Hiram Walker & Sons faced a challenge on its production line, and a team of UWindsor engineering students helped develop a solution.
The problem was that the distillery’s managers and operators were unable to properly monitor production. If the line stopped at any particular point, adjacent operators did not know why, because they were unable to see over walls or through machines.
The company’s production manager had seen software used in other industries to address these challenges and wondered whether it could apply in his plant.
Enter electrical and computer engineering students Jake Blythe, Zachary Azar, and Eric Pillon. Blythe had worked a co-op placement at Hiram Walker and suggested this venture to his classmates as their fourth-year capstone project.
Under the direction of professor Rashid Rashidzadeh, the team licensed software typically used in the automotive sector and refashioned it to meet the needs of distillery production.
The new application enables managers, supervisors, and line operators to see different functions along the line. Managers might see up-to-date and historical data from their offices without having to go out to the line to see what the problem is. Line operators now can determine issues in real-time.