How we built our Industry 4.0 solution over IoT Platform

How we built our Industry 4.0 solution over IoT Platform

This application development story is about how we were able to build our Industry 4.0 solution, MES software over Bevywise IoT platform.

The recent trend Industry 4.0 is the attainment of digital transformation in the factory floor enabling real-time decision making, enhanced productivity & flexibility in the manufacturing industry. As a part of our Industry 4.0 solution, we have recently built a MES (Manufacturing Execution System), an ultimate production monitoring & management software. This exemplary production-oriented tool monitors & tracks the entire production line providing visibility & transparency (in every aspect of production process) with the complete production control. MES collects real-time data from modern CNC machine, send it to the central server and perform analysis to make data-driven decisions & optimize production efficiency.

Why Bevywise IoT Platform?

The Internet of things (IoT) is always meant to solve sticky, physical world problems but the pathway to integrate such technology in building our applications is almost equally intricate and complex. But there are lot of application enabled platforms available in the market which can almost reduce your application building complexity. In that case, using Bevywise IoT platform as a base framework, we built our Industry 4.0 solution, MES software. This article will walk you through the paths of how the solution is built over Bevywise IoT platform & will potray the hacks used for IoT application development.

As I said earlier, there are plenty of IoT platforms available in the market but the configuration modules Bevywise has, makes it flexible for any application development and that makes it stand out from others. The complete details on these configuration modules are explained in the below sections.

In its more sophisticated form, Bevywise IoT Platform has these modules which makes it more powerful end-to-end IoT platform enabling developers to build faster IoT applications.

  • Connectivity Layer
  • Data Persister
  • Databases
  • User Management & Data visualization 
  • Action management (rules engine )
  • Analytics Engine

Let us see how we were able to build MES software with these modules.

Connectivity Layer

First & foremost every application development needs a connectivity layer to make direct communication with the devices. In our Industry 4.0 solution, MES, we want to include connectivity as a part of the solution.

Bevywise IoT Platform with its connectivity layer brings different protocols  such as MQTT, MQTT-SN & TCP into one interface ensuring accurate data streaming and interaction with all devices. By using this connectivity layer we could establish the connectivity of Industrial machines with our application via the communication protocol. We were able to send machine data via MQTT as Bevywise IoT platform by default supports MQTT as its communication protocol.

Data Persistence

When we create any business applications, data persistence must be enabled to persist the data object variables in the server and to prevent them being lost between sessions. To be clear, in the context of storing data in a data store, the data survives or remains even after the process ends.

Bevywise IoT Platform has this functionality which persist the device connection entry into MySQL. However, we may also want to store the device data into other persistence layers. Hence, Bevywise supports storing device data into Elastic Search. With data persistence, the data stored both in MySQL and Elastic search is persisted to make it remain for further analysis.

This makes us get utilized with persister in our MES software. For example, some data in industrial organizations must be persistent.  

That is, our MES software includes multiple fields in the set up process, a user must complete. Also the user is added by filling multiple fields. The information entered in such fields should exist and with the persistence enabled the information the user enters in those fields persist.

Databases

Literally, every application probably needs a database which acts as a repository to store the necessary data sets. Coming to our Industry 4.0 solutions we need a database to be integrated into it to store all the critical industrial information.

As said earlier, Bevywise IoT Platform supports storage of data in Elastic search. Also, the device connection will be stored in MySQL.

User Management & Data Visualization

The next fundamental element that every IoT application needs is the user interface. After we collect data from machines & store in DB, the next thing we need to do is to deliver the information to the end user / someone who is intended to proceed with the next step of the industrial process. This can be done via the user interface. This is the interface by which any industrial user communicates or interacts with the application. Also, we need to make sure that UI must visually represent the data which enables users to see patterns and observe trends from manufacturing dashboards where data is vividly portrayed through charts & graphs. And you know what?? our IoT platform makes it much easier for us as it supports custom dashboard functionality which permits to create multiple dashboards with 10+ pre-built widgets specific to any application.  We were able to layout OEE metrics and other machine data in charts & graphs.  

Further, the manufacturing industry will have multiple departments and each department will be handled by a certain set of users. It is not always right to provide each & every access to all users in the industry. Thus, it is necessary to manage each user by providing specific roles & permissions. In that case, Bevywise IoT platform empowers the service provider to administer & supervise multiple users & their access to and from various sectors. With its multi-tenancy architecture, employees can be given individual web access and login & can be provided with separate roles & permissions for each to carry out machine management & monitoring tasks.

Action Management

The next key function is to bring data to life with rule-based event-action-triggers enabling execution of “smart” actions based on specific machine data. This is more like automating some actions based on the condition we set. For instance, alerting the production manager when a machine sits idle.

This is executed with a powerful condition-based rule engine of the IoT platform which helps the user to forward alert messages to the subscriber.  

How we built MES over platform

The scalability, flexibility & end-to-end application framework of the IoT platform enables us to build MES software without touching the core side. We have used these modules to configure and develop our MES solution specific to the need.

In addition to these, we have made some changes to the analytic engine of the platform and in front end modules to develop the perfect MES solution for the manufacturers.

Analytic Engine

Every manufacturing industry now expects advanced analytics such as predictive analysis to foresee developments and respond to challenges & machine failures proactively. But this requires advanced techniques such as machine learning & artificial intelligence which needs aggregated data from machines to anticipate more accurately.

