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Industry 4.0. From Concept to Reality: Horizontal Integration

November 09, 2017

Industry 4.0. From Concept to Reality: Horizontal Integration

We have so far established that for Industry 4.0 to become a reality MES is absolutely critical. And not just any MES - an Industry 4.0 ready MES, which has the requisite features to enable the implementation of I 4.0 across the organization.

One such attribute of the I 4.0 ready MES we discussed recently was vertical integration, where the dynamic shop-floor is vertically integrated with enterprise level applications and the grass root level automation However, connecting with the enterprise level applications will not be enough for the I 4.0 implementation. The deployed MES must also communicate beyond the enterprise to provide complete horizontal integration.

In a true Industry 4.0 environment, the shop floor gets converted into a dynamic market place, where the CPPS bid to perform operations on the CPS, all connecting through the MES and the IIoT. The MES has always been a vehicle for integration, both horizontal and vertical. What changes now is the way in which supply chains can be made smarter and leaner through the implementation of the dynamic marketplace concept.

In an Industry 4.0 supply chain, the dynamic market place will exist in both forward and backward facets of the chain. The suppliers and their shop-floors will bid for manufacturing a particular component or part based on the requirement placed by a distributor or retailer to the main manufacturer, through the common platform of the main manufacturer, which is the central MES system.

As Industry 4.0 spreads across the value chain, all partners will communicate more specifically, through digital twins of their operations, visible through the MES.

As we explored earlier, production in the future will move to highly specialized and highly customized production, leading towards the lot size of one. When this happens, the entire supply chain needs to reconfigure itself for this dynamic way of manufacturing. Configurations of the past, which depended fully on pushing production out, will no longer remain relevant.

This change in manufacturing practices would demand supply chain partners to follow similar patterns, and bid for jobs same way as the CPPS in the shop floor does. It would also require the MES to allow partners to access relevant information for them to bid on a job and execute it effectively.

For an MES to be able to provide this kind of transparency, while protecting intellectual property of the organization and its partners, it needs to have a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). It would allow partners to have secured access to a virtual or digital twin of the plant in a secure and real-time manner, allowing them to run simulations, perform trials, and make improvements to existing parts, assemblies, and materials on the fly, thereby making the entire supply chain a smart supply chain.

This kind of integration goes beyond an individual enterprise and impacts the entire value chain, where the IIoT provides connectivity from end-to-end.


Download White Paper:

The New MES: Backbone of Industry 4.0.
Moving from Concept to Implementation with Industry 4.0

by Iyno Advisors and Critical Manufacturing

This White Paper defines how the role of MES as orchestrator, dynamic engine, broker agent for the marketplace players, and documenter is essential to making Industry 4.0 a reality and gaining the benefits.

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What’s so different in Industry 4.0?

The New MES for Industry 4.0. Traditional MES vs New MES

Ready to Implement Industry 4.0? What type of functionality a New MES must have to cope with the challenges of Industry 4.0

The New MES Fosters Industry 4.0 Benefits

Imagine a scenario where a distribution center reports a modification required for a new product recently manufactured, as an upgrade for an individual customer. As the request comes in, the MES alerts the R&D team of the main manufacturer while relaying the information also to secondary and tertiary level suppliers.

Now, since the stakeholders have access to the CPS and CPPS of the supply chain partners, it allows them to run simulations and make changes to reach the desired level of modification, even without having to pick up the phone and call a supplier or partner. Depending on the capability and availability of machine time, a supplier may bid for the job, perform it and send the requisite part or assembly for further modification to the main manufacturer.

This is the future of manufacturing, where the MES through Iiot,cloud, mobile applications, VR and AR, better vertical and horizontal integration, creates a value chain which is fully geared up to deal with customization.

The concept of decentralized marketplaces across the value chain is at the heart of this chain and any MES claiming that it is capable of implementing Industry 4.0, must support all the features we have discussed over the weeks.


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MES to Standardize Wafer Epitaxial Operations. GS-EPI builds a foundation for growth.
by Julie Fraser, Iyno Advisor

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