There is no doubt that smartphones and tablets have become a premier user touch-point to IT, entertainment and information services. It seems logical to transfer this concept to the world of manufacturing and make mobile apps abundant on the plant floor. Maintenance dispatching is an excellent field of application.
We at Derdack believe that mobile apps will soon play an important role in the digitization of manufacturing processes leading to smarter factories. Mobile apps will be an integral part of what is called ‘Industrie 4.0‘. If companies wonder how to realize the ‘Industrie 4.0’ concept and how to start, they should look at the ‘app-ization’ of their data and information on the plant floor and the automation of processes and information flow.
Motivation for a mobile app
Derdack’s solution for app-enabled maintenance dispatching and incident alerting is a ‘quick-step’ into the world of ‘Industrie 4.0’. The motivation behind the development of this solution was to:
- Automate the alert and maintenance dispatching process
- Reduce control room work
- Remove human latencies from critical information flows
- More intelligently distribute maintenance jobs among the team, e.g. workload- or location-based
- Provide a more convenient shift and duty management
- Enable true mobility, e.g. by anywhere response and machine access
With our solution, Enterprise Alert, we offer a building block of a smarter factory. The solution connects directly to existing infrastructure, that somehow IT-accessible or through an MES or SCADA system. Protocols like OPC UA or web-services make it future proof for the world of Industrial IoT. Enterprise Alert processes data and events from manufacturing systems and automatically (and rule-based) submits alerts and maintenance jobs to the mobile app. The app provides a ‘single pane of glass’ and displays filtered and thus relevant information to users and teams.
Along with the automation of the process but particularly by using a mobile app comes:
- Reduction of manual, radio-broadcast based dispatching
- A more targeted approach of information distribution
- Free of staff required to stare at computer screens
- A much quicker response to critical incidents like equipment failure
- Incident-centric one-touch-collaboration from the mobile device
There are surely a couple of requirements such solution needs to address and I will shed some light on it in later post.
The return on investment is quick and the solution does not require a ‘green field’. An example from one existing customer shows that one entire man-year of control room work was made obsolete.
Please, see how we change work-life on the shop floor.
This post is a summary of a presentation held at the Hannover Messe 2016 industrial fair. Thanks for reading and if you need more information, please feel free to contact me.
– Matthes Derdack