Today, we will explore how and why the future MES applications may reside partially if not fully in the cloud, and how residing on the cloud will enable MES applications to allow use of platforms like Hadoop, which enable advanced analytics.
Industry 4.0 is all about data
With the massive increase of sensors, actuators and with smart devices being connected over the internet, there is no shortage of process data. On the contrary, with IIoT or the Industrial internet of things, there would be a continuous generation of vast amounts of data, so much so that traditional infrastructure of in-house storage would not be able to provide adequate support and scalability.
MES applications have traditionally been in-house installations, where manufacturers host the application on local servers. This kind of deployment was previously considered ideal considering that it will keep the intellectual property of the company safe and any changes or upgrades to be made would be easier.
Modern MES belongs in the cloud
However, with the massive increase in data generation, manufacturers would eventually need to consider the possibility of SaaS, which would be hosted on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and eventually even move to PaaS (Platform as a Service). Modern MES applications would either fully reside in the cloud or partially, as a hybrid, in order to provide manufacturers an assurance of data security, especially where mission critical manufacturing information is concerned.
Cloud based MES also allows for a phase-by-phase deployment and scalability does not ever become a challenge. As an organization implements a modern Industry 4.0 enabled MES, cloud based application seamlessly expands and integrates the operation, without any glitch or data loss, redundancy in data storage always ensures vital information is always kept safe and secure.
Cloud based MES is also necessary for advanced analytics platforms like Hadoop to be used. Hadoop uses thousands of commodity nodes to run applications, which basically allows it to process thousands of terabytes of data. Its distributed file system allow rapid data transfer rates, like the high speeds needed to process data when events from the production floor call for detailed analysis
Big Data & Analytics in the Cloud Become Highly Accessible
Cloud based MES applications coupled with Hadoop will make big data analysis possible, thereby allowing decision makers to get a full and complete picture of how the event occurred, what were the causes and which corrective or containment options are available.
All of this happens in real-time, and the user might even not be present physically on the shop-floor. Since data is presented with full context, he/she may be able to take the correct decision right on the screen of their mobile device, while triggering actions across the value chain and through all applications connected to the MES, right from the ERP to the SCM, right down to the PLC/SCADA level.
Organizations around the world, which have in-house infrastructure are always in fear of losing their IP or mission critical data, moreover legacy MES applications and old hardware are fast becoming obsolete, thereby adding to the fear. Also, a problem for manufacturers is uptime, as most modern plants are equipped to operate 24X7 and any downtime translates to losses.
However, cloud based MES coupled with Hadoop, would ensure reduced network latency, as processing time is drastically reduced, redundant data storage allows for complete safety of data and ensures uptime at all times.
So it becomes clear that MES residing in the cloud provides scalability, reduces investment in having in-house IT infrastructure, frees up the IT team to work on issues pertaining to the core competence of the organization, thereby focusing on more strategic matters and most importantly frees the organization from fears of hardware failures and data loss.
Next we will explore the decentralization of the shop-floor into a marketplace, where most efficient, most profitable routes are chosen for the operation through smart machines & material, and the MES orchestrates this futuristic shop-floor symphony.
Critical Manufacturing empowers high performance operations for some of the most advanced manufacturers worldwide with innovative software technology and advanced services. Its new generation Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is an Industry 4.0 centerpiece, incorporating all necessary integration, mobile, connectivity and logical decentralization features. This deep, unified system increases performance, control and quality for complex manufacturing operations. The company is part of the Critical Group, a private group of companies founded in 1998 to provide solutions for mission and business critical information systems.
For more information, visit www.criticalmanufacturing.com
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