Deploying Industry 4.0 in the Cloud
Matthew Greenwood posted on May 09, 2018 |

A new technology platform could enable manufacturers to deploy Industry 4.0 technologies through the cloud.

SAP SE’s recently released Digital Manufacturing Cloud is designed to use data analytics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to help companies better understand their productivity barriers, which would enable solutions to optimize performance, improve quality and efficiency, and protect workers.

The Digital Manufacturing Cloud strengthens the connection between the shop floor and company’s broader business tools using detailed analytics to study and improve how manufacturing processes align with business objectives.

“Our manufacturing cloud solutions help customers take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things by connecting equipment, people and operations across the extended digital supply chain and tightly integrating manufacturing with business operations,” said Bernd Leukert, SAP executive board member responsible for product development and delivery, as well as strategic innovation initiatives.

The Digital Manufacturing Cloud enables shop floors to implement paperless production and Lot Size One—a manufacturing approach that allows for the production of one product for one customer. Lot Size One takes advantage of significant efficiencies in the production of finished goods and work-in-progress inventory. This allows manufacturers to customize products for individual purchasers while keeping costs down.

SAP’s new platform also gives Industry 4.0 production facilities access to centralized, data-driven performance management capabilities, which could help manufacturers more accurately predict defects or variations in their products and implement corrective actions. This data would be analyzed to provide valuable insights on how to better streamline quality management.

In addition, the Digital Manufacturing Cloud integrates with Ariba, SAP’s cloud-based procurement and supply chain technology. Ariba enhances connections between customers and manufacturing service providers such as materials suppliers, 3D-printing services, original equipment manufacturers and technical certification companies.

SAP’s manufacturing cloud also fits in with the company’s Connected Worker Safety platform, a cloud-based product designed to minimize risks, improve employee safety and reduce costs.

By gathering data from wearables and other sensor-enabled equipment, employees and companies would be able to react immediately to a hazardous situation or incident while helping proactively monitor and manage worker fatigue and other factors that heighten hazards on the factory floor. Real-time information also allows for enhanced monitoring of compliance with regulatory requirements and company best practices.

Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular in state-of-the-art manufacturing. Companies like SAP continue to provide innovative solutions to capitalize on the promise of Industry 4.0.

Read more about the transformation of industry at What is Industry 4.0, Anyway?

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