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It is the week of HANNOVERMESSE, the world’s most important technology show, which inhabits 11 trade fairs under one roof.

This year´s event is staged under the banner of "Integrated Industry." The lead theme signals the fair's key focus on the growing integration of all areas of industry. "Machines, industrial equipment, work pieces and system components will soon be capable of exchanging data in real-time. This will significantly boost efficiency, safety and resource sustainability in production and logistics," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, a member of the Deutsche Messe Board of Management. "The experts have dubbed this technological development the fourth industrial revolution, coming, as it does, after the steam engine, mass production and automation."

"Integrated Industry" not only could be defined in terms of technical and electronic integration, but also in terms of the challenge faced by all areas of industry as they seek to cooperate across corporate and sector boundaries. Integration would shorten communication channels and make collaboration more efficient.

The manufacturing industry today is facing a technological milestone. Machines, production facilities and warehousing systems are able to autonomously exchange information, trigger actions and control each other, promising huge improvements in the industrial processes involved in manufacturing, engineering and service. This fourth industrial revolution, called Industry 4.0, offers the promise of bringing two worlds together — industrial manufacturing and next-generation IT — to create a new level of efficiency and effectiveness.

Today, Dr. Kerstin Geiger, Global Head of Industry Business Solutions at SAP, announced that SAP is adapting Industry 4.0 principles through the development of Idea to Performance, a holistic business approach to increase the performance of products and services. Here´s a link to the press release.

We at SAP believe that the changes ahead will be as big as the changes from an agrarian society to an industrial one, as we leave the structure, markets and business processes of the industrial age. One of the main driving factors is the hyper-connected world.

What is SAP´s commitment?

Companies will still want to increase the efficiency of their manufacturing processes but in addition they will invest more in innovation and service. As business processes are progressively more linked with each other, we at SAP think that only a holistic approach, a principle we call idea to performance, will guide companies through the upcoming transformations. SAP laid down many of the business foundations of the IT based industrial era and we are ready to take our customers into the next phase as well. With best and integrated IT, we will turn around R&D, manufacturing and  processes to gain value for businesses

SAP underscores the commitment to innovate the manufacturing process with new releases of manufacturing solutions and updates for existing solutions covering engineering, manufacturing and sustainable operations.

Specifically, Idea to Performance enables the full management of a product’s entire lifecycle from design to service within distinct scenarios. One such scenario is “Manufacturing Responsiveness” which delivers end-to-end processes integrating the plan-to-produce process. Embedded quality and compliance controls enable manufacturers to address nonconformance through corrective and preventive actions while simultaneously setting predictable and shorter cycle times, improving asset utilization, and ensuring on-time delivery.

Idea to Performance incorporates the enablement of new and existing solutions within the SAP® Business Suite, powered by the SAP HANA® platform, which was first introduced in January 2013. Manufacturing responsiveness will be underpinned by the planned Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness on HANA, Material Requirement Planning (MRP) on HANA, which delivers high-speed reads for a 50% reduction in runtime, and Project Management on HANA, which improves the run time of critical project management transactions.Now, let´s come to a more interesting point: What does this mean for SAP´s customers?

User Experience: Anytime, Anywhere Insight

In the past years, SAP invested significantly in the area of user experience. SAP Business Suite solutions, like SAP Product Lifecycle Management for example, have a new and intuitive user interface and embedded analytics that are provided in a side panel.

SAP 3DVisual Enterprise Solutions combine 3D viewing technology with the power of the business suite in one unified environment. What´s new about that? The product becomes the center of your intuitive, visual navigation and collaboration between R&D and other departments becomes much faster. This allows you to accelerate decision making across all lines of business and to increase the efficiency of your processes by communicating visually. As part of a widespread initiative to improve user experience across all SAP applications, further investments are being made to ensure that solutions are more intuitive and appealing to users. Specific updates include:

  • The planned introduction of Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness on HANA, which aims to enable enterprise-wide production analytics comparing assets and performance across multiple sites and comparable operations.
  • The introduction of a shop floor dispatching and monitoring tool for SAP, which will enable manufacturing production orders to be efficiently and flexibly scheduled. 
  • New synchronized releases of the SAP® Manufacturing Execution (ME) application, the SAP® Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) application and SAP® Plant Connectivity software, which will provide efficient manufacturing execution and visibility into shop floor operations


Core Applications: Improving Quality

The focus on supporting the Industry 4.0 initiative centers on both new innovation and strategic updates to core applications, ensuring greater efficiency. Updates in this area include:

  • The introduction of the SAP® Quality Issue Management application, which will complement the quality management capabilities of SAP Business Suite by managing quality issues across the entire value chain. 
  • New mobile capabilities which aim to increase shop floor efficiency for complex manufacturing across the entire process, from issue identification to resolution. 
  • Predictive analytics based on SAP HANA, which can help users in maintenance and after-market service to align decisions and actions with business performance goals like increase component life or decrease unplanned asset downtime. Manufacturers, service providers, and asset owners can unlock massive amounts of historical maintenance and sensor data accumulated and accumulating every day and by forecasting preemptively avoid equipment failure as well as reduce operational risks to workers and the environment.


Rapid Deployment Solutions: Delivering Results Faster

SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS) deliver preconfigured software and implementation services in one package, enabling customers to realize specialized business benefits within a shortened timeframe while laying the foundation for future expansion. RDS updates include:

  • The introduction of SAP Multi-resource Scheduling rapid-deployment solution, which is a fast way to implement a powerful resource planning solution that helps companies promptly fulfill service requests from one graphical planning tool.
  • The introduction of SAP Asset Data Quality rapid-deployment solution, which gives customers the ability to assess, validate and continuously monitor the quality of their asset master data.
  • The introduction of SAP Condition-Based Maintenance rapid-deployment solution, which allows for the streamlined implementation of a fixed-price, fixed-scope offering so customers can quickly begin optimizing a maintenance strategy.

Stay tuned for more news regarding SAP´s Idea to Performance initiative. We will publish a whole series of blogs on SCN to give you more information about Idea to Performance and Industry 4.0.

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