“We help factories digitalize themselves, giving them opportunities to take on tasks that would otherwise not be feasible in a high-cost country like Germany,” says Wolf Kolb, Tulip’s CEO for Europe.
“Although the ecosystem of small and medium-sized manufacturers in southern Germany is highly competitive globally, it has largely been ignored by the big tech solution providers,” he adds. “That’s where we come in.” Once they solve one highly technical problem with the app, Kolb says, manufacturers usually return to Tulip to tackle their next tech headache.
Taza Chocolate – an organic chocolate manufacturer that, like Tulip, hails from Somerville, Massachusetts – is one example. After securing a new deal with a major wholesale retailer, Taza had to increase production by nearly 30 percent while simultaneously lowering costs per unit. The problem was that the firm’s manufacturing equipment, acquired in the 1960s, made it impossible to collect key production data during runs.
“We added sensors for cycle time, engine speed, machine efficiency, temperature and humidity, so that Taza could finally track how the machine was running,” says Kolb. “This helped to get rid of long-standing bottlenecks, increasing Taza’s throughput dramatically at a much lower cost than purchasing new machines.”