We recently introduced a series on the high-level view of how our PlantStar 4.0 manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions deliver end-to-end value by enabling digital transformation (DX). There are four innovative strategies that make transformation possible:
These innovations are the meat and potatoes of our MES solutions and the key to overcoming obstacles to manufacturing success.
Let's dive in to the first innovation -
Connect.Connecting every asset and aspect of your manufacturing processes is crucial for many reasons. It's not hard to see how manufacturing has evolved and is continuing to change with the unfolding of the fourth industrial revolution. Processes are more complex than they used to be because customer expectations have skyrocketed.
Manufacturers have to do more, do it faster, and do it with precision. Inefficiencies and waste are catastrophic. In order for managers and directors to make optimal decisions, they must have access to all the relevant data. Lack of data, bad data, and untimely data all sabotage profitability.
If you want the right data right now, you need smart technology. You have to CONNECT all the people, processes, and products that are the source of the variables you're trying to control.
Any MES worth its salt should be able to connect
- every machine on your shop floor
- every operator or technician who works with your machines
- all your edge devices (like barcode scanners, AGVs, material silos and lots, etc.) and
- every step of every process that leads to product out your door.
How do I connect?
"Setting up and maintaining these systems manually is a fool's errand. ...[S]uccess will be found through autonomous operations."
You're gonna have a ton of data. You WANT a ton of data, which means you need the connections that allow you access to that data.
SYSCON PlantStar has been installing IIoT connections since before there was an Internet. Our experience with
- sensors and relays
- PLC interface
- digital inputs and outputs
- ethernet connections
dates back more than 40 years.
If you're considering an MES solution provider who wants -- or worse, requires! -- you to upgrade your legacy assets,
stop right there!
SYSCON PlantStar can connect to all your existing machinery and devices, regardless of age. (Not your age: the age of your equipment! But, I guess your age is cool, too... however old you are, we can work with that. Ha!)
We'll even help you optimize maintenance and repair of your equipment so you can squeeze every last dime of usability out of your shop floor investments. But that's the subject of an upcoming blog. Stay tuned!
Why should I connect?
We've talked a bit about how we connect, now let's talk about why you should connect. What is it about data that's so crucial?
Again, HPE's Bradicich:
"The opportunity to gain new insights and drive action from systems and processes that were never previously interconnected opens up new opportunities to uncover value and drive efficiencies." [emphasis mine]
You're probably not a data analyst (but if you are, congrats!). So our MES solutions do the heavy lifting for you. You get all the data, all the time, in easy to understand at-a-glance dashboards and monitors. The connections provide the data that you need to make changes to grow the profitability of your manufacturing operations.
The power of our MES solutions is in the combination of proprietary hardware/software. Consider this explanation, once more from Bradicich:
"In many cases, it is necessary to place an intelligent system physically close to the data source to capture, normalize and analyze sensor data in real time, initiate on-site actions, and otherwise transfer any worthy data into the edge data center or to the cloud."
What he's saying is that software alone isn't enough. Many MES companies are providing SaaS or strictly cloud-based applications. And that's fine, until it isn't.
Hardware + Software = Data = Savings
Our PlantStar data collection modules (DCMs) are the MES industry's standard to beat. No one has a more powerful hardware offering + shop floor redundancy. SYSCON PlantStar designs, builds, tests, sells, and maintains all our own hardware. There is no middle man: we're the experts and that makes a difference for our customers.
Our DCMs send all the captured data to a proprietary application processing unit (APU) which converts the raw data into usable, actionable insights through the PlantStar software. You get the power to save money.
- Manufacturing is hard and it's getting ever more complex.
- Staying competitive and relevant in manufacturing is contingent upon agile decision-making.
- Connections, as the foundation of a digital transformation strategy, deliver the data to enable profitable decisions.
- PlantStar 4.0 manufacturing execution system solutions give you the data you need to make a difference in your manufacturing outcomes.
Are you considering smart technology, automated processes, and digital transformation for your manufacturing enterprise?
What hurdles are you facing? What strategies are helping you toward overcoming obstacles to your digital transformation?
What convinced you of the need for digital transformation in the first place?
Share your thoughts and answers in the comments below! We'd love to join you on the journey.
And as always, CONNECT with SYSCON PlantStar any time for more details on how we're making a difference for manufacturers just like you.
Stay tuned for our next blog in this series, which will focus on the innovation transformation of end-to-end asset Managing.