Find out how Kafka architecture in manufacturing transformed Scania Group’s battery assembly factory in Sweden

Learn how Kafka architecture in manufacturing helped Scania Group streamline its assembly process and make the shift to real-time industrial data.

Find out how Kafka architecture in manufacturing transformed Scania Group’s factory operations with real-time data

by Sion Smith | June 30, 2024

🚧 Project Background: Meet Scania, a global trucking enterprise at the forefront of industry 4.0

When do you seek out Kafka to streamline your factory operations?

When you’re a leader in net zero and need to meet the demand for green vehicles, like sustainable trucking leader Scania Group. When we first met Scania, they needed to upgrade to Kafka architecture in manufacturing before opening a new electric battery assembly plant in Sweden. Essentially, they wanted to make operations more effective. More efficient. And better able to support their big goal of changing the trucking industry across the UK and Europe.

‘The factory is designed in line with Scania’s efforts to be at the forefront of industrial digitalisation, automation, and the use of advanced robotic technology to streamline production,’ Tony Persson, Scania Group’s battery assembly lead, told ABB Robotics.

Easy, streamlined, and seamless, right? Wrong.

🟥 Project Challenge: How do we automate Scania’s factory with Kafka architecture in manufacturing?

This was our big question.

Scania Group wanted to integrate their factory systems with Kafka architecture so that the whole system would communicate seamlessly in real-time. Real-time manufacturing would keep their battery production clicking along so that they could supply more vehicles and reach their quarterly and annual goals for overall production.

But Scania was struggling to get its production system to communicate. Its external SAP ordering system operated on one end, and its manufacturing execution system, which monitored and controlled battery production, operated on the other. Its team knew how the system should work—Scania’s enterprise resource planning platform (SAP ERP) and its manufacturing system (Delmia MES) would work in sync whenever the factory ran low on components during production—but without real-time data, the parts of the system were siloed.

And if we didn’t change something, they’d stay that way.

kafka architecture in manufacturing diagram

This Kafka design created a reliable feedback loop for Scania to replace its battery parts, making it possible for the company to identify and eliminate bottlenecks to keep factory production moving forward. And since Scania didn’t have this brokerage set up between the two systems at first, Matt wrote it in a high-level KSQL language and ran a Kafka cluster via Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Broker created, systems connected. Project complete.

🎉 Project Results: We successfully launched Kafka architecture in manufacturing for Scania Group!

What did Scania get by the end of the collaboration, aside from our lovely presence and support?

A fully-designed and delivered Kafka architecture plan for their new manufacturing facility,. More confidence in the strength and security of their solution. And a path forward to further improve and enhance their factory’s manufacturing infrastructure and real-time systems in the future.

In about two months, Matt and their engineers designed a broker, simulated the new system, resolved broker communication issues, and delivered a prototype well ahead of Scania’s battery factory launch date. With advisory support, Scania emerged from the project multiple steps closer to an efficient, streamlined, and scalable use case for Kafka architecture in manufacturing.

We also provided Scania’s engineering team with a breakdown of their current EBBA system’s limitations and outlined what they might do to improve their factory’s production in the future. When the battery factory launched in September, Scania’s team was fully prepared to take the next step toward an automated, real-time Kafka manufacturing process.

Their factory launched according to plan, and we can’t wait to see where they take Kafka next!

🤝 Learn More: Check out our Kafka architecture in manufacturing services and support

Hey there! We’re OSO, a leading provider of Apache Kafka consulting, development, and support services. Our team of Kafka experts helps organisations design, build, and operate scalable, reliable Kafka architectures, and we work with companies around the world. We’ve implemented Kafka solutions for public organisations, enterprise companies, and startups, and we work with teams to easily integrate into their engineering operations, from daily standups to messages on Slack.

If you’re curious about using our experts for your next Kafka project, we can arrange an intro call to chat about the scope of your project. Drop us a note at enquiries@oso.sh.

Let us help with your Kafka needs

Have a conversation with one of our experts to discover how we can help with your Kafka needs.