Critical Manufacturing framework

Critical Manufacturing has always been a pioneer in delivering comprehensive MES using the latest technologies. This is because from the beginning, we have looked out into the future. This has allowed us to base Critical Manufacturing MES on modern yet stable, production-ready architectures.

Critical Manufacturing's infrastructure framework for Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) enterprise applications lies down at the bottom of everything we do. Its value resides within the following pillars:

Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - through usage of state-of-the-art standard integrated components, strong focus on simplicity and ease of use, deployment and maintenance.

Agility - through powerful, extensible framework, rich functionality, and ease of customization and integration, and user screens each customer can configure yet upgrade.

Versatility - through a generic data model and rich, extensible, customizable application platform plus screens that work on any platform, including mobile.

World class performance reliability - through the usage of standard, proven, cost effective hardware & software solutions; architecture designed for performance, scalability and smart database partitioning.

Our infrastructure framework consists of three tiers that provide good partitioning, modularity and scalability of applications and are designed to work seamlessly together. Given the fact that every customer has its own special business requirements, the infrastructure was designed to be customizable and extensible across the three tiers:

Presentation Tier– handles all the presentation logic, that is the display of information (including localization/multi-language) and interaction with the user.

Business Services Tier - handles Security, Transaction Management, Configuration, Communication, Exceptions, Logging, Instrumentation, Caching, Context Resolution and Dynamic Business Rules. It also provides the plumbing for an object meta-model for the management of business objects.

Analytics Tier – provides persistence, reporting, data warehousing and data mining as well as extraction, transformation and loading capabilities.

Designed for the creation of rich, interactive user experience, web graphical user interfaces have been developed on a cross-browser, cross-platform base for Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Modules using the new HTML5 approach support any mobileor desktop operating system.

The HTML5 GUI is a modern multi-device, multi-platform GUI based on AngularJS (by Google) and TypeScript (by Microsoft). It provides a platform for the future Critical Manufacturing MES GUI and it can be extended and customized for other enterprise applications as well.

Customization:

Create your own Pages and Wizards without coding:using the built-in UI Page Designer.

Add or modify GUI and visual components: these become part of the GUI and will be presented and will have the same behavior as native GUI and components.

Create your own themes and styles: using CSS with the capability of changing themes during runtime.

The business tier implements and exposes all functionalities as services to the outside world. The interface layer supports Web Services among other protocols.

The business workflows are the orchestration layer used to provide higher-level functionality through the coordination of business objects.

The business objects follow a hierarchical object model, which facilitates the development of objects with a common behavior.

Customization:

Create and extend business objects:using the meta-data repository, new business objects can be created seamlessly into the business framework. Existing business objects can be extended and relationships between different objects can be established.

Create new services:new services can be created, exposed, and consumed just like the standard Critical Manufacturing services.

Add business rules for pre and post processing logic: a dynamic business rules engine allows the implementation of pre and post processing logic to every service and operation.

Designed for the creation of an automatic powerful data warehousing, reporting and data-mining integrated capabilities, it provides reporting and business intelligence optimized for the runtime system, thus offloading as soon as possible data to the Operational Data Store (ODS) and to the Data Warehouse (DWH).

Customization:

Create or modify existing reports: new reports can be created, and existing reports can be modified using the Microsoft Report Builder graphical design tool. Reports can include filters, tables, charts and drill-down capabilities.

Create or modify cubes: the data warehouse follows a star-schema to aggregate facts across different dimensions. Critical Manufacturing comes with pre-defined Material and Resource cubes which can be extended, and new cubes can be created using Microsoft Analysis Services.

Integrate external data sources: data from a variety of heterogeneous data sources can be loaded, transformed, and stored in the operational data store (ODS) to allow for a unified, comprehensive and integrated Single Source of Truth data repository for all reporting.


INTEGRATION

Critical Manufacturing's software is built on a technology stack from a single vendor (Microsoft), with new additions at the user interface level to ensure that customers can select any OS and platform and use key applications effectively on mobile devices of their choice.

The Microsoft core ensures the highest interoperability as well as a single point of contact for software related issues. We use the following technologies:

  • Microsoft HTML5
  • Microsoft C# / .Net
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Windows

The combination of technologies above provides the means to achieve a solution with a Low Total Cost of Ownership while providing a very rich and broad set of functionalities.

Total Manufacturing Integration

Seamlessly integrate IT layers and increase interoperability of dispersed manufacturing applications

Critical Manufacturing MES' open and extensible architecture supports Manufacturing Execution Systems, Manufacturing System Integration, Manufacturing Equipment Integration, Manufacturing Data Analysis and Business Intelligence.

  • Easy, bidirectional integration with SAP, MS Dynamics and many other ERP systems;
  • Integration with SECS (SEMI Equipment Communications Standard)/GEM (Generic Equipment Model), OPC, Database, File and many other possibilities;
  • Critical Manufacturing's framework based on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) allows a myriad of integration options;
  • Critical Manufacturing's modular approach allows integration with legacy / 3rd party solutions for specific functionality.

HARDWARE RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

The Critical Manufacturing's infrastructure framework and technology allows the products which are built on top of it to scale from a single notebook to a very distributed application farm to ensure high-availability and load balancing.

The system can be deployed in several variations depending on the load and scalability requirements, starting from single server.

  • Hardware can be scaled according to the manufacturing needs, at any time.
  • The Application Server farms scale up as well as scale out via Network Load Balancing.
  • Database can be configured in high-availability mode either through fail-over clustering or mirroring.

Critical Manufacturing can be deployed using Docker Containers, providing solid gains in terms of configuration and usability by taking advantage of a mature containerization architecture such as the one supplied by the Docker Engine.

Orchestrating the infrastructure through the use of Docker Swarm, which consists of multiple Docker hosts to act as managers and workers, allows almost boundless horizontal scalability as another worker node can be launched to accommodate extra load on a particular installation.