The topic of Industrie 4.0 has arrived at most companies. What is already becoming apparent is that digitisation will change the manufacturing industry similar to the way in which it changed the music and film industry in recent years. This is why two-thirds of all companies plan to invest in Industrie 4.0 projects in the next two years, according to a survey of SAP customers. The concept of cyber physical systems, i.e. the connection of the real with the virtual world via sensors and actuators, is no longer the realm of science fiction. Numerous small projects at larger companies are demonstrating that the required technology is already in place! Nevertheless, many questions remain:
- How does one drive Industrie 4.0 innovation forward within the company?
- How does a successful pilot turn into a process that results in added value?
- How can Industrie 4.0 projects be industrialised?
- How can a successful pilot project be rolled out for all of a company’s machinery?
- How can innovations be standardised on a common technological basis?
- How can the success of Industrie 4.0 projects be measured?
In conjunction with HARTING and other partners, SAP has developed an Industrie 4.0 starter pack that can assist in answering these questions. For maximum practicality, the starter pack focuses on a process that is high on the agenda at many companies: “ Predictive Maintenance”. The starter kit consists of two optional variants.
enables the simple integration of a machine for which only one energy meter is connected to the main power line. By intelligently analysing the power consumption, each individual energy consumer can be identified, for instance each axis of a 5-axis milling machine. This permits a detailed status analysis of the machine to be performed.
uses sensors on the machine to perform vibration analysis, and thus a type of “predictive health” process. With regard to the sensor system, the process for both options is uniform. Sensors are connected directly to a HARTING IIC MICA, the world's first rugged, industrial and railway grade, IP67 certified Micro PC with a modular open source development stack. Preprocessing and data compression takes place in the Micro PC. However, the MICA offers a second feature. By default, it can communicate with SAP’s IoT platform, which means that data flow to SAP’s PdMS ( Predictive Maintenance and Service) solution in standardised form. The starter pack is available for a fixed price that includes three months use of the SAP platform, including integration, in order to perform monitoring, create analyses and to complete the first predictions. A later rollout can therefore be based on a robust system architecture that permits any number of additional processes to be performed with deep SAP backend integration. Here, the integration of forecasts into downstream maintenance processes might be conceivable, for example.