In the move toward Industry 4.0 manufacturing companies are attempting to digitalize the entire value chain. The software industry is not lacking in solutions: The latest PLM systems support multi-disciplinary teams, systems engineering and smart engineering, update requirements management, enable simulations and calculations of digital products and functional models, and use augmented reality to merge the digital and real worlds. Manufacturing execution systems (MES) and software for enterprise resource planning (ERP) support “intelligent” manufacturing, smart logistics, and predictive maintenance. Computer-supported technologies (CAx) of many types are promoting the steady advance of Industry 4.0.
However, missing links between certain business and production processes are putting the brakes on truly efficient manufacturing. The call for integration is becoming increasingly louder. “Companies need a strategy to link their MES with business systems such as ERP and PLM,” says Simon Jacobson, manager for supply chain research at Gartner, an IT analyst. A Gartner survey among PLM users in 2014 found that is a great degree of interest in being able to access MES data. “With integrated systems they can accelerate rollouts and deliveries, improve quality, and close the feedback loop between development and production,” declares the analyst. According to Jacobson, “Software integration is hard work – but the advantages it brings are tremendous.”
With the lead theme “Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions”, visitors to HANNOVER MESSE 2016 will discover how they can convert their production plants step by step into Industry 4.0 factories. A key role is played by Digital Factory (Halls 6 to 8), the leading trade fair for integrated processes and IT solutions. The focus here is on the software that drives innovation: CAE, CAx, MES, PLM, and the practical integration of existing isolated applications.
One highlight shared by the leading trade shows Digital Factory and Industrial Automation is the MES Conference on April 28. Manufacturing execution systems are the focus of this cross-exhibition event, which will take place for the eighth time in 2016. True to its slogan “flexible, fast, transparent”, the conference will demonstrate how intelligent MES solutions can get the most out of manufacturing and processing. The agenda is devoted to manufacturers and their suppliers in the manufacturing and process industries. A closing panel discussion will be held for the first time in 2016. Experts from universities and associations will discuss with software manufacturers and users the influence of visual design on the manufacturing landscape at the Convention Center. The discussion group will be moderated by Dr. Christine Lötters from the enterprise SC Lötters.