Read the orginal article here (Norwegian).
Aarbakke and the IT company Cognite are collaborating on a new company. The technology that has been developed for the manufacturing company at Jæren will now be offered to everyone.
Rolf Thu, CTO at Aarbakke, has played central to the technology investment. In 2012, he was the production director at the manufacturing company in Bryne.
One night in September, his heart stopped beating, and ambulance personnel were only allowed to start after one hour.
After Thu returned to Aarbakke, he was given a more independent role and had the opportunity to work with digitization of production. The goal was to get a solution where all the information - all the data - they had, was put together and could provide insight into how production could be better and more efficient.
They quickly realized that the solution did not exist. Not yet. This lead to the collaboration with the Aker-owned IT company, Cognite.
- If we put all the data together, it can give us valuable knowledge. We can better understand why something works and why not. An example is the use of machines. In Aarbakke, we have managed to increase utilization by more than 20 per cent - and that means more than NOK 50 million a year. We can see in real time if something does not work and correct along the way, not afterwards when it is too late, says Thu to Aftenbladet.
The factory as a teacher
That's why they call the solution the learning factory - it becomes easier to improve both by doing less of what does not work and more of what works.
Now they can also measure how much electricity is used to make one product and thus also document climate emissions.
- Then the customer gets information about what the climate accounts look like if they produce with us based on renewable energy, or if they choose a competitor in Germany with much higher emissions. When they have access to this knowledge, we see that many take it into account as well.
Now they have decided to sell this solution to others. The new company is called Ignos, and is a collaboration between Aarbakke and Cognite.
- Not everyone thinks it's smart that we should sell this to our competitors and make them better. We used to agree with that in the past. We thought we were very smart and were terrified of sharing. But then I discovered that if you share, you get something back.
He believes they have such a big advantage over competitors that no one will catch up with them right away. Should it happen to any extent that someone manages it, he believes that Aarbakke can only get even better.
Now they have searched for a general manager for the new company. Inge Brigt Aarbakke has no doubt that they will sell the technology.
- In fact, the first sales are already in the box. The technology will be relevant for several industries, says Aarbakke.
He can look back on record sales in 2020 of over one billion kroner. This year, revenues will fall to around 750-800 million, but Aarbakke sees that the market has turned earlier than expected and is in the process of strengthening.
A new factory worth NOK 300 million will be built. This includes equipment - CNC machines and welding robots - purchased from Technip FMC's factory at Ågotnes outside Bergen. Some of this equipment is being installed in an existing factory.
Although oil and gas still apply to the machining company, Inge Brigt Aarbakke is aware that just as the new technology investment is relevant for several industries, he can also deliver to others.
- Grandfather bought the last horseshoe factory in Bryne. And then came the cars and there was no longer the same need for horseshoes. When I now invest in a new factory, I have thought about whether I am making the same mistake as my grandfather. But that is why we are also building to be able to take assignments for other industries, says Aarbakke.