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Digital Supply Chain Green Thursday – SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence

Thank you very much for joining us in this article of the Digital Supply Chain Green Thursday blog series. Every Thursday we will together take a closer look at one of the SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions and how they contribute to sustainability in supply chains all over the world. Have fun in following the blog, we invite you to get in touch with us and feel free to share the blog posts among your peers. Here you can find last week’s article about smart engineering for smart product with SAP Engineering Control Center.         

Digital Transformation touches everyone

The digital transformation is one of the few topics that has an effect on everyone, across industries and across continents. Whether it is called “Industry 4.0”, “Industrial Internet of Things”, “Make in India” or “Smart factory” – all over the world, companies and governments are looking into the benefits for their businesses in the current industrial revolution. It is mainly characterized by the ability to gain data from machinery or assets, predict future developments with higher certainty and being able to quickly act on these predictions while increasing efficiency throughout all processes.

Industry 4.0 and Sustainable Manufacturing share the same goals

These goals are actually quite aligned with a second global business trend that companies are facing. When having the detailed insights on the inputs and outputs of one’s manufacturing processes, the impact of these processes on environment and scarce materials can be estimated. This is a strong motivator for governments to demand a stronger reporting and continuous improvement. Companies feel obliged to participate in this transformation towards sustainability and are looking towards the capabilities of the digital transformation to support the development towards sustainable processes.

Managing huge data loads efficient and dynamically

The times where the IT professionals only had to deal with software are over. As the hardware is getting “smart” and “connected”, software and hardware become intertwined to cyber-physical system. The chances of this development can be taken if the teams manage to not just push up the data into any kind of storage or cloud environment but also enable local operational teams to take advantage of the data for their immediate working processes.

Having every machine and “thing” connected and constantly providing data brings up as well the challenge on how to deal with it. Most companies use the concept of a data historian or a data warehouse to process the data and the question is whether the infrastructure to process the data needs to be on-site for every use case. That is why new concepts combining Edge-computing and Cloud systems are developed to ensure for every process and every team to access the data in the time they need. For further information I recommend, you check out these two blog articles about IoT/OT-convergence and the inverse historian.

SAP solutions enable the use of Edge-computing and Cloud-Systems; Source: SAP

Combining SAP Manufacturing solutions to deliver information to every level

With the SAP solutions for manufacturing businesses can be supported in mastering all the different levels of the digital transformation. With SAP Plant Connectivity, the data provided by the machinery is processed. This machine data can be combined with data from the ERP system and used in an operational way in a manufacturing execution system as for example SAP Manufacturing Execution or can be analyzed for additional insights at SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII). In SAP MII, operational analytics like the OEE calculation, KPI monitoring or alerts are managed to enable operational teams to leverage the captured data to make their everyday work easier. Additionally, data can be pushed up for further analytics into a cloud where services like SAP Digital Manufacturing cloud for Insights can conduct further analytics. This structure also allows drill downs from general insights into more detailed views for root-cause analysis. Through the flexible combination of on-site IT-infrastructure and cloud-resources, it can be dynamically decided, which operations should be processed locally, and which should be done in the cloud, based on individual requirements for response times and availability.

Connect the heterogeneous automation floor to the Intelligent Enterprise with
SAP Plant Connectivity; Source: SAP

Using SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence for detailed Energy Monitoring

One of the environmental impacts that can be found in any manufacturing operation is the use of energy. With SAP Plant Connectivity the data from the energy meters in the machines can be captured and fed into SAP MII. The SAP MII Plant Information Catalog supports building a hierarchy of all meters of the respective machines and energy/ resource types to resemble the plant structure and enable different levels of aggregation. Building on this, dashboards can be created showing the energy use and connecting the data to production events or ERP data to derive further insights. Analysis on this data can either show meaningful insights to trigger alerts for the operational teams or be part of calculations and aggregations in SAP EHS Environment Management to monitor compliance and calculate emissions based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Additional company-wide analytics can be conducted in the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for insights or the SAP Analytics Cloud.

Hierarchical & logical structures support analytics on aggregated values
as well as root-cause analysis; Source: SAP

The capabilities to aggregate energy data across all plants and combining them with additional important information in the cloud already enables meaningful insights and starting points for optimization. Being able to drill down in this data further really supports the resource and time-efficient root-cause analysis, optimization and re-engineering to maximize the effect.

Consistent data basis across use cases and applications; Source: SAP

If you want to get further information on the SAP Manufacturing Solutions reach out to your SAP contact, visit the website of SAP Manufacturing Solutions or visit the respective product websites which are linked in the blog article.

Digital transformation and Sustainability to not exclude each other – they drive together towards more sustainable businesses based on detailed information!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and interesting. Please make sure you follow me to not miss any future blog posts in this series and stay informed about how a Sustainable Supply Chain is supported by SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions! Feel free to have a look at my earlier posts as well:

DSC Green Thursday: At the end of every tunnel there is a light - will it be a green one?

DSC Green Thursday: SAP S/4HANA for product compliance - “If you think compliance is expensive – try...

DSC Green Thursday: SAP Intelligent Product Design – Too many cooks spoil the broth, or not?

DSC Green Thursday: Enable customers to make informed decisions with SAP Recipe Development

DSC Green Thursday: Using SAP Product Lifecycle Costing to lift the fog of uncertainty

DSC Green Thursday: Becoming smarter through Collaboration in SAP Engineering Control Center
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