data sets


Unify pipelines


asset templates mapped


data records

Cargill is a global leader in Food & Agriculture products with 155,000 employees serving customers and communities in 70 different countries. The company has more than 980 manufacturing plants worldwide. Cargill’s partnership with Element has focused on supporting and accelerating its Smart Manufacturing initiative and, specifically, building the achievement of operational intelligence and a KPI-centric performance dialogue to drive cleaner, safer, and more profitable operations.


To achieve the operational improvement objectives within its Smart Manufacturing, Cargill needed to build an enterprise-wide data strategy that could directly link operational data to business transformation.

The first phase of maturity in its Smart Manufacturing initiatives involved making project-based investments that could support learning and discovery on paths to operational improvement. Some of the projects involved looking for production efficiencies, others on anticipatory supply chain, and still others on enabling remote operations.  

The second phase of Smart Manufacturing initiative was then connecting the project learnings into a cross-enterprise strategy for data and data modeling to enable Cargill’s manufacturing data fabric. 

It was only by building a cross-enterprise data strategy that Cargill could move into a third phase of Smart Manufacturing by leveraging data to bring about business transformation.

It was in the second phase that Cargill began to recognize that a code-based approach to data modeling was difficult to scale. Using traditional code-based data models, it would take six months to bring each new project into the Smart Manufacturing echo system.


Their Smart Manufacturing team decided to adopt Element Unify deployed on AWS to align all IT/OT/ET data sources with the ISO 14224 Asset Hierarchy into a manufacturing data fabric.

The no-code structure of Unify meant a new plant could be brought online into the Smart Manufacturing initiative in 2 to 4 weeks vs. 6 months in a code-based environment. The no-code approach allowed OT subject matter experts to organize the data while the IT teams built the dashboards and analytics leveraging the core skills of both groups.

A big game changer for Cargill was the Unify platform’s agile capability and ability to put data in front of operating teams, use small iterations and get rapid, iterative results to drive improvement.


Leveraging the Unify platform, Cargill has been able to build and configure trusted, high quality data twins to support KPIs and advanced analytics at scale. The first 40 plants modeled in Unify consisted of 1,049 data sets used in building 311 pipelines, to which 5,109 asset templates were mapped, resulting in over 45 million connected data records.

The Smart Manufacturing team knew that making KPIs based on normalized data visible to operators would lead to 3% to 5% gains in productivity helping each plant identify opportunities to build operating gains.

For Cargill, the focus on transformation around the Smart Manufacturing initiative contributed to a 19% gain in operating earnings in 2020 and record revenues of $165B in Fiscal 2022.

Making KPIs based on normalized data visible to operators would typically lead to 3% to 5% gains in productivity at each plant.

Lance Fountaine
Corporate Smart Manufacturing Leader,

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