On the Path to a Digital Factory with Networked Production.
Lot sizes are becoming smaller and product life cycles are shorter, while the number of variants is growing and value chains are becoming more global and dynamic. In order to be able to manufacture successfully in this environment long term, it is necessary to digitalize and network the processes in order processing. The result is a Smart Factory that enables your company to plan, manage and control your processes in real time and to significantly increase the degree of automation in all areas of the company.
Smart Factory as the foundation of new business models
Smart factories lay the foundation for new business models that boost your sales even in saturated markets. At the same time, considerable cost savings can be achieved through IT support. Processes in order processing and production can be automated or they can be completely eliminated. Processing times for your orders can be reduced, while waste in the process is minimized and machine breakdowns are avoided. Your entire production system adapts to changing boundary conditions in real time. All of this increases your output and thus your revenues, and at the same time it reduces operating costs.
Interdisciplinary planning for your Smart Factory
An intelligently networked factory is created from the planning results of many specialist disciplines. Only when processes, products, technologies, IT systems, layout, buildings and the organisation harmonize perfectly can a functioning Smart Factory be created in the end. This requires experts from the respective disciplines, who constantly synchronize and coordinate their results. UNITY supports you in your Smart Factory project with experts in the disciplines of Strategic Foresight, Factory Planning, Lean Management, Enterprise Architecture Management, ERP Implementation and Cyber Security. Together, we will develop the version of a Smart Factory that best suits your company efficiently.
Implementing defined Use Cases
Implementing a complete Smart Factory is not always sensible or economically feasible. To make your production fit for the future, we implement defined use cases together with you. To do this, we analyze your strategy, your business processes and your production system and, together with you, select the use cases that are most economical for you. In a roadmap, we describe the sequence of activities and coordinate them with each other.
The goal is to network the production in a smart factory in such a way that it comes as close as possible to the ideal of producing individualized products (Lot size 1) under the same economic conditions as a mass-manufacturer. Production should be highly flexible, highly productive and resource-efficient. Value creation processes should be optimized according to needs in real-time. Customers and suppliers should be able to be integrated into value creation processes in real time. In order to achieve this type of networked production, special structures are required within companies.
Where separate levels and the lack of standardization still exist today in the world of systems, systems providers are beginning to depart from the established structures of proprietary software due to ideas from Industrie 4.0 and the smart factory. New architectures that possess networking and standards make it possible to integrate all levels of the organization – from the office floor to operating, process, and control levels to field levels (systems of production on the shop floor).
Connecting and networking machines is already made possible today through internet technologies. The integration of sensors and actuators directly on platform-based system solutions in the cloud enable innovative business models. Data is accessible at any time, and can be evaluated in the cloud and provide control functions back to the machine almost in real-time. IP enabled work pieces are another element of internet-based automation. They can be localized and know their production history, the current state of processing, as well as the pending process steps until completion. They reduce complexity and enable the mastery of a variety of versions, and transparent production processes.
Before a company begins to implement networked production in the sense of Industrie 4.0, we recommend driving production to the level of Industrie 3.x forward. Gradually, IT penetration, the degree of automation and the networking of horizontal and vertical integration should be increased. This steadily increases productivity. Integrated manufacturing management systems such as APS (Advanced Planning System) and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) offer the ideal conditions to address and implement the objectives and Industrie 4.0 issues due to their functions and integration. Furthermore, PLM provides the basis for factory and process planning with methods and tools for digital manufacturing.
Create transparent, networked and automated control of your production processes. UNITY supports you with the selection and introduction of the appropriate systems.
Smart Factory Sprint
Our Smart Factory Sprint: Your customized roadmap to the future in just 6 weeks. Find out more on how we develop a comprehensive roadmap of digitalization projects for you within six weeks.
Ideal processes are the foundation for successful smart factories. Before we start with digitalization and new technologies, we develop processes together with you that enable low manufacturing costs and short throughput times.
Without modern IT, efficient production has become unthinkable. From the introduction of a PDA system to the implementation of complete IT architectures, we support you in digitalizing your production.
Enterprise Architecture Management
Enterprise Architecture Management is a holistic management approach for mastering the complexity of growing IT architectures. It provides companies with a high degree of flexibility in IT, transparency and reduced migration and implementation costs.
Implementation and Optimization of ERP, MES, APS, LVS
Implementing new corporate software or any other complex application implies far more than just replacing old solutions with new ones. The most important goal is to increase the efficiency of business processes through optimized IT support. Typically, that means projects that have an impact on the nervous system of a company.
With our future-oriented approach to factory planning, we focus with you on efficient processes, high level of productivity and sustainable business success. Learn more about our services!
Modern technologies can be effective tools to sustainably reduce manufacturing costs. Together, we identify technology potentials for automation and digitalization, as well as assess and implement these for a successful start of operations.
Production Planning and Scheduling
Proper planning and order management are the basic prerequisites for short throughput times and high levels of productivity. In the scope of factory planning, we develop processes and methods, together with you, that best manage your orders in your production system. We also welcome the opportunity to support you in the implementation of appropriate PPS systems.
Project and Startup Management
We take over project management during the implementation of your smart factory and together, we realize both efficient and integrative project execution. From project planning to project controlling (time, cost and quality) to the commissioning of your smart factory, we handle supplier, interface and defect management for you. We ensure that all experts are optimally integrated into the project at the right time.
Material Flow Simulation
UNITY supports you in dynamically considering external and internal influences on your planning. In contrast to a static view, changes to your planning can be secured in the simulation model in a holistic and scalable manner without having to intervene in the running, real system.
"Together with UNITY, we have positioned SCHOTT for the future in terms of technology and organization. We have set up a globally valid IT/OT target architecture as well as a modern hub organization with an associated ecosystem. Above all, the UNITY consultants impressed us in their management of all the involved stakeholders, target group-oriented communication and their extensive technical expertise." - Dr. Sybille Haas, Head of OT4.0 Hub & Head of Industrial Engineering, SCHOTT AG
“By working with UNITY, we have succeeded in identifying concrete digitalization solutions to optimize our added value. One of the success factors was the early involvement of all key stakeholders, which resulted in a high level of acceptance for the concepts developed."
- Axel Berger, Head of Digital Transformation, thyssenkrupp Materials Services
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