Manufacturing companies have huge investments in setting up their infrastructure to produce goods. This involves a huge cost especially for the machinery and equipment implemented. An additional investment in an IT infrastructure would immensely add to the cost of goods manufactured. Hence it is imperative that these costs are kept under control.
HelpMates provides customized IT Infrastructure solutions especially designed for manufacturing companies. One of the approaches that we take is the five layer approach. These are as defined below:
Level 1 – Control Systems
This is the layer that will be present on the production floor and consists of the machines, robots and other participating devices. These operate based on the data inputs and feeds that are remotely provided to them. With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) and similar technologies, dependence on humans in the factory has reduced drastically. Conversely, there is an increased dependency on robust IT systems that are securely interlinked with proper failsafe mechanisms. Proper functioning of this layer ensures that the resultant manufactured product will be consistently error free.
Level 2 – Supervisory Control
This is the second layer and plays an important role in monitoring and controlling the below layer. This is responsible for data collection as a control measure. This layer is also referred to as SCADA (Supervisory Controllers and Data Acquisition) systems.
Level 3 – Production Management
This is the layer responsible for the management and execution of the production life cycle and is responsible for these functions:
- Design including CAD
- Production Scheduling
- Order Dispatch
- Order Data Collection
- Reporting and Analytics
- Tracking Materials
Level 4 – Plant to Enterprise Connection
Product manufacturing is supported by business processes of the manufacturing plant which in turn need to be linked to the business processes of the company or enterprise. This layer is responsible for maintaining the connection and/or sync between the two for sharing information and business processes, analytics and reporting.
Level 5 – Enterprise Application
This is the top level that is manned by high level business processes and applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Vendor Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (to name a few) systems. All these systems need to be seamlessly integrated with each other to ensure smooth flow of data and processes resulting in seamless operations across units, departments, facilities and geographies.