4-page Case Study
Posted: 4/7/2014
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Lido Stone Works Custom Manufacturer of Stone Products Improves Productivity by 30 Percent

Lido Stone Works, a custom manufacturer of stone products, wanted a more automated production environment. Lido turned to Breton, a well-known machinery manufacturer, to implement an intelligent system based on Microsoft technologies that connects Windows Embedded machines on the factory floor with back-end servers running Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. The solution takes advantage of ASEM Ubiquity remote assistance software and Windows Azure to connect Lido machines and servers to a Breton control center for real time diagnosis and resolution of manufacturing problems. As a result, Lido has increased revenue by 70 percent and productivity by 30 percent, while Breton has cut travel costs by approximately €400,000 (US$524,000). Most importantly, the solution is helping Lido realize its potential for innovation.

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* With an intelligent manufacturing system from Breton based on Windows Embedded, we’re able to work more effectively with a smaller crew…. We’ve increased productivity by at least 30 percent. *

Eliot Mazzocca
President
Lido Stone Works

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Situation

Based in Calverton, New York, Lido Stone Works specializes in the manufacturing of custom stone products for architects and developers worldwide. The company fabricates and installs unique accent pieces including fireplaces, furniture, and sculpture.

Since it was established in 2003, Lido has delivered fine craftsmanship with the latest

technology, including CAD programs and specialized machines and modeling software from Breton, an Italian supplier of industrial solutions, and a leader in stone-working machines manufacturing. Lido and Breton worked together to design an increasingly automated environment at Lido, which faces round-the-clock operations and tight deadlines.

For example, to improve productivity and quickly respond to its customer’s inquiries, Breton wanted to offer Lido and other customers a better diagnostics service. Because of the complexity of Lido designs, challenges were seldom resolved online or over the phone. Instead, a Breton technician would fly out to the company, and it could take a week or more before the machine was running again. Because manual processes at any stage could reduce efficiency and profitability, Lido was also looking to automate production. For example, inventorying raw material was a time-consuming process that took a team of four people a week to perform. In addition to improving remote assistance, the company wanted a solution that would connect its design center with machines on the factory floor and peripheral devices such as barcode scanners.

Solution

Breton had already implemented remote- assistance software from ASEM, a supplier of industrial automation technology. Based on the Windows Embedded operating system and the Microsoft .NET Framework, the software connects the manufacturing environment at local factories with a remote control center. In August 2012, Breton and Lido began installing Ubiquity, an intelligent system based on Microsoft technology including Windows Embedded, the Windows Azure platform, SQL Server software, and the Windows Server and Windows operating systems.

Stone-cutting machinery by Breton automates manufacturing
Stone-cutting machinery by Breton automates manufacturing
On the factory floor, three machines used to cut and finish stone are controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC) connected to an HMI solution running Windows Embedded. The HMI integrates with ASEM remote-assistance software, which enables remote access to the PLC from Breton offices. The solution is used to not only manage and configure the machines, but also to facilitate real-time chats with Breton technicians.

The PLC on the factory floor is connected to a central server and database, which stores production and inventory information with the Fabmaster suite developed by Breton. An operator can go online with the HMI, choose a job, and then use a barcode reader to scan the specified material. All of the data required to produce the piece is then automatically downloaded to the PLC. Paper notes and manual adjustments are eliminated, and production begins without anyone touching a stone-cutting machine.

If operators need help troubleshooting a project, they can contact Breton through the HMI or from an office PC. Breton uses Windows Azure for secure, cloud-based connectivity between its control center and Lido. As a result, Breton can diagnose problems in real time, remotely configure the PLC, and update its software anywhere on the Lido network.

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* Last year, we made $10 million dollars in revenue. This year, in just the first four months, we’re already at $8.5 million—that’s a 70 percent increase in revenue. *

Eliot Mazzocca
President
Lido Stone Works

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Benefits

By implementing an automated manufacturing environment that connects machinery with central servers and remote assistance software, Lido Stone Works has increased revenue by 70 percent and productivity by 30 percent. It has also improved manageability while Breton has significantly cut maintenance travel costs.

