04 Dec 2023

What factory IT must be able to do in the era of industry 4.0 and IIoT

Digitisation is above all one thing: fast. In order to remain fit for the future, more and more manufacturing companies are demanding new recipes for efficient production and simultaneous quality assurance. In the age of industry 4.0, data-supported manufacturing (Smart Manufacturing) is an essential ingredient for this.

In the era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), anyone who does not rely on digital factory monitoring in the form of a smart Manufacturing Execution System (MES) integrated on an open platform will be kicked out of the competition.

Reason: The benefits and advantages of digital production monitoring with the help of an MES integrated on an IIoT platform are overwhelming:

The Swiss furniture manufacturer peka-metall achieved 20% higher productivity.

With its digitisation strategy, Krones AG was able to increase its productivity by 11% over a period of only four months;

Automotive supplier BorgWarner in Markdorf (Baden-W├╝rttemberg) significantly reduced its inventory and set-up costs and increased its delivery reliability to its customers to almost 100%.

Another automotive supplier from Baden-W├╝rttemberg, MSR Technologies, increased the operating life of all systems by 25% and saved 10% energy.

MES has developed into the IIoT platform

Around the globe, manufacturing companies and their machine builders are looking for answers to equip their machines and plants in such a way that they are fully IIoT-capable. The good old MES is not necessarily obsolete, but can be reused on a more advanced level. If companies succeed in bringing together their own existing applications and required third-party solutions on an open IIoT platform, they will make their factory IT future-proof for the next IIoT decade. MES meets IIoT.

Such an IIoT platform then fulfils a bridging function: it brings together existing systems such as MDE, BDE, MES or PLM on one control and visualization unit. Equipped with an open programming interface (OPEN API), the platform can then integrate any third-party solution required – from quality assurance (CAQ) and tool data management (TDM) to the use of voice, chatbot or Outlook controls – on a single level and create individual IT architectures.

The “Holy” Trinity of Digital Factory IT

Which platform technology is the right one? A IIoT platform should have three competencies. This “holy” trinity of digital factory IT is:

Connectivity – the solution is easy to install

It networks machines with each other (M2M), builds a bridge between existing monolithic systems for production control (MES, ERP/SAP etc.) and integrates desired third-party systems and controls – comparable to a smartphone that can download any app from app or play stores.

Plug-ins for connecting different machines as well as adapters for networking with the ERP level (Enterprise Resource Planning) must be available.

Productivity – the solution delivers good results quickly

Businesses need solutions that don’t start from scratch, but make the most of their existing systems and enable them to gradually implement the Smart Factory. It is particularly helpful if the IIoT platform already contains the most important MES solutions pre-installed. Important MES applications include performance analysis, detailed planning, traceability or quality management.

The real-time conversion of big data from production to smart data in the computer requires high-performance rule engine data processing. In practice, a computing machine based on In-Memory and CEP technology (Complex Event Processing) has provided proof of performance.

Flexibility – the solution offers free expandability also in the future

After all, companies with an open IIoT platform remain flexible today and in the future because they can create their very own individual factory IT architecture. This is offered by the world’s first open programming interface for Smart Manufacturing (OPEN API). Your name FORCE Bridge API. https://docs.forcebridge.io/api/

The FORCE Bridge API gives companies great freedom: Every programmer can easily integrate both existing IT systems and third-party systems. Companies thus become independent builders of their own individual IT architecture again. http://hub.forcebridge.io/

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