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Santa’s Toy Factory goes smart with IoT

December 19, 2019 - Ellen Nurmi

love peace and joy

Santa’s toy factory on the North Pole is perhaps the world’s oldest and largest factory. The seamless operation of the factory is key for its ultimate goal – enabling Santa to deliver gifts under the tree. The factory has had its problems with an outdated working environment, production and processes for years and now, the rise of new technologies has now provided Santa with the means to fix these issues. Here’s how the implementation of IoT has revolutionized the factory from the oldest and largest to also being the smartest in the world.  

Santa has had a mission to make his factory smarter and more eco-friendly. One of the easiest ways to lower the energy consumption and create the backbone for a smarter factory is the adaptation of smart lighting. The overall lighting in the toy factory is controlled by the Ingy lighting solution. The Ingy lighting solution, based on Wirepas Mesh, enables not only lighting but serves as the infrastructure for additional IoT use cases elsewhere in the factory.

Improving the working conditions for the elves is also a priority for Santa. One way to achieve this is through the personalization of their own workspaces. As the ages of the elves vary from young to old, the need to adjust the lighting at your own workspace has become an increasing need. Thanks to the Ensto Workspace solution, a smart lighting control solution, light is now personalized per workstation and has improved the elves employee experience. The Ensto Workspace solution is a flexible, Wirepas–based control system, which can adapt buildings and users need for whole buildings lifecycle.

Santa’s toy factory produces millions of different kinds of toys annually. While the elves do most of the work manually, they also have machines, devices and equipment to manufacture the toys. Machines, devices and equipment are large investments for Santa and therefore keeping them operative is key. IoT sensors from Treon and Haltian measure the condition data for the machines, devices and equipment and trigger predictive maintenance, if needed. This reduces the need for multiple days of production halt down to just a few hours of maintenance. In addition to the machinery, the elves have acquired a partner to help with the increasing demand of creating high-tech toys. The elves often rely on Sigma connectivity for the most tricky software problems in the toys.

Once the toys have been produced, the internal logistics kick in. The toys are transferred in roll cages and pallets through the gift-wrapping station to intermediate storage and ultimately to the loading docks for shipping. With millions of toys being produced in a short period of time, the need of asset management is undeniable. ELA Innovation with a system integrator partner, such as Altran, make sure the elves always find the right roll cages on time. The Ingy lighting solution works as the infrastructure for the asset tracking. Each roll cage and pallet has an ELA Innovation tracking sensor, which connects to the infrastructure, using Wirepas Mesh, to deliver their periodic location.

Santa’s factory utilizes IoT through smart lighting, smart factory and asset management solutions. All these smart solutions have positively affected the employees, production and processes.

The employees also known as the elves, have had a significant rise in well-being and happiness due to better working conditions created by smart lighting and asset management. Additionally, the elves work motivation has increased thanks to reduced production downtime and new achieved production records.

The production workflow has become seamless thanks to the smart factory solution, which has reduced maintenance halts. In turn, the asset management solution has improved processes with ensuring no toys go missing and the internal logistics flow naturally in the factory. The implementation of IoT ensures that the elves can take a well deserved break every now then, thanks to improved production and machines being in top condition.

The rise of IoT has forced even the oldest of organizations to take on new technologies and Santa’s factory is no exception.

With the help of Wirepas and its ecosystem, Christmas joy is guaranteed for years to come.

Happy Holidays!