The KIS.ME product has a long history at RAFI. The idea was born in 2014 as part of the innovation management process at RAFI GmbH & Co. KG. It was quickly realized that the idea was not only suitable for the company’s own production and logistics processes, but that there are certainly many companies out there that have similar problems.
At RAFI GmbH & Co. KG, a very high vertical range of manufacture is already part of the DNA and the concept for success. The vast majority of products in the portfolio are manufactured within the RAFI Group itself, and customer-specific projects are also only implemented if they result in products that can be manufactured at RAFI. Therefore, over the decades, manufacturing expertise has increased dramatically. So it is not surprising that the complexity of processes, even across multiple sites, has also increased continuously. Smooth operations in production and logistics only work if transparency is high and a continuous improvement process (CIP) is in place.
The problem, however, is that grown structures lack a holistic tool in which all information flows together. Born is the idea for system that can be easily retrofitted and collects and evaluates information on existing processes. The aim was never to introduce or even control new processes, but simply to attach them to the existing machines and systems like a kind of “backpack”. The advantage of this? Quite clearly – process know-how and parameters cannot be disturbed or changed willfully and unintentionally; KIS.ME merely transfers the relevant information to a platform where it is displayed transparently.
People have played a central role since RAFI was founded. RAFI has been supplying products for the interface between people and machines for over 120 years. The concept of a machine is very broad – machines can be production and processing equipment, coffee machines or construction machinery, medical equipment or intelligent communication devices – and with each of these machines RAFI forms the appropriate solution.
These days, people often talk about the digitization of production and logistics processes, thinking only of machines and systems. But the people who operate these plants are often forgotten. In addition, there is still very widely a lot of manual work or manual processes, but nobody talks about this when it comes to Industry 4.0, digitalization and IoT.
We have recognized this, because we also have a lot of people working in production and logistics – and here, too, everything has to run smoothly, and for this, transparency about the processes is important. So we came up with a solution that fits our requirements exactly, but is still flexible enough to be used in other applications.
However, very quickly we realized that we are not alone with the problems and do not want to deprive everyone in this world of the benefits. We then made a conscious decision to open up the platform and offer its use to other companies in Europe.
We have also put our platform through its paces from an IT security perspective and opened up completely new sales channels with new target groups. An enormous effort, but it was worth it.
In the following success stories, we describe what other companies particularly appreciate about KIS.ME.