Volume 3 Issue 7 July 2021
In this Issue
Welcome to Industree 4.0 for July 2021, exclusively sponsored by SAP. We are leading off with maintenance this month, which happens to be one of Jim Thompson's favorite topics.
By Richard Howell

Supply Chain and IoT Solution Management, SAP
Industry 4.0 Is a Key Enabler of Maintenance Strategies
According to the recent “Power of Industry 4.0 in Asset Management Report” by MPI Group, 58% of maintenance leaders believe Industry 4.0 is a competitive advantage. Add the additional 39% that say it will arrive in the near future, that figure spikes to a whopping 97%. And why is this?

The inability to share equipment information with professionals and applications is seen as the biggest challenge, with 62% of maintenance leaders reporting machine-to-enterprise IT systems communication needs to improve. Industry 4.0 capabilities can help. Here’s how.

The Intelligence Gap when it comes to Intelligent Assets

Many companies still approach the management of assets with a planned or preventative maintenance strategy – where maintenance is routinely performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing.

But for companies that need to squeeze every bit of cost efficiency out of their assets, “better safe than sorry” no longer cuts it.

Preventive maintenance, in fact has been calculated to consume nearly as much of a typical facility’s operating budget as utility costs – amounting to more than one-third of total operating expenses.

From Preventive Maintenance to Predictive or Prescriptive Models

But as the cost of sensors go down, we are designing and manufacturing smarter assets that can help us better manage the performance, location and throughput of everything from equipment on the production floor, to forklifts and robots in the warehouse, to trucks and vehicles on the road and even products at customer facilities. 

We can capture data on equipment status and with the ability to analyze this data within the context of their businesses, companies can expect (or detect) the unexpected – predicting issues before they arise. This puts you in the position to take swift, preemptive, and cost-effective action to fix them. In other words, companies can now perform maintenance only when required. This maximizes the lifetime value of parts, optimizes technician time, and helps to deliver a better customer experience.

We also see examples of companies moving beyond simply predicating what will happen next. Leveraging machine learning and predictive analytics, companies can now produce outcome-based recommendations for the machine to follow. After the predictive analytics tells you that a problem is imminent, the prescriptive part kicks in to serve up a selection of actions and scenarios to choose from.

Intelligent Assets can Improve productivity and drive new business models

By building intelligence into the assets we use or manufacture, we can now capture and leverage industry 4.0 data to create a digital twin across the end-to-end supply chain. By creating this digital twin of a physical asset, we can monitor, analyze, optimize and maintain it throughout its lifecycle from design to decommission. It allows us to achieve the balancing-act between profitability, asset health and availability.

If designed correctly, intelligent assets can tell you:

  • How they are performing.
  • How are they being used and for how long. 
  • What maintenance strategies make the most sense.
  • If they are operating in a sustainable way with regards to emissions.
  • When they require maintenance.
  • When they have broken down.

As a result, business benefits can be achieved across the supply chain via:

  • Reduced downtime
  • Predictive and prescriptive maintenance processes
  • Increase in Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)
  • Increase in lifetime of expensive equipment
  • Increase in customer service levels

The Digital Thread to Digital Transformation

In a digital age, the key to innovation is information. By leveraging Industry 4.0 to capture real-time, accurate information across a product’s life cycle from design to decommission, we can see a digital thread leveraged by all constituents, from the customer to the purchasing team to the maintenance team and back to the engineering team. These valuable insights can be used to identify improvements to designs, create new features and entirely new business models.

To learn more about how Industry 4.0 can improve asset management and maintenance, download the Industry 4.0 Intelligent Assets Report.
Mysterious MES
By Pat Dixon, PE, PMP

President of 
www.DPAS-INC.com, offering project management and engineering for industrial automation projects.

