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Supporting One Secret Ingredient with Another: Carbon Black on the AWS Cloud

A common ingredient in tires, inks, plastics, and even the soles of shoes, carbon black touches people’s lives every day, yet it can be imperceptible to the untrained eye.

Carbon black is a major reinforcing filler used in rubber compounds and enhancement in rubber properties; it’s a function of its fundamental physical and chemical characteristics.

PCBL Limited has produced carbon black for over 60 years and established a presence in over 40 countries. As the company grew, PCBL Limited sought an opportunity to build operations that scale. However, its legacy, on-premises infrastructure was approaching end of life.

PCBL Limited already had SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) running on an on-premises server at its headquarters. The infrastructure and the related utilities needed an upgrade to ensure business continuity. SAP ECC was planned to be upgraded to S/4HANA as part of PCBL Limited’s strategic journey towards digital organization, adopting mobility. PCBL Limited needed to digitize operations and introduce automation wherever possible.

The company worked with IBM, an AWS Premier Tier Services Provider and Managed Cloud Services Provider (MSP), to support its move to SAP S/4HANA on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—another inconspicuous but essential ingredient.

IBM helped identify processes to modernize and provided training and support to get both PCBL Limited’s data and employees comfortably settled in the new landscape.

The new platform of S/4HANA on AWS, tightly coupled with SAP SuccessFactors and Mobile Fiori Apps, yielded significant transformation to the entire PCBL Limited system. Approvals and critical flash reports are now available at the fingertips of senior leaders through the secure mobile app connected to the ERP.

By transitioning to future-ready tech, the carbon black manufacturer has another “secret ingredient” to add to its recipe for success.


Project Highlights

Carbon black and cloud technology have something in common: they’re barely detectable, but indispensable.

  • Broad responsibility: By improving efficiency company-wide, PCBL Limited advanced its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of a very resource-intensive industrial process.
  • Deliver results: By moving to the AWS Cloud, PCBL Limited saw 100% capital cost avoidance on new on-premises infrastructure; 85% of data conversion process automated during the SAP solution upgrade; and 30% faster application response times for business users.
  • Bias for action: The speed of execution of critical transactions increased by at least 50%, thus improving the speed of business.


AWS for Manufacturing in Action

Each stage of the factory line presents an opportunity for optimization when you work with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS Partners. Consider the common workloads and use cases manufacturing customers address:

  • Engineering and design: Innovate faster, reduce costs, and improve collaboration with the most comprehensive and secure set of high-performance computing, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data lake, analytics, and machine learning solutions.
  • Smart manufacturing: Extract data from existing machinery to improve quality, speed decision-making, optimize machine productivity, and reduce unplanned downtime.
  • Supply chain: Improve supply chain resiliency with better visibility, forecasting, and inventory optimization.
  • Sustainability: Reduce your costs, waste, and your carbon footprint. Fun fact: The results of a study by 451 Research show that AWS infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of U.S. enterprise data centers surveyed.
  • Smart products and services: Enhance customer experiences, improve the quality of your offerings, and add new revenue streams that move beyond a one-time sales model.

AWS: Made for Industry 4.0

Manufacturing technology will continue to grow up and away from its handmade roots. But by deploying innovative Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and edge solutions, the customer experience becomes ever closer and easier to understand—and tangibly improve.

AWS has the tools to help any organization take part in this exciting evolution. Whether you already have an internal team of developers in need of more modern building blocks, or you want to deploy a ready-made service or work alongside experts to customize your own, you’ll have everything you need working with AWS and Global System Integrators (GSIs), which are AWS Partners that have the vision and aptitude to turn complex challenges into new business possibilities.

AWS has unmatched experience with manufacturing solutions—after all, it was born from complex automation and factory operations developed for Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Offering the most comprehensive set of cloud services and solutions and the highest standards for privacy and data security, AWS lets you stop wondering if your computing infrastructure can keep up and focus on how far forward you can take your business.


IBM – AWS Partner Spotlight

IBM is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and MSP that offers comprehensive service capabilities addressing both business and technology challenges that clients face today.

Contact IBM | Partner Overview