From Sensor to Customer – Automated Business Processes

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From Sensor to Customer – Automated Business Processes

This blog post describes a demonstrator solution developed by 5 partners from the German Industry 4.0 initiative “Marktplatz Industrie 4.0”. This IIoT solution demonstrates how to automate business processes from the shop floor to the top floor or, in other words, from the sensor to the customer.

The main focus of this use case is the following:

  1. Automate and control a production process directly from the ERP system
  2. Fleet device management, monitoring and software installation of edge devices

In order to solve this complex problem in a simple and cost efficient way the following 5 SME companies contributed with their technology modules:

  • Inasoft Systems GmbH: With the SQL4Automation product data from robots and industrial controls can be collected and made available on the edge device level
  • SYS TEC electronic AG: The edge gateway sysWORXX CTR-700 enables effective data processing at the edge. It runs the full edge software stack and collects sensor data to measure energy consumption and environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity.
  • manaTec GmbH: The ERP system Odoo is a central component to gather, interpret and control all information such that informed decisions can be taken to optimize the production process
  • SQL Projekt AG: The integration platform TRANSCONNECT® controls all data and information flow and acts as a bridge between shop floor and top floor
  • qbee AS: The device management platform qbee.io allows to manage large numbers of edge devices. It also installs and configures all software components on the edge controllers and monitors the performance and reliability of the devices throughout their lifecycle including OTA software updates for applications and base libraries. With the built-in VPN it allows secure remote access to all device and the applications running on them.

Let’s have a look at the implementation:

From Shopfloor to Topfloor

The device management software qbee.io is installed on the CTR-700 device and installs and configures the following software components through software automation:

  • MariaDB for collecting measurement values and keeping track of production status on the edge
  • Node-RED for collecting environmental sensor data via a WirePAS system. These data points are written into the MariaDB and are visualized on a Node-RED dashboard together with production status.
  • SQL4Automation is the interface to the production machine communicating with the machine controllers
  • Transconnect is the connector layer from the edge to the cloud and it communicates with the Odoo ERP.

Additional qbee tasks are to keep the base libraries of the CTR-700 up to date and secure, provide the remote access to the device both in terms of ssh access but also with a secure VPN tunnel to the Node-RED dashboard. Users and ssh keys are provided and managed and all libraries are constantly analyzed for CVE vulnerabilities. The monitoring function makes sure that both log files, database sizes and load on the device always stay within specifications.

Now one or many CTR-700 devices start gathering measurement data from the sensor system and through the different components the full communication between the Odoo ERP and the machine has been enabled. Therefore, the cloud based Odoo ERP can now start a production run from anywhere in the world and real time production data enriched with critical environmental parameters are fed back to the system running through the technology stack. On the edge operators can easily see on the local dashboard how production is getting along, even in case of a temporary internet outage.

We will provide much more detailed information in the future. For our German speaking customers we would also encourage you to participate in this roadshow event on the 30.9.2021:  

 5 Davids gegen Goliath – Komplettlösung ohne trade-offs – TRANSCONNECT® 

Additionally we have a video describing this use case shortly:

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