuals throughout the company were accessing production data through a variety of queries and reports that did not provide a unified message, slowed down the production system, and resulted in a lack of “true north” reporting metrics. 



Riveron developed a solution with 4IR Solutions using its FactoryStack™ cloud platform, built around Ignition. Ignition excels as a centralized data aggregation and contextualization tool and was able to seamlessly pull in and merge plant-floor data with business data sourced from an ERP system. This solution enabled the replication of selected data from the on-premises ERP database into a cloud-based database connected to Ignition in the cloud via a secure VPN connection. Typical solutions to replication, like snapshots and materialized views, were unavailable due to the severe CPU strain (~95%) placed on the existing database, with no ability to expand capacity. Transaction replication without snapshots was employed to minimize the load on the ERP database server and achieve the desired results. The replicated information included a listing of all routes and processes that items go through. Using this data, the system is aware of what required processes must go through to be considered complete and which items are where in the process.

This information is used to dynamically render screens showing each item in a route. In addition, the screens indicate where in the process that route is by rendering completed steps on the screen as an item is processed through an operation.

There are also screens that show asset utilization by collecting data from on-site sensors. This data is collected using Opto 22 groov devices for ingestion into FactoryStack™ via MQTT. The use of FactoryStack™ enabled fast deployment, minimal impact to on-premise systems, and the ability to scale seamlessly and securely as the system grows in the future.

An interesting aspect of this project is that it employed a unique business model of tying the fees of the project to performance. It was deployed in a unique industry, with a non-traditional architecture developed in tandem with 4IR.

The project also included a number of performance challenges. There was no room in the current server stack to allow for an Ignition instance, which required replicating the ERP database to the cloud. Replicating the data became more difficult due to disparate SQL types and available compute on the client’s server. This was further compounded by antiquated equipment being queried through a multitude of one-off reports using a non-standard SQL query construct. Overcoming these performance bottlenecks with a legacy system was a significant challenge.



Riveron provided HMI Glass with “true-north” metrics for reporting to executives and operators, incorporating metrics into huddle boards, reporting, and performance reviews. By using route optimization and lean management principles, HMI Glass improved on-time delivery from 21% to 69% in just six months. It also improved revenue by 37.5% and reduced cost of poor quality by 9%, as a result of pinpointing issues in the production system and employing lean management techniques.

HMI Glass now has visible reporting on the floor and visual management for the operators/plant management. Because of the improvement of HMI Glass’ operating metrics, and the performance-based business model of the project, Riveron received significant gainshare fees, resulting in a win for both the customer and the implementation partner. Riveron will deploy this technology along with the lean management systems to HMI Glass’ Reno and Boston facilities, building upon the great success at the Louisville headquarters.


Deploy Date: June 2023

Project Scope:

Tags: ~5,800

Screens: 5

Clients: ~25 Windows clients

Alarms: N/A

Devices used: ~25 sensors, connecting to 8 Opto 22 groov RIO devices, all feeding 1 Opto 22 groov EPIC

Architectures used: Hybrid IIoT/cloud-based architecture using MQTT

Databases used: 3 (Microsoft SQL Server 2014 (on-prem), Azure SQL Database (cloud), PostgreSQL (cloud)

Historical data logged: ~5,800 tags, ~360,000 rows

Project Information

Created By:   Riveron

To stay agile, promote value, and achieve a competitive advantage, world-class manufacturing organizations are harnessing the power of Industry 4.0. Riveron intelligent manufacturing solutions (IMS) defines and implements a digital manufacturing strategy that promotes operational excellence using connected, intelligent equipment and real-time manufacturing data to improve factory floor efficiency. Using advanced analytics, our approach empowers manufacturing executives to make rapid plant-level decisions and drives overall enterprise value. Whether just starting your smart factory transformation or fixing a challenging operational issue, we help by optimizing product quality, scheduling, inventory, production levels, repair, and maintenance.


Project For:   HMI Glass

HMI Glass is a $150m annual revenue, private equity backed glass manufacturer, headquartered in Louisville, KY. The company is a full-service supplier of shower enclosures and architectural aluminum. The company manufactures and distributes glass and metal products, including glass and shower enclosures, throughout the United States. The company sells its products through its five distribution centers as well as directly to glaziers from its three production facilities in Louisville, KY; Boston, MA; and Reno, NV.


Posted on October 23, 2023