4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/15/2012
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Eastman Chemical Company Manufacturer Upgrades Desktop, Enables More than $5 Million in Productivity Gains

Eastman Chemical Company is a global producer of chemicals, plastics, and fibers. To optimize production and increase productivity, its employees need insight into its manufacturing processes. Eastman uses a real-time data and event infrastructure from OSIsoft, a Microsoft Global Alliance partner. To enhance the value of that data, Eastman chose a business insight solution from Microsoft to analyze and share information. Together, these solutions provide dynamic visibility into manufacturing, energy use, and business data. Eastman has used these capabilities to provide insight into sustainability initiatives and enable process automation. When it upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise and Microsoft Office 2010, 83 percent of employees reported that OSIsoft applications performed faster. With staff working more productively, Eastman estimates that it enabled more than US$5 million in productivity gains.


Eastman Chemical Company, headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, was founded in 1920 by George Eastman as an operating arm of Eastman Kodak. The company spun off from Kodak in 1994. Today, Eastman is a global producer of more than 1,200 chemicals, fibers, and plastics that form the key ingredients in everyday products. The company has 20 manufacturing locations and sales offices around the world. Eastman had sales revenue of US$7.178 billion in 2011.

Goal to Optimize Production
The goal for any manufacturer is flawless operations, a challenge made more difficult in today’s world of global economic turmoil, rising energy prices, and increasing competition. The IT organization at Eastman works to ensure that it provides the right technology solutions to support that goal, despite increasingly tight budgets. “Eastman is not unique in the pressures that we face,” says Scott Dietrich, Supervisor, Manufacturing Solutions IT Team at Eastman Chemical Company. “In this industry, everyone is challenged daily by trying to do more with fewer personnel. It’s important that we invest in technologies that empower our IT staff to deliver what the business needs.”

One way that Eastman IT staff can optimize manufacturing operations is by ensuring that they deliver the technology that employees—from the lab, to the manufacturing plant, to the corporate office—can use to access the information they need to make better operational decisions. In the manufacturing world, that information is predominantly real-time event data.

* We benefit when Microsoft and OSIsoft work together on product version and operating system compatibility. With Windows 7 Enterprise running OSIsoft solutions, 83 percent of users saw increased performance. *

Scott Dietrich
Supervisor, Manufacturing Solutions IT Team, Eastman Chemical Company

At Eastman, gaining visibility into this data provides the foundation to extend operational insight throughout the company. IT staff needed to find the right technology to provide the right data at the right time to the right employees. Staff members also need easy-to-use analytic and reporting tools to help them manipulate the data. And to extend operational insight across the company, Eastman IT staff had to provide the business with a collaboration platform that would standardize how information is stored and distributed.

“To reduce plant downtime, our employees need to access real-time information and receive alerts that help them diagnose problems before they occur,” says David Johnston, Systems Associate, Manufacturing Solutions Team at Eastman Chemical Company. “That includes consolidated historical data that can be analyzed for trends. We want to create processes based on those trends to help us reduce costs and drive efficiencies.”

“Historically, we had relied on siloed solutions and our reporting was fragmented,” adds Dietrich. “Also, we needed a better understanding of our data to facilitate and streamline our existing strong regulatory compliance with groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency and to work toward our sustainability goals.”

Steps toward Sustainability
Eastman believes that the success of its business is based on balancing commitments to the three pillars of sustainability—economic growth, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. To that end, Eastman has introduced “green IT” practices. “It’s a constant challenge in the IT department to maintain up-to-date systems that are robust and supported over time, but this is part of our sustainability story,” says Dietrich. “We are particular about choosing the right products and the right time to upgrade our hardware and software. We make our decision based on cost, business drivers, and performance, but the goal is to get the most value out of legacy hardware through intelligent maintenance and upgrade decisions.”

Eastman sought to improve business insight, optimize production processes, and make progress on sustainability goals. To work toward achieving these objectives, it needed to ensure that it chose vendors with the right solutions that would work together optimally.

“We want to standardize on a few vendors’ products so we can streamline the IT environment and reduce the number of relationships and licensing programs that have to be managed,” says Dietrich. “So it’s very important that we pick the right vendors: we are looking for best-in-breed technologies that are flexible enough to meet our unique needs.”

