Perfect Plant Initiative Embraced with Industry 4.0 and Big Data

By Rajeev Kansal, Global Product Owne, SAP Labs India

The Challenging Scenario
Stiff competition, an increasingly dynamic environment, volatile market, and numerous industry-specific compliance and regulatory issues constantly challenge manufacturing companies. These challenges are not just limited to the manufacturing plant operation, but also across the extended supply chain of the supplier, customer, and partners. Hence it is vital for manufacturing companies to orchestrate different manufacturing processes to gain greater insight, facilitate easy decision making and be prepared to face any possible challenge. Perfect Plant is a key initiative to handle these manufacturing challenges along with usage of Industry 4.0 and Big Data to be operationally efficient and competitive.

A Step for Perfect Plant 
The objective of a Perfect Plant is to seamlessly integrate a variety of shop floor control system with manufacturing execution system, measure plant performance with a set of KPIs, maintain regulatory requirement and provide enhanced operation visibility across all systems so that the right information is made available to the right person at the right time in an easy to comprehend format. 

1. End to end Integration – In order to be responsive to any of the challenges, integration of shop floor with the business planning system is an essential element. There has to be a seamless integration of the planning system to the manufacturing execution system, to the shop floor control system and vice versa, increasing a smooth flow of information without any delays, helping to react quickly to any unexpected events. Additionally, shop floor can have a variety of applications for different industry specific business process and control system (SCADA, DCS, PLC, etc.) from a different vendor which requires a close integration to avoid manual work.

2. Manufacturing Performance Management - In order to be competitive in the market, manufacturing companies have to measure the plant performance against certain industry-specific performance indicators, i.e. availability, quality, performance, energy consumption, etc. It means to identify all types of loss in the manufacturing process with correct reasons to take appropriate action bringing much better resource optimization. Plant performance measurement helps to achieve Short Interval Control process (SIC) i.e. to ascertain and proceed on opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the production. SIC uses real-time production data to guide and prompt front-line decision making on a shift basis. Manufacturing performance management helps collect, analyze, and react to this data in order to drive considerable functional improvement from the factory floor.

3. Regulatory requirements – It is also important to keep track of appropriate data during the manufacturing process to meet the regulatory requirement of respective industries. 

Industry 4.0 & Big Data embracing Perfect Plant 
The Perfect Plant initiative is even further challenged by Industry 4.0 initiative seen as one of the IoT use cases in Industrial manufacturing process. 

Industry 4.0 is a subset of IoT use case focusing on all manufacturing industries wherein machines and the product being manufactured can communicate to each other and create a self-managed production line. This brings the possibility of creating an individualized product in the mass production mode instead of having a set of pre-configured variants. For Example, Imagine the world where instead of taking a car with preconfigured variants, you could configure different specification of the car. 

In order to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0, here are some of the key requirements which need to be met by manufacturing companies 
1. A very sophisticated omnichannel system to take sales order with an individual requirement from different channels.
2. A powerful manufacturing planning tool capable of planning individualized product based on available capacities across different plant.
3. Highly modern self-managed production line capable of producing any material anywhere, along with powerful manufacturing execution system controlling the machines based on the product being manufactured.

Additionally, Big Data has started to play a key role in manufacturing process also. Here are some of the key benefits for manufacturing companies:

1. Enhanced planning to quickly plan any complex product along with the possibility to simulate different option in no time. 
2. Better resource utilization through a collection of key sensor data of the equipment at very small intervals to find unusual patterns and predict any possible failures.
3. Collecting and analyzing multiple parameters of a manufacturing process could simplify the manufacturing process in some of the key industries like Pharma. 
4. Co-relating any unexpected events (i.e. machine downs, bad quality, etc.) with different process parameters on the production line and product being manufactured to help predict any future failures and take corrective action before the failure. 

Perfect Plant initiative along with Industry 4.0 and Big Data usage can help manufacturing companies to be responsive in helping to minimize operational cost, increasing resource utilization, enhancing plant performance, fulfilling quality standard and regulatory requirement.

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