What exactly is Big Data and Industry 4.0?

Big data is a term that describes the large volume, velocity and variety of data that inundates a manufacturing business every day. It’s not the amount of data that’s important, it’s what organisations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analysed for insights leading to better decisions and strategic business moves.

The introduction of computers and sensors into manufacturing is now often referred to as Industry 3.0. Industry 4.0 is about these computers and sensors talking to each other and integrating with business software like an ERP system and supply chain processes. Going from manual processes that awkwardly knit information together to digital processes that seamlessly capture, analyse and share data.

Industry 4.0 manufacturing tools

Industry 4.0 is about implementing technologies like Manufacturing Execution System Software (MES) that gather data to drive intelligent action in the physical world. This means having access to data that can be used to manufacture smarter.

An MES connects machines and collects large volumes of data that can inform maintenance, performance and waste issues. That data can be analysed to identify patterns and insights that would be impossible for a human to do in a reasonable timeframe. An MES offers the opportunity for manufacturers to optimise their operations quickly and efficiently by knowing what needs attention.

  • Reducing Waste and Energy Costs
  • Increasing Accuracy and Yield
  • Improving Quality Assurance

To build a sustainable, scalable enterprise in today’s business environment, you need to use tools that help you streamline tasks, boost productivity and collaboration and leverage data in real time.

In the era of Industry 4.0 and Big Data, smart manufacturers are now working in an analytics focused environment. They recognise that accurate data is a real asset that enables them to get ahead of the competition.

Why is an ERP or SCADA module or add on not a true MES?

Many ERP and SCADA companies will suggest they have a module or add-on MES. Some will say they have an MES dashboard or sensors with data analytics. None of these offerings are a true MES and are mostly a poor and often expensive substitute.

A comprehensive and effective MES is not an afterthought, an up-sell or a cross-sell.

ERP systems cannot and do not provide the full MES functionality and real time visibility of AspectPL on the manufacturing floor. An ERP doesn’t offer real-time production data and analysis tools that makes manufacturing easier every day.

A true MES offers:

  • A proven, robust solution specifically designed for discrete manufacturing applications
  • ERP integration – easily handles large multi-level BOMs, product dependencies, alternative routings, family tools and multiple classes of products
  • Automated real-time scheduling – users can adjust scheduling on the fly
  • Machine connected monitoring – shows machine status as it happens in real-time
  • Root cause analysis and reporting – data provides visibility and traceability
  • Can handle multiple brands, ages and types of machines and manual assembly processes
  • ISA-95 data standard compatible – the MES speaks the same language as the ERP
  • Advanced quality measurement functionality

How does AspectPL integrate with any ERP?

AspectPL has a relational database that is structured according to the ISA-95 standard, the same as most ERP systems.

What this means is that AspectPL is speaking the same language as the ERP. This facilitates the data exchange between the ERP and the MES. AspectPL can easily mirror your ERP system, receiving and sending data between the manufacturing floor and the ERP – without ongoing configuration or expensive third party programming.

AspectPL can configure data fields to link under different import/export scenarios from the ERP. Complicated scenarios such as large multi-level BOMs, product dependencies, alternative routings, family tools and multiple classes of products are easily handled once set up.

A good MES actually extends the value of an ERP by providing real-time visibility to production order status and inventory levels. This provides better business decision support, planning and collaboration across the organisation.

You’ve spent a great deal of money on an ERP system, why not leverage the benefits and investment in that ERP by aligning it with a world-class MES solution?

What does it cost and what is the process to implement and run AspectPL?

There is an initial implementation cost and an affordable monthly SaaS license fee for AspectPL. Costs vary between sites depending on the scale of the plant, however in most cases implementing and running AspectPL is usually 50 – 75% less than installing a new ERP system. Most sites see a ROI within 6 to 12 months.

The AspectPT team will work alongside your IT, electrical staff and production teams throughout the implementation process. We provide a plan, detail tasks and responsibilities and manage the implementation with our customers.  AspectPL offers ongoing software support and continually upgrades the software solution.

Not an add-on or module – AspectPL is a true MES that will transform your manufacturing floor into a productivity machine