Put Your Smart Factory Projects Into Overdrive!

This page provides content related to a webinar hosted by Edge2Web on 28th October 2020 entitled Put Your Smart Factory Projects Into Overdrive. The webinar, delivered jointly by Siemens, Engineering USA and Edge2Web, suggests a reference model for a smart factory digital architecture, provides use case examples and a roadmap of the smart factory journey, and gives a demonstration of an application that integrates leading smart factory technologies.

Note that all webinar questions are answered in writing in the Q&A section below.

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Webinar Video Index:

00:00 – Webinar Intro

00.51 – Smart Factory Reference Model

02:32 – Manufacturing Intellignce Tier

13:40 – IoT and Integration Tier

18:33 – Smart Factory Demo

24:44 – Smart Factory Implementation

31:11 – Smart Factory  Analytics & Applications

40:48 – Webinar Q&A – see written Q&A below

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Webinar Questions & Answers

What is the process to onboard a new asset? Is it manual? How much time does it take to connect an asset? To connect a plant?
Sharlene Solomon, Siemens DISW

The answer depends on how smart your equipment is and whether or not you will need to install edge devices to supplement your current infrastructure. That said, onboarding a new asset is done using configuration tools and, in many cases, an asset can be connected to MindSphere in a few minutes.  Once the asset is connected and data is flowing into MindSphere, you can configure different visual displays using MindSphere dashboards and using full application development tools like Edge2Web.

How long does the analytics journey from descriptive to prescriptive take? Months? Years?
Luciano Canalini, Engineering USA

The timeframes are different based on each customer’s use case and goals. For example, defining the analytics requirements, selecting the analytics and machine learning services, and completing an initial implementation for an optimization use case normally ranges from a few weeks to a few months. Of course, more complex use cases and analytics involving multi-plant scenarios will take longer.

In the demo, fleet management was mentioned – please give more details about how fleet data is handled
Eddie Budgen, Edge2Web

In simple terms, a fleet represents a collection of assets you wish to monitor. Edge2Web provides a data renderer for handling fleet data – called the Flex List – that is specifically designed to manage assets of the same (or similar) classes. Data for each class of assets can be retrieved in parallel by an Edge2Web Director flow, and then visualized using one or more display screens. Each display screen can use the full portfolio of Edge2Web visual renderers to display the fleet data.  Further,  fleet assets that have geo and spatial coordinates can be positioned onto maps (e.g., for sites and plants), factory floor plan images, and other backgrounds that give useful context to the data visualization.

What is the difference between the IoT approach and the traditional SCADA to MES approach? Are there disadvantages to the IoT approach we need to consider?
Luciano Canalini, Engineering USA

Most of our customers have SCADA, MES and IoT applications running at the same time. IoT applications run in the cloud, so that is a good platform for use cases where performance data needs to be shared across the organization, such as multi-plant and multi-site operations, and with other parts of the organization (executives, customer service, etc.). MES applications run side-by-side with the SCADA infrastructure for managing real-time execution, so those parts of the systems will stay within the plant OT infrastructure. MOM solutions like Opcenter either run on-premise or in the cloud, depending on the customer.

What happens when the connection between the plant and cloud goes down? Do we lose data?
Sharlene Solomon, Siemens DISW

MindSphere’s data acquisition solutions use a store-and-forward strategy for ensuring that no data is lost if a connection becomes disabled for whatever reason. In disconnect scenarios, data is persisted at the edge until the connection is re-established, then forwarded to the appropriate MindSphere datastore.

How can Opcenter be expanded to add more traditional MES type functionalities?
Sharlene Solomon, Siemens DISW

Opcenter Intelligence can acquire, integrate and contextualize important execution data from MES applications. By enriching scheduling and execution data from MES with KPIs and context from other manufacturing systems, Opcenter Intelligence gives users at all levels of the organization a clear view of relevant performance picture. And by exposing API access to Opcenter application services, we are enabling that data to be used by platforms like Edge2Web, and supporting other high-value applications like those being built by Engineering USA.

Can the Edge2Web solution be used to integrate with other systems besides MindSphere and Opcenter?
Eddie Budgen, Edge2Web

Yes. Edge2Web supports an internet data exchange protocol called REST. Any application, datastore or other resource that is accessible via REST can be used in Edge2Web applications. Newer versions of the SAP ERP application suite, for example, support REST interoperability. Once a connection is established to the target REST environment, data from that environment can be accessed by Edge2Web applications using the full power of Edge2Web Director and Flow Server.