Eastman chose to align itself with Microsoft and OSIsoft, a Global ISV Alliance Partner. Eastman uses Microsoft and OSIsoft solutions together in order to improve business value by delivering enterprisewide visibility into manufacturing data. Eastman employees can use that data to make business decisions that optimize production.

Key Partnerships Generate Value
Eastman uses the OSIsoft PI System—a real-time data and events infrastructure—to connect to data that is generated by its manufacturing processes, to store that information in a database optimized for time-series data, and to make it available to employees through products such as PI ProcessBook and PI DataLink 2010. To utilize the real-time and historical data captured in the PI System, Eastman IT staff deployed 150 proprietary applications built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, called Process Information Management Solutions (PIMS). These applications run on the PI System. OSIsoft products and PIMS run on more than half of the computers at Eastman.

Eastman uses products from Microsoft that add value to the investment that it has made in OSIsoft. Microsoft products help to put actionable, real-time data provided by the PI System in front of the right people at the right time. The Asset Framework, part of the PI System, uses Microsoft SQL Server to store static data that OSIsoft client-side tools import alongside real-time data. The combination of these two types of data provides a context for plant assets that employees can use to improve their insight into operational activities. Eastman employees also use PI DataLink, a Microsoft Excel add-in that enables data to be exported from the PI System directly into an Excel spreadsheet for further manipulation. When Eastman upgrades to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, it will gain a communication and collaboration platform to make manufacturing information more accessible for business users. The IT staff can use PI WebParts to view PI System data in real-time through SharePoint-based dashboards that executives can analyze and share across the enterprise.

* Using the USMT tool to take an inventory of everything on the computer—so you can see what products need to be reinstalled—saved us one full-time equivalent (FTE) throughout the deployment process. *

Tracy Davenport
Systems Analyst, Eastman Chemical Company

Use of the Latest Technologies
With its goal to keep up to date with both its Microsoft and OSIsoft systems, Eastman plans its deployments to take advantage of the synergies among the latest versions of each company’s products. Most recently, the features in Microsoft Excel 2010 were a reason for its recent desktop upgrade to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system and Microsoft Office Professional 2010. “There were lots of features in Office 2010, like Microsoft PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 for fast manipulation of millions of rows of data, that made us feel the time was right to upgrade,” says Dietrich. “PI DataLink had just been upgraded to run on Windows 7, so we were eager to see how it performed on the Windows 7 operating system and with Excel 2010.”

IT sustainability initiatives at Eastman were another motivation for the upgrade. The company’s PCs and portable computers ran the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft Office 2007 desktop productivity software. “We wanted to extend the life and improve the performance of our current desktop hardware,” says Tracy Davenport, Systems Analyst at Eastman Chemical Company. “We want to keep the business consistent with PCs worldwide and to make sure that employees have compatible software, but we need to balance this with the cost of a global deployment.”

For the upgrade, the Windows 7 Deployment Team wanted a seamless transition of existing PI System software and PIMS applications while minimizing employee interruptions and downtime. They used the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool in Windows 7, a scriptable command-line tool for offline image management that saved 30 minutes per computer during the deployment. They also took advantage of the User State Migration Tool (USMT) in Windows 7 to migrate user profiles from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Because USMT has a Hard-Link Migration feature that migrates files from one operating system to another on the same PC without physically moving those files on the disk, the team saved significant time.

“We backed up each user’s data using the USMT tool, reimaged the computer, restored the user’s data, and loaded the applications and customizations,” says Davenport. “Using the USMT tool to take an inventory of everything on the computer—so you can see what products need to be reinstalled—saved us one full-time equivalent (FTE) throughout the deployment process. We accomplished the global migration with minimal downtime and without buying new hardware.”

Eastman employees use the PI System to connect to real-time manufacturing data, and they use Microsoft software to provide the business insight infrastructure—including database software and reporting services, a collaboration platform to share actionable information, and powerful client-side analytics—that amplifies the value of that data. The upgrade to Windows 7 proved to be the latest example of how the two company’s products work together to deliver additional business value.

Over the years, Eastman has established an ongoing relationship with Microsoft and OSIsoft that demonstrates the benefits it gains from how the partners’ products interoperate. “We benefit when Microsoft and OSIsoft work together on product versions and operating system compatibility,” says Dietrich. “With Windows 7 Enterprise running OSIsoft solutions, 83 percent of users saw increased performance. The majority of our survey respondents reported that overall user experience of the PI System applications improved by using Windows 7.”

