Digital transformation in manufacturing is a challenging feat for companies of all sizes. Austrian snowboard manufacturer Capita MFG, though, is an example of a company that takes a progressive approach to its operations. The result is one of the most high tech and sustainable manufacturing facilities in the world. Capita calls its factory, the “Mothership” and it’s a great example of how manufacturing can be transformed with technology.
Founded in 2016, Capita manufactures world class snowboards at the Mothership in Feistritz, in the Austrian state of Carinthia. The team began working on digitalisation of its production processes in 2018, with a goal to be the most technologically advanced and ecologically responsible manufacturing facility in the snowboard industry.
All of Capita manufacturing processes are produced with 100% clean energy. In addition, 98% of the raw materials come from within a maximum five-hour drive. The company also places great emphasis on continuous optimisation in every manufacturing step.
Capita needed industrial workstation PCs close to the manufacturing process to enable its employees to monitor production machines and visualise processes. In addition, Capita wanted to provide employee access to their ERP systems as well as digital documentation wherever they might be needed. This includes component lists, operational instructions, and drawings of product models.
“We were looking for industrial computers that could effectively withstand airborne particulates and vibrations. In addition, we were looking for a computer that could support both a serial port and an I/O unit that could read and output digital signals,” said Miha Sprincnik, production manager at Capita MFG
Capita chose the Karbon 300 as their workstation. These rugged computers are vibration resistant which allows them to be placed in close physical proximity to the machines. In addition, the computers are fanless and ventless. This design protects the system electronics from the wood dust generated during production.
For processes that require even more CPU power, Capita MFG uses the Karbon 700-SE. These powerful edge computers assist with general data collection, analysis, and automatic adjustment of machine parameters based on product identification.
“OnLogic has a very wide range of products available, even for specialised applications,” said Sprincnik. “The online system configurator is also very convenient, allowing us to immediately see the impact of modifications on the price.”
The digital transformation in manufacturing that Capita has implemented has accelerated the production enormously. Tasks are easier for the employees and in some cases, the decision-making processes previously conducted by employees have been digitised. With the help of technology, products can be identified throughout the entire production process and therefore tracked seamlessly.
According to Sprincnik, the company has already achieved a high level of digitalisation. This opens up even more opportunities for automation. As a result, Capita MFG continues to pursue this goal with great dedication.
“We are continuously working on optimising our processes,” he said. “Digitalisation in a manufacturing company is a process that is never fully completed. So far, we have implemented more than ten projects in production with the help of the reliable Karbon 300 and 700 industrial PCs. But there are more to come in the next few years.”