How Machine Data and IIoT Are Bridging the Gap Between the Manufacturing Floor and Business Systems

  • Injection Molding
  • Machine Tools
  • Die Casting
  • Digital Services

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, August 17, 2023 - 

Manufacturers have traditionally depended on manual systems and legacy software solutions to handle and coordinate production processes. However, these systems often operate in silos, leading to limited communication and access to crucial data for the intended users.

While these solutions could facilitate the manual transfer of data to other enterprise departments, the process is prone to gaps and inefficiencies. Operators and managers have to manually collect part counts and upload them using Human-Machine Interface (HMI) systems to get the data into software systems for analysis.

Consequently, a significant divide has emerged between business systems and the manufacturing floor. This disconnect hinders seamless data flow and effective decision-making, impeding overall operational efficiency and productivity. Manufacturers require a more integrated and efficient solution to bridge this divide and unlock the full potential of their production data.

Bridging the Manufacturing Floor and Enterprise Systems with IIoT: Real-Time Data Creation and Sharing

IIoT integration bridges the gap between machine data and enterprise-level software systems like ERP and MES. This real-time data creation and sharing ecosystem empowers manufacturers to optimize processes promptly, respond agilely to market demands, and make informed decisions for enhanced productivity and competitiveness. Consider the following advantages and scenarios:

1. Real-Time Production Monitoring

Real-time monitoring enables prompt responses to issues, reduces downtime, and improves production planning and scheduling. 

For example, integrating real-time data from the manufacturing floor with MES and ERP systems provides visibility into production processes, equipment performance, and inventory levels. This helps organizations make informed decisions quickly and respond to changes or issues promptly.

2. Preventative Maintenance and Asset Management

IIoT systems can monitor the health of equipment and machinery in real-time. By integrating real-time machine data to ERP and MES systems it can allow organizations to better plan and schedule preventative maintenance strategies and optimize asset management. This leads to reduced downtime and avoiding costly unplanned shutdowns.

3. Quality Control and Compliance

ERP and MES systems can use real-time machine data to trace and track products throughout the production process, ensuring quality standards are met and complying with industry regulations.

For example, by leveraging machine data MES systems can track the exact manufacturing steps, raw materials, and operational parameters used in the production of each product. This facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and product recalls.

4. Inventory Optimization

Machine data helps optimize inventory levels in ERP systems by providing real-time production data and demand signals from the manufacturing floor. This enables manufacturers to manage inventory efficiently, minimizing excess stock and reducing carrying costs.

5. Performance Analysis and Continuous Improvement

Machine data naturally offers rich insights into individual machines, production lines, and overall operations. ERP and MES systems leverage this data for performance analysis and continuous improvement initiatives.

6. Data Accuracy and Reduction of Manual Entry

Integrating an IIoT solution with MES and ERP systems eliminates the need for manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and improving data accuracy. This also frees up employees' time for more value-added tasks.

For instance, this integration can allow a company to automatically push data from the production floor to the ERP system with no manual input, allowing for faster inventory updates and more accurate costing.

7.Cross-Functional Collaboration

Integrating IIoT, MES, and ERP systems facilitates cross-functional collaboration among departments such as production, maintenance, logistics, and finance. Real-time data sharing enables better coordination and alignment of business processes.

For example, if a machine goes down, the maintenance department can be alerted instantly and receive the data necessary to diagnose and resolve the issue, which in turn will be reflected in updated production data and inventory. Additionally, the IIoT solution can provide real-time data on machine utilization to the production team, which can be shared with the finance team to improve budget planning and cost estimates.

8. Data-Driven Decision Making

The combined data from IIoT, MES, and ERP systems provides a holistic view of the organization's operations. This enables more informed data-driven decision-making, allowing managers to respond to market trends, customer demands, and supply chain disruptions effectively.

"The convergence of machine data with enterprise-level software systems such as ERP and MES is made possible by machiNetCloud’s APIs (Application Program Interface) and OPC-UA Edge devices. These solutions act as the central hub for capturing and processing machine data, enabling seamless integration and data-driven decision making"

Seamless Data Collection with machiNetCloud and OPC-UA Edge

machiNetCloud serves as a cloud-based IIoT platform that acts as the central hub for capturing and processing machine data. With its capability to interface with various machine connections, including PLCs and sensors, machiNetCloud enables the seamless collection of crucial production data at the manufacturing floor level. By consolidating data from diverse sources including ERP and MES systems, machiNetCloud ensures that all relevant information is readily accessible for further analysis and decision-making.

Similarly, the OPC-UA Edge device proves to be an indispensable gateway to the IIoT ecosystem for manufacturers already with an in-house IIoT solution. The OPC-UA Edge device seamlessly integrates raw data from a machine on the factory floor into the existing in-house system. 

How the Cloud Empowers Real-Time Data Sharing and Analysis

Once data is collected from the manufacturing floor, it needs a robust infrastructure to house and process it efficiently. Through a secured cloud platform, machiNetCloud allows manufacturers access to powerful data storage, advanced analytics, and collaborative tools. This creates an ecosystem that facilitates real-time data sharing between different departments and enterprise systems. As a result, crucial production data becomes instantly available to decision-makers, empowering them to make informed choices and optimize manufacturing processes promptly.

The cloud-based infrastructure for machiNetCloud is designed with multiple layers of security measures, including encryption of data in transit and at rest, strict access controls, and continuous monitoring of activities. 

Unleashing the Value of Machine Data for Business Growth

Integrating machine data into ERP and MES systems unlocks numerous valuable insights for manufacturers. machiNetCloud empowers manufacturers to optimize performance, enhance collaboration, and achieve data-driven decision-making. 

By unlocking the full potential of machine data, manufacturers can stay ahead of the competition and thrive in the dynamic industrial landscape. Incorporating machine data integration is a transformative step towards manufacturing excellence and sustainable growth. 

Contact the Digital Services Division to learn more.

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