* The majority of our survey respondents reported that overall user experience of the PI System applications improved by using Windows 7. *

Scott Dietrich
Supervisor, Manufacturing Solutions IT Team, Eastman Chemical Company

Increased Productivity
When software performs better, employees are more productive. Eastman IT staff conducted a post-deployment survey that revealed a considerable improvement in overall productivity due to faster response time for Office 2010 and Windows 7. “We did some internal benchmarking, measuring the time it takes to start your computer in the morning, to open up an Excel spreadsheet, or get to the point where you can read your email,” says Davenport. “After looking at a study that shows a heavy user would gain 80 hours of productivity a year using Windows 7, we extrapolated that out to the field based on our results and estimated more than $5 million in productivity gains.”

Improved Business Insight
Eastman benefits not only from the interoperability among Microsoft and OSIsoft products but also from a shared commitment to providing software that is flexible enough to adapt to the company’s unique manufacturing processes. “There’s a big difference between manufacturing acetate fibers and manufacturing bulk chemicals,” says Dietrich. “The combination of the PI System, PIMS applications, and Microsoft products means we can build business insight solutions tailored to our unique processes.”

“The reason that we have been able to improve business insight so much with our PIMS applications is that they depend on both SQL Server and on PI Systems software to bridge the worlds of process management and business management,” adds Johnston. “We use SQL Server to store our process boundaries and systems specifications, and we use these delineations as the benchmarks for optimal manufacturing operations. Then we can look at the real-time data generated by those processes and collected with the PI System and compare how we are doing. If necessary, we can take proactive action to fix potential issues before they impact our manufacturing processes.”

Supports Regulatory Compliance, Sustainability Initiatives
Eastman has deployed a powerful set of tools to track its manufacturing processes and regulatory compliance. “Some of our manufacturing processes are more straightforward than others, but in all cases we are required to prove that our operations comply with environmental regulations,” says Johnston. “This toolset supplements our already robust capabilities in the regulatory and compliance areas.”

By upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010, Eastman not only provided a foundation for improved PI System performance and increased employee productivity, but it also made progress with its sustainability initiatives. Because Windows 7 is hardware-agnostic, the company avoided the costs of upgrading hardware to accommodate the operating system. “Not only are we deferring the significant costs of a global hardware upgrade, we are being fiscally and environmentally responsible by prolonging the life of company assets,” says Johnston.

Looking to the future, Eastman plans to continue its relationship with Microsoft and OSIsoft to make progress on its long-term environmental goals, such as reducing its energy output by 25 percent within the next 10 years. “We want to use our IT systems and data to build environmentally friendly products with energy-efficient manufacturing processes in order to minimize impact to the environment,” says Dietrich. “With our Microsoft business insight solution and the PI System, we are armed with the right IT tools to help in achieving that goal.”

Microsoft Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing enterprises must compete in an increasingly global environment. Success depends on finding ever-greater efficiencies throughout the enterprise, while developing a greater agility to react to local and global market opportunities. These challenges are best answered with technology from Microsoft and its partners.

Microsoft-based solutions offer much needed value to manufacturers who are under increasing pressure to generate greater returns on the assets that they have employed. This focus on efficiency scales across all the critical functional areas—from getting products to market faster, to streamlining the supply chain, optimizing the manufacturing operations, and generating new revenue streams. 

For more information about Microsoft solutions for the manufacturing industry, go to:

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:

For more information about OSIsoft products and services, call (510) 297-5800 or visit the website at:

For more information about Eastman Chemical Company products and services, call (800) 327-8626 or visit the website at:

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 14000 employees

Organization Profile
Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman Chemical Company manufactures and markets a portfolio of chemicals, fibers, and plastics. It employs approximately 10,000 people.

Business Situation
Eastman wanted to improve business insight and employee productivity. It needed to upgrade its desktop operating system and productivity software to work optimally with third-party OSIsoft products.

Eastman upgraded to Microsoft Office 2010 and the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system to increase system effectiveness, use Microsoft BI capabilities, and operate optimally with OSIsoft products.

Increased productivity Improved business insight Supports regulatory compliance, sustainability initiatives

Software and Services
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

Vertical Industries
Manufacturing & Resources

United States