Boosts Revenue by 70 Percent

Lido has been able to take on more business while adhering to high standards for quality. Mazzocca notes, “Before we implemented the new solution based on Windows Embedded, we employed 60 people and now we have 100.”

The company has seen profits surge within months. “The investments we’ve made in an intelligent system from Breton and Microsoft are paying off,” Mazzocca says. “Last year, we made $10 million dollars in revenue. This year, in just the first four months, we’re already at $8.5 million—that’s a 70 percent increase in revenue.”

Increases Productivity 30 Percent

By connecting devices and data sources, Lido transformed operations and improved efficiency significantly. For example, one person can complete inventory in a day, when before it took four people a week to finish the job. “With an intelligent manufacturing system from Breton and ASEM based on Windows Embedded, we’re able to work more effectively with a smaller crew and keep handwork to a minimum,” says Eliot Mazzocca, President at Lido Stone Works. “We’ve increased productivity by at least 30 percent.”

HMI controls the machinery and enables remote assistance
HMI controls the machinery and enables remote assistance
Improves Manageability and Cuts Maintenance Travel Costs

Lido is also improving uptime by connecting its infrastructure to Breton USA facilities in Sarasota, Florida. Instead of flying to New York and spending a week bringing a machine back online, Breton technicians typically solve problems from their home office in less than a day.

Mazzocca says, “It’s a huge benefit that anytime Breton needs access, they can get right in and start working on the machine in real time.”

Remote assistance is also helping Breton improve efficiency and reduce travel costs. The company estimates that 85 percent of its customers operate outside Italy, and traveling to maintain their equipment could be expensive as well as time-consuming. “We cut our annual travel costs by about €400,000 by using ASEM remote-assistance software running on Windows Embedded,” says Denis Soldan, Director of After-Sales Department at Breton. “But for us, the ability to provide good service is even more important.”

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* With the manufacturing solution from Breton and Microsoft we can create new roadways and be creative and different. It empowers us to celebrate new visions in stone—there’s nothing we can’t do. *

Eliot Mazzocca
President,
Lido Stone Works

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Empowers Innovation

For Lido, perhaps the biggest benefit is yet to come. With an intelligent system that connects design, manufacturing, and inventory processes, the company is just beginning to realize its potential. “In the past, I could only dream of doing what we’re able to do with machines today,” says Mazzocca. “With the manufacturing solution from Breton and Microsoft we can create new roadways and be creative and different. It empowers us to celebrate new visions in stone—there’s nothing we

can’t do.”

Create the Internet of Your Things with Intelligent Systems

The Internet of Things is not a futuristic technology; it’s here today. When your enterprise puts together devices, software, cloud services and business intelligence tools from Microsoft, you create the Internet of Your Things. As a trusted technology leader, Microsoft can help you drive business value from new and existing technology assets, devices, and data to create one truly flexible, intelligent system. When you connect your people and your infrastructure, you can change the trajectory of your business in real time.

For more information, visit:

www.InternetofYourThings.com

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:

www.microsoft.com

For more information about Lido Stone Works products and services, visit the website at:www.lidostone.com

For more information about Breton products and services, visit the website at:www.breton.it

For more information about ASEM products and services, visit the website at: www.asem.it

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 100 employees

Organization Profile

Lido Stone Works manufactures high-end stone installations for leading architectural firms worldwide.


Business Situation

To improve efficiency, profitability and reliability, Lido Stone Works wanted an automated production environment.


Solution

Lido implemented a solution that connects Windows Embedded machines on the factory floor, back-end servers running Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Azure, and a remote control center.


Benefits

  • Boosts revenue by 70 percent and increases productivity by 30 percent with automated, streamlined solution
  • Improves manageability and saves €400,000 (US$524,000) annually in travel costs
  • Increases business volume and results in 67% growth in workforce
  • Better connectivity empowers innovation


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise

Vertical Industries
Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Business Productivity
  • Cost Containment

Languages
English

Partner(s)
ASEM Breton

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