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Building Bridges: MES & IIoT do not compete

Published: · Last updated: · 2 min reading time

New era, old factory systems: In the age of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the desire of manufacturing companies for a sustainable solution is growing. At the same time, machines that are 10, 20 or even 30 years old and are monitored and controlled by an older Manufacturing Execution System (MES) are in operation in the factory. So: Everything has to go? No!

This is shown by the example of the international automotive supplier KOSTAL with 21 production sites. “It is extremely important for us to establish an ecosystem of IT landscapes that helps us to always act in a way that is appropriate to the species and requirements,” explains Patrick Saslona, Lead Manufacturing Digitalization at KOSTAL. This requires finding the right systems. “We are using the FORCAM solution, or parts of it, to bridge weaknesses in monolithic systems.”


How the company KOSTAL uses FORCAM’s IIoT platform as a flexible
Part of a IIoT ecosystem – Interview with Patrick Saslona,
Lead Manufacturing Digitalization

Note: Enable subtitles in YouTube by navigating to the control bar clicking ‘cc’.

MES based on an IT platform increases efficiency

In three parallel factory tours, the peka-metall team demonstrated how profitable it is to bring together different machine signals and MES results on an IT platform, then to work according to uniform key figures in order to ultimately produce much more efficiently – on average by twelve percent, at peak by up to 20 percent better (measured against the overall system effectiveness OEE).

In workshops and lectures, experiences were exchanged and much discussed. Are MES and IIoT mutually exclusive? Which factory IT areas in addition to MES are affected by the topic of perfect machine connection (connectivity)? How can reservations about new IT systems be countered and eliminated at an early stage?

IIoT platforms serve as a bridge to existing systems

The main result: “MES and IIoT are not competitors”, explains Yann Montagnier, FORCAM representative for Switzerland. “Rather, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an evolution that integrates the MES world,” Montagnier said. “I think this was a central finding for our participants in the MES Workshop: I can use a modern IIoT platform as a bridge to network existing systems – whether ERP, MES or BDE – with each other”.

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