Arconic’s Road to Smart Manufacturing

Q&A with Arconic’s Corporate Director of Manufacturing Intelligence & Smart Manufacturing, Hicham Wazni

Smart Industry: What are your responsibilities in relation to smart manufacturing? 

Hicham: This is a new role in Arconic. My job is to train staff, educate and lead the deployment of smart manufacturing. We are creating strategy and supporting that journey at all of our plants. It’s all about prioritization. At some locations we’re just getting started. Some already have elements of smart manufacturing.

Smart Industry: How do you develop your strategy in this respect?

Hicham: It starts with a baseline assessment of what we have—which plants already have some elements of smart manufacturing and which don’t. 

The next step is education—training the executives, the managers and the workforce on smart manufacturing. What it is? How does it work? What will the journey look like and what will the impact be on them?  

In parallel with education is identifying a three- to five-year roadmap for the plants in which we deploy this. They all have different needs and we work with leadership to put in place organization that is needed.

Smart Industry: What elements of smart manufacturing does this entail?  

Hicham: Different plants have different levels of savviness. Some Arconic plants are highly automated. Because of that savviness we are trying to target, let’s say, level-three automation—sensors on machines, data analytics for equipment health, alerts via text message to maintenance supervisors, etc. The goal might be cycle-time optimization. Other plants are not that savvy in automation—they tend to be more mechanical—so we have to implement smart and secure infrastructure. Once we do that we see what the needs of the plant are. We have to identify where in that plant is the critical equipment, where are the bottlenecks, where is the downtime. In those places you might target equipment health. The needs of each plant determine our specific smart-manufacturing approach.