This is where analytics engine of Bevywise platform comes in. Analytic engine collects data stored in Elastic Search & aggregate it as needed. It executes data aggregation to summarize every 5 mins data and stores in it. Then the data will be displayed in reports as per the needs of users. The analytic engine of the IoT platform is purely based on devices.

We have made a few changes in it as we want to make this analytic engine work based on, production plan, shift & production process. For instance, MES software needs to display day, shift, monthly & yearly data in the form of reports. This requires data to be aggregated for every, day, month & year. A few changes in analytic engine have been done to execute such aggregation.  Now, MES software will be able to provide shift, day, month & year wise production reports.

User Interface module

Manufacturing Industry requires data to be presented as OEE metric with other key performance indicators such as availability, performance & quality in a way to assist the manufacturers to come up with actionable insights. As our MES software tracks multiple machines & departments, the data should also be displayed in machine wise, unit wise and department wise OEE. The comparison of production plan set & the actual production target reached also needs to be displayed. Hence, the UI module has been configured to make these components available to the manufacturers in the visual form from the user interface itself. Thus we were able to develop our MES over Bevywise IoT platform faster & much easier breaking down all the application development complexities.

We have a trial set up of device manager for trying IoT platform for FREE. You can connect your devices at mqttserver.com & start with your implementation / application development. 

Top 5 Charts for Manufacturing Productivity Tracking with MES

Top 5 Charts for Manufacturing Productivity Tracking with MES

Modern Manufacturing demands proper planning, control & optimization of the production process. Though a successful manufacturing needs skilled labor, customized/expensive material inputs and rely on process flexibility, tighter control,  it needs a powerful MES software to plan, execute and expedite production. This is not only to execute the process, but also to further analyze events and transactions as they happen on the shop-floor. It is necessary for production managers to make sense of the data collected.  This is why generating visual form of data either as chart/report that operators and managers can easily comprehend & interpret is essential. Also, how long will you use paper / Excel sheets for your Annual/Monthly production review meeting? And how good would it be to get a production unit to machine level detailing in a visual form with trends?. Let us see in detail about the top 5 charts in MES software and how it can help you make better decisions.

Utilization Report

One important chart that is commonly used to represent manufacturing / production utilization is the utilization chart. Utilization indicates that how much and how an industry’s production capacity is being harnessed at present.  It is the percentage of available production time during a particular time period that a machine was performing to process goods. The utilization chart display how much of a manufacturing operation’s prospective output is being reached and includes everything from machinery capacity to available resource utilization in visual form. Operators will be able to visualize & analyze utilization from various perspectives.

Utilization graph will come in handy to easily identify pain points in the manufacturing productivity when you are stuck with it.

This provides a clear picture of how well & efficient your manufacturing operation / production is by comparing the factors fetched in to your MES systems. At the industry level, production managers can get detailed visual form of data with MES so they can better understand how efficiently the machinery is functioning and take better decisions to handle throughput and increase productivity.

Utilization report

Plan vs Actual

Planning or targeting the production operation is not just the plan rather it is about the production management & control. And Plan vs Actual production analysis can help you better your manufacturing operations. That’s where you monitor outcomes, review process, and make routine flow alterations based on performance.

It’s all about comparing what is the actual result of your production process to what you planned or set your target. Your production plan sets down target, essential numbers, and execution. Tracking the production process and results can only provide what actually happened in the production line. But dealing with the difference between plan and actual data with MES is just driving your manufacturing with better, and more direct, production control and management.

Plan vs Actual chart allows users to compare planned production with actual production in each shift for each machine & for all completed production operations. Production managers can use this report to identify where production time is overrunning, and by how much.

Plan vs Actual

Machine Drill Down

From production planning to production execution, production managers need a complete machine reporting interface with MES to execute proper machine performance control & analysis. Anyone who needs the insight to make quick decisions about machine working or resolve quality or performance issues can able to create highly visual displays of key performance indicators such as OEE, Downtime Reasons & Bad Quantity. They can drill down deeper into each machine in a department and unit to explore individual performance records based on a single day or between any date range. They can get a granular overview of each machine rather than a general view with the Machine Drill Down Report. This helps production managers to make quick & powerful decisions based on how well each machine in a production line is performing and how to improve its efficiency.

Machine Drill Down Report

Department Drill Down

Department drill down report provides the percentages of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for your machine operations in each department in a unit and the key OEE metrics of Availability, Performance, and Quality. This helps production managers to get a granular view of OEE data of each department in a unit rather than a general OEE data of overall production. This can help them prioritize which department to concentrate on more & to identify bottlenecks or weaknesses in production, permitting them to make immediate action.

Department Drill Down Report

Department OEE trend

OEE trend chart is commonly used to show trends in OEE data over time. Displaying OEE data over time increases better understanding of the real performance of a production process, particularly with regard to an established target or goal. By analysing the trend of OEE score, it is easy to find improvement opportunity and to begin understanding the interplay between Availability, Performance & Quality. The production managers can plan & work for the betterment & optimization of the production by analysing the OEE monthly & yearly trend. Also, if necessary it is easy for production managers to revise their plan to reach the goal and incremental raising of the bar for your target.

Department OEE Trend

These top 5 charts integrated with your MES can help you achieve successful manufacturing operation by making powerful decisions at the right time. As a part of our Industry 4.0 solution, Factovize MES is one such software that can  provide complete visibility, control and manufacturing optimization of production and processes across the enterprise.