First, let's look at the enhancements that have been made to integration between systems within the same factory.
Manufacturing worksites are supported by various core systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which are used to create product manufacturing plans, and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which assist with those production activities. Each individual system handles different types of data, and works with different levels of data granularity, depending on what the systems are used for. For example, while ERP is used to create production plans in one-day units, MES is used to manage production results in units of seconds.
In order to integrate data from systems with different data units (granularity), the data must be converted and made up for the differences in granularity. On the other hand, to use results data from MES in monthly plans, the data, which is in units of seconds, must be converted into monthly data units. In other words, the approach differs depending on purpose.
In addition, there are various types of MESs, and in some cases, different MES are utilized for different products, processes, etc. The types and granularities of the data often do not match, making data integration between systems difficult.
To accommodate these data differences between systems, the factory IoT platform offers enhanced functions essential for data integration. For example, acquired time-series data in millisecond units can be stored in the form of time period data in units of days, months, or the like. This makes it possible to smoothly integrate data from various systems found in manufacturing sites, such as production plan data, component and material receiving plans and inventory data, and product shipping volume data.
This integration enables real-time, on-site assessment of deviations between plans and actual performance, production conditions, and the like.
Next, let's look at the enhancements that have been made to integration between factories.
Products are made up of numerous parts, and the parts that go into a product are often manufactured by different factories and companies. One of the challenges faced by the manufacturing industry is how to assess production conditions at each production site, raise productivity, and leverage this information to benefit their businesses.
To accomplish this, we have developed the manufacturing data platform connector and offer it in the new version of its factory IoT platform. The manufacturing data platform connector collects production-related data online from different production sites. It then combines that data, enabling integrated management across multiple factories (Fig. 1)