Confectionary leader Mars is working with Accenture to transform and modernize its manufacturing operations with artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, edge technology and digital twins.
Accenture and Mars have been trialing digital twins for Mars’ manufacturing operations since late 2020. Digital twins, which are virtual representations of machines, products, or processes, can predict and optimize production processes and equipment performance.
Investment in digital twins will enable Mars to simulate and validate the results of product and factory adjustments before allocating time and resources in the physical space.
Accenture and Mars tested a digital twin to reduce instances of over-filling packages, a problem in the food industry. Mars and Accenture also introduced the digital twin solution across U.S. and developed similar solutions for its pet care business in Europe and China.
Under the new agreement, Accenture and Mars will work together to apply digital twin technology and models to the company’s manufacturing facilities globally. This will give Mars factory line operators real-time insights into current and predictive performance. Mars plans to apply them to dozens of use cases over the next three years.
Accenture and Mars will create a new cloud platform for manufacturing applications, data and artificial intelligence (AI) to lay the foundation for its “Factory of the Future” vision. The platform will provide robotics, AI and automation capabilities at the edge to make Mars manufacturing operations more efficient.
William Beery, global CIO at Mars Wrigley, said: “Our collaboration with Accenture, combined with our partnership with Microsoft, enables us to scale digital twin technology to reach this goal, delivering not just significant cost savings and sustainability, but preparing our manufacturing operations for the future of work.”
Larry Thomas, a senior managing director at Accenture, said: “Our work with Mars is about using the power of data, cloud and edge computing to modernize factories, boost business agility in response to change, and put power in the hands of Mars Associates so they can make informed decisions faster.”
Accenture brings cloud, engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain capabilities to the project. It works with Microsoft to leverage the Azure platform and Accenture’s edge accelerators. Earlier this year, Accenture was named Microsoft’s 2022 Manufacturing & Supply Chain Partner of the Year.
Thiago Veiga, senior director of Digital Supply, R&D & Procurement at Mars Inc., said, “We at Mars are constantly looking for innovative and sustainable ways to create value in our end-to-end supply chain, and digital manufacturing is a key priority.”