Connected Factory

How cloud computing, edge technologies and data management deliver your connected Factory of the Future

A connected factory is more than end-to-end connectivity. When your manufacturing facility includes a secure, efficient and robust digital ecosystem, information can be shared seamlessly between people, machines and sensors.

The move to a connected factory can help manufacturing teams sustain ideal production with sensor data from connected devices generating valuable insights and optimising labour productivity with empowered workers. Connectivity and shop-floor visibility is achieved through digital technologies such as IIoT, Big Data analytics, cloud computing and AI. For manufacturers, the challenge is how to best implement this connected factory.


Data Collection for Smart Manufacturing

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the engine behind a smart connected factory: your Factory of the Future. Combining data across all processes, and feeding that back to a centralised server, connects machines, operators, quality systems and monitoring tools.

Interoperability across the connected factory is key to maximising visibility of all systems, ensuring full correlation is possible across all sources of information and even reducing redundant processes. For instance, LineView’s line monitoring system can connect by API to populate a data warehouse for product financial reporting or complete by hour reports.

LineView Connector Example Applications
What this means for your IT team:
  • Standardised data
  • Reduced manual entry
  • Saved time
  • Reduced errors in data
  • Automatic correlation of data
  • Single system of truth to reduce data redundancy

LV Connector uses APIs, OPC and PLC Direct Drivers to seamlessly integrate LineView with third party MES, maintenance and alert systems to better monitor events. It allows for easy configuration of how and when messages are relayed to your desired endpoint API.

 


Cloud Security Considerations for Connected Factories

The complex digital ecosystem of your connected factory requires an equally robust set of security protocols.

For IT managers and their teams, securing IIoT devices from external threats is a very real concern. LineView’s cloud security infrastructure can give you peace of mind in knowing that the information across your connected factory is secure and protected at all times.

With data that is encrypted and secure, both in the air and at rest, LineView technologies are fully protected against external and internal threats. IIoT device verification is completed using a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and certificates allowing secure connection through a gateway to the MS Azure cloud that allows you to control permissions and LineView to on-board new devices through a centralised dashboard.

Microsoft Azure Gold Application Developer
Through its innovative technology stack, Microsoft Azure’s machine learning and other technologies allow us to innovate fast. Most importantly, Azure offers unmatched security from the ground up, providing the highest standards for encryption, digital security and peace of mind.

 

Faster Insights in Your Connected Factory with Edge Computing

Using edge computing in your connected factory will minimise latency and optimise data flow to the cloud. Through the use of interconnected digital technologies like gateways, edge computing will maximise how your factory compresses data, how it secures data, and how that data can be optimised for the next machine to read and unpackage. This operation is key to real-time machine learning to deliver responses to operators, and between devices, as soon as possible.

Edge computing works seamlessly within the smart factory ecosystem, feeding specialised and targeted information to the cloud which is shared throughout the internal network of machines, operators and quality systems.

Cloud Computing Vs Edge Computing in the Connected Factory

Gateways make real-time calculations and send targeted data to be computed and shared in the cloud. These gateways – at various key points in a connected factory – limit the information transfer so that only the most pertinent data is being shared. Computations on the shop-floor, along with compression of data, ensure that the data received by the cloud has already been optimised for further computation and sharing throughout the factory’s digital ecosystem.

Edge not only optimises production – it is what drives the evolution of your digital smart connected factory toward fully realising Industry 4.0. What this means for IT teams is more efficient data processing, less troubleshooting and less strain on servers and computational power. For factory managers, this directly results in a connected factory that empowers operators to focus on perfecting their tasks.


Data Storage Architecture

LineView has a robust data storage architecture maximising the use of both hot and cold data to optimise production output in real-time as well as learn from historical activity.

Hot vs Cold Data Storage in a Connected Factory

 

Hot Data Storage

Used for up-to-date KPIs and traceability. Higher costs related to storage and access.

 

Cold Data Storage

Used for long term trend reporting to help optimise efficiencies in your factory.

 


Cloud Reporting for Your Connected Factory

Cloud reporting compiles insights across a smart connected factory to achieve fully integrated manufacturing intelligence.

Cloud reporting allows a connected factory to ingest enterprise-wide data in real-time to create a structured dataset for analysis, either instantaneously or historically. This allows both IT teams and production managers to identify optimisation and improvement opportunities at every level of the enterprise.

Instead of relying on several platforms and systems to gather data, LineView’s integrated cloud reporting tools allow for a centralised dashboard to review information, generate reports and monitor production data.

More about EnterpriseView for your factory of the future →

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