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Industry 4.0 now available for the second league: Small and Mid-size Factories

Software Press Release

Machine to machine connecting technologies are getting more and more affordable

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Machines that talk to each other is a new reality and not fantasy from blockbusters anymore.

Every day we are surrounded by smart things like fitness bracelets, coffee machines that receive commands via an app etc.

But what if the issue at stake is less of an option to switch off the light from your mobile but a life-threatening situation in a factory? Or a mishap that risks bringing huge losses to your production? Or vice versa – a golden chance to have a head start over your competition?

This area of the machine to machine communication exists under a common name of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0.

Experts say that IIoT is not “next big thing” anymore but the current need of production companies.

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Very soon real-time communication between machines and business software will not be something that puts you on a pedestal above rivals but – unless implemented – will cripple development.

Machines can talk to standard business apps in your computer

Imagine a factory where each machine produces a lot of data: if it is functioning correctly, if it is not overheated, how much energy it is consuming, if the material is enough etc.

How great it would be if all this important information appeared real-time on a manager’s desktop in the form of easy-to-read graphs, images and alerts, right? Normally, business systems would not understand what production equipment “says” but there are technologies which act as a translator between them.

Practical application

Such communication between machines and business software like ERP, CRM or document management systems is very important.

It enables collecting, exchanging and analysing data faster – and creates valuable insights for smarter business decisions. According to the Genpact Research Institute, 81% of organizations believe successful adoption of IIoT is critical to future success.

According to Thomas Berndorfer, CEO Connecting Software, an Austria-based company which innovates in the area of IIoT, there are many applications for connected production right now.

IIoT systems help to predict defects in machinery before they occur and take action before a part fails or a machine goes down.

Field service technicians can identify potential issues in customer equipment and fix the problems before they inconvenience customers.

IIoT applications connect machines and devices in such industries as oil and gas, utilities and manufacturing. IIoT deployment can prevent high-risk situations or even life-threatening events.

Finally, synchronisation of machines with business software can reduce time and costs by removing the need to manually insert the data and correct human-made mistakes. There are many other benefits of implementing IIoT at production, and the business world understand more and more that interconnected machine data and desktop software is not a whim but today’s must-have.  

What is the next step?

There is a stereotype that only big well-established companies have the need and can afford integration of machine data in business systems. It is not exactly so.

The thing is: Industry 4.0 is getting more and more affordable for small and mid-size production facilities.

“There are technologies that allow starting with connecting only one machine and then scale it up if needed”, says Thomas Berndorfer. At Connecting Software, they have created an OPC-UA connector which allows machines to talk the same language as typical business applications – Salesforce, Dynamics 365, SharePoint etc. This connectivity is very smooth and allows to monitor all production data in real time. OPC UA is one of the most widespread machine to machine communication protocols for industrial automation.

The breakthrough with the OPC-UA connector is that it requires only basic skills from a developer and allows to learn integration of machine data and business software within three hours. This is another reason behind cost saving. Such easy integration is possible because the solution uses SQL syntax – the language of databases familiar to every developer. According to the CEO of Connecting Software, compared to programming integration from scratch, OPC-UA connector reduces the code to up to 90%. It leads to fewer bugs and building iterations and saves developer’s expensive work time.

The world is changing, and the speed of changes is increasing as well. Joining the IIoT movement is imperative to ensure business success in the years to come.

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Connecting Software - Integration and synchronisation solutionsConnecting Software
Category: MicrosoftCompany about: Connecting Software is a provider of integration and synchronization solutions. We offer a unique and powerful software integration platform Connect Bridge, as well as SaaS and on-premises products. We’ve held various Microsoft Gold and Silver competencies over the past decade. Highly accredited by Microsoft and listed in Azure Government. Named Business-Critical SharePoint Partner. We innovate in the area of the Industrial Internet of Things and blockchain document sealing technologies. ...
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