In automation we refer to the “stack” as the hierarchy of an automation system. The automation stack consists of the following levels:
Level 0: This is all the field instrumentation; sensors, valves, motors, etc. Anything that is physically connected to the pipes, tanks, machines, and any other process equipment to measure or move things is level 0.
Level 1: All of the instrumentation turns digital here. This equipment is connected by wired or wireless means to data acquisition units, programmable logic controllers (PLC), distributed control system (DCS) controllers, or other such devices. Here the digital data is used in logic (PID loops, interlocks, sequences). The processing in these devices operate regardless of what may happen with any application or network above it. These must be dependable and deterministic devices.
Level 2: A network connects level 1 devices into a system with user interface (HMI), historical data storage, supervisory applications, and other such operational technology. This level and everything below it (Levels 0-2) are referred to as Operational Technology (OT).
Level 4: The enterprise resource planning (ERP) function is the top of the stack. This is your financial system that accepts customer orders, accounts for all expenses, and gives you an enterprise wide view of your business.
Did you notice we skipped a level?
Level 3 is described as the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) layer. If you scan industry media describing MES, you will get a wide variety of functionality and applications being described as MES. Some of these include:

  • Demilitarized zone (DMZ)
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
  • Data acquisition
  • HMI
  • IIoT
  • Data Analytics
  • Recipe Management
  • Production scheduling
  • Personnel management
  • Resource management
  • Production tracking and dispatch
  • Traceability/genealogy
  • Quality control
  • Process management
  • Performance analysis
  • Document management
  • Maintenance management
That’s quite a list! Does that mean you need all of this in order to have MES?
Imagine you have a restaurant. Waiters go to tables and accept orders from customers and bill them. This is your ERP system. ERP has to get those orders to the people that will produce their meals. You need to engage OT (chefs, stoves, knives, etc). The kitchen manager is your MES. The MES dispatches the orders to engage the OT resources required in the proper sequence to get the right results. Also, if the waiter gets complaints (too salty, cold dish, wrong order) that information gets back to MES to keep a record and make corrections. If you don’t have MES, your customers never get what they want and your OT is idle.
Therefore, the answer is that you don’t need the whole laundry list for an MES system. What you need is the connectivity between OT and the ERP system in the information technology (IT) layer. Anything else is either misplaced or an enhancement like the chocolate mint on the plate with your bill.  
The IOT Labyrinth
It goes without saying that your Industry 4.0 collection needs to be well organized. Even here in our home, a home occupied by two humans and two dogs, the nodes on our network exceed fifty. It seems to grow by 5 or 6 per year without even trying.

We will have been in this house 25 years this coming December. I can't prove it, but I suspect we started out with two connections to the Internet--my wife's computer and my computer. And these were wired. For several years after that I was snaking cables through attic, basement and walls to make sure we had the connection points we thought we needed. Today, we have a smart router with nodes on each floor that takes care of adding new devices wirelessly.

If we have this kind of network at home, what does your mill or converting plant have? But more importantly, what are you doing about purging obsolete nodes? Just like dead pipes or dead cables that once connected active equipment, our computer systems collect dead connections, especially wired ones.

In these days of wireless, connections can be simpler, but perhaps it is time to go on a hunt for old wired connections and permanently, physically remove them. You can't have a problem, a burp in the middle of the night, with something that does not exist.
The dawn of the next industrial revolution
By Saar Yoskovitz
Insight-driven manufacturing affects the manufacturing workforce too, eliminating unnecessary tasks and freeing up factory floor staff for higher-value work. Essity has created a new role, digitisation engineer, to make production process improvements with technology.

All of our futures will be changed by the Industrial Revolution of insight, and already that future looks bright.
Industry 4.0 Success Requires Collaboration
By Joe McKendrick
How ready are we for Industry 4.0? The technology – edge devices, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence – is ready. The market – networks of producers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers – is ready. But for today’s manufacturers, well, it’s complicated. There are formidable foundational issues and a need for collaboration across various ecosystems.
How to secure IoT devices and protect them from cyber attacks
By Swamini Kulkarni
Truth to be told, IoT devices hardly have any inbuilt security, which makes them a perfect target for hackers. The majority of the IoT devices are interconnected, which compromises the security of multiple devices if one device gets hacked. You must know a few things about securing IoT devices before you enjoy their perks. The IIoT market size was valued at $115 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $197 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2017 to 2023.
Defending Against Cyberattacks in the Increasingly Vulnerable Manufacturing Industry
By Roger Hill
In light of several major supply chain disruptions across manufacturing sectors, the Biden Administration recently announced the creation of a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to strengthen critical supply chains and address cyber vulnerabilities. When a supply chain breaks down, the consequences can be devastating and far-reaching, as experienced with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. Despite this, critical infrastructure systems often aren’t afforded cyber protection commensurate with their importance.
Industree 4.0 is exclusively sponsored by SAP