The world of ICT and the manufacturing industry are merging their forces to create new business models and optimizations. The news that Adidas is building its new factories in Germany, where production results show much cheaper prices, higher quality and more flexibility (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-adidas-manufacturing-idUKKCN0YF1YE), was an eye-opener and game changer in the market. It is the first factory to reopen in Germany since 1993, when factories were closed down and moved to China. It is clear that Germany is currently the innovator and driving force behind Industry4.0.
Industry 4.0 is an initiative of German leaders to start a digital transformation in the manufacturing industry. The 4.0 designation signifies that this is the world's fourth industrial revolution, the successor to three earlier industrial revolutions that caused quantum leaps in productivity and changed the lives of people throughout the world. In the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Industry 4.0 is 'the comprehensive transformation of the whole sphere of industrial production through the merging of digital technology and the internet with conventional industry'. In short, everything in and around a manufacturing operation (suppliers, the plant, distributors, even the product itself) is digitally connected, providing a highly integrated value chain. The term Industry 4.0 originated in Germany, but the concept largely overlaps developments that, in other European countries, are called : Smart factories, the Industrial Internet of Things, Smart industry, or Advanced manufacturing.
Key factor in Industry 4.0 is the 'digital connection' of various processes through signals given by processes or products. The main focus is on more efficiency in information exchange, collaboration, speed and flexibility. It results in a horizontal integration of all concerned parties in a chain sharing the same real-time data. Decisions can therefore be made with a much higher precision and speed. Many decisions can even be automated resulting in signals from the outside world that activate processes internally without any human involvement. It leads to less waste in communication and general redundancy, that we experienced in a disconnected chain.
Things we need to focus on:
* Real-time integration between processes by integrating signals and API's
* Possibilities for collaboration within the chain based on real-time information
* Data push instead of pull – signals and events may bring people together
* Standardization of communication protocols
In this list you will recognize the opportunity of Ometa's framework in this new market. New insights of Industry4.0 over the past year triggered us to bring our product on the 4.0 wavelength. Over the past nine months we studied the strength and weakness of our product for this new market. In close cooperation with the University of Antwerp, market experts and innovating manufacturers we encountered 12 areas of innovation that could bring our product into the 4.0 wavelength.
Currently the results of the studies are in full development and soon tests and prototypes of our new framework will be implemented in manufacturing fab-labs. Ometa's latest R15 release brought the product closer to the needs of Industry 4.0 but its next version will be a game changer for the manufacturing world.
The Ometa integration platform is fully certified by SAP and also has the possibility to connect with applications of Infor, Oracle, Microsoft and many other vendors. Ometa's framework supports standard integration technology such as oData v4, webservices and database interfacing. Its product can generate dynamic cases in collaborative environments such as Office365, Google Plus and the on premise SharePoint product.
Ometa has large scale customers such as Bayer(GE) , Evonik (GE), Asco (BE), Pidpa (BE), FN Herstal (BE), Neways (NL), WML (NL), Fokker (NL) and many more.