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Automotive industry

SAGW Reduces Inspection Costs by 40% using Proficy Plant Applications and Process Digital Twins

20 %

Improvement in equipment utilization

40 %

Reduction in Inspection costs

30 %

Reduction in inventory

80 %

Reduction in required storage space





Automotive industry


Tracker, CIMPLICITY, Proficy Plant Applications

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Proficy HMI / SCADA, Proficy Smart Factory - MES Solutions


SAGW has transformed their manufacturing processes by using GE Digital’s Proficy Plant Applications to create a "Process Digital Twin", improving equipment utilization by 20% and reducing inspection costs by 40%. The availability of real-time data has led to a 30% reduction in inventory and an 80% reduction in required storage space.



China’s SAGW (Shanghai Automobile Gear Works) is a subsidiary of state-owned SAIC Motor Corporation. The company manufactures, markets, and exports automotive transmissions and key components for passenger and commercial vehicles. With 7000 employees across 5 heating treatment lines, SAGW produces more than 3.8 million units annually.


Like many companies in the automotive industry, SAGW have used GE Digital's CIMPLICITY HMI/SCADA and Tracker for plant-wide connectivity, visualization, and control for years.


However, SAGW’s production was encumbered by several manual processes that were leading to long, cost-prohibitive lead-times, production disruptions and a lack of actionable data. Several steps of production depended on manual inputs from operators, which led to inconsistencies of output and quality control challenges. Destructive inspections, where operators must sacrifice valuable materials on the product line, took six hours to complete, leading to product waste and costly downtimes.


Paper-based processes made extrapolating meaningful and accurate data difficult. Storage facilities were overloaded with inventory and there was a general lack of shared information between manufacturing and warehousing.



Data Models Optimize Multiple, Fast-Moving Processes


The software creates a "process digital twin" that helps SAGW operators to operate, analyze and optimize their production processes. Taking digital transformation to the next level, SAGW implemented Proficy Plant Applications. Part of the GE Digital Proficy Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) suite, Proficy Plant Applications helps process manufacturers manage highly automated, fast-moving processes.


By creating data models of five production lines, the SAGW team was able to use a simulation solution to optimize the work order list to help reduce lead-time for daily production. An operation sciences team used machine learning and big data analysis solution to build a quality prediction model to speed production and reduce costs. And the real-time sensor data collected to GE Digital’s MES helped clean up previously cluttered communication between SAGW’s warehouse and production lines.



Improve Equipment Utilization, Reduce Inspection Costs and Streamline Inventory Management


Since implementing Proficy Plant Applications in mid-2019, SAGW has documented a significant return on investment on key performance indicators, including a 20% improvement in equipment utilization, and a 40% reduction in inspection costs. In addition, the availability of real-time data has led to a 30% reduction in inventory and an 80% reduction in required storage/warehouse space. SAGW is using their success with Proficy Plant Applications to illustrate their smart factory digital journey and plans to expand to additional factories.


Ranked seventh in the global automotive market, SAIC Motor Corporation is the largest automotive company in China, with annual revenue exceeding 136 billion USD. SAIC and GE Digital have partnered to deliver Digital Transformation blueprints employed at the primary SAGW heating treatment plant in Shanghai.  


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