Standard software for customised production

The best of both worlds: Standard software for customised production

Focus on investment and update security
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The individually adapted Smart Factory based on a standardised MES solution, absolutely release-capable and investment-proof. You might think that this is a clear contradiction, but the combination makes sense and will play an essential role in the future of digital manufacturing!

One thing is clear today: the path to the “smart factory” is not a sprint or a one-off task. No, it is an evolutionary process that is also subject to constant change. Basic requirements and technical possibilities change, requirements grow and goals are constantly redefined. A major challenge for industrial companies is to master this dynamic and to get the maximum out of their own production with customised and consistent software solutions.

A central question arises in this context: Do you want to rely on stable and proven, but also rigid standard software, or do you want to invest in customised programming that fits like a tailor-made suit at first glance, but has clear weaknesses when it comes to Time2Solution and future orientation?

 

Standard versus individual programming

A closer look at the two options first shows the advantages and disadvantages of a standard solution: thoroughly tried and tested, you know relatively quickly where you stand! The software is just the way it is – and it works in more or less the same way for all users, even across company boundaries. And when it comes to planning, standard software also scores points with easily calculable resource expenditure, both financially and in terms of capacity. Sounds good, but it also harbours the danger of unadapted and rigid digital processes that have little in common with the real image in production and cannot adequately support it. A lack of user acceptance and the resulting failure of software projects are often the result!

So custom programming is better after all? A system that is 100 % tailored to one’s own requirements and fits like the tailor-made suit already mentioned! This seems like a logical alternative and can probably be quite convincing in the short term. However, in direct comparison with standardised solutions, it is relatively likely that the initial costs and efforts will be noticeably higher.

In addition, such solutions are often little tested and prone to errors. Another (usually insurmountable) challenge arises from the enormous agility of digitalisation. An overly high degree of individuality makes adjustments, updates and further developments practically impossible.

 

The customisable standard software

The solution to this dilemma is obvious: customisable standard software! Sounds logical and simple, and that’s exactly what it should be: at least for the user! MES provider Industrie Informatik has been working on this software philosophy for many years, based on the following insight: Digitisation measures in different companies usually differ in their depth and characteristics just as much as the production processes themselves – and yet parallels and similarities can always be found. This is precisely where the leverage arises that needs to be applied!

With cronetwork MES, you basically have standard software, but with a unique update philosophy! All users have access to a uniform software master, which always provides all functions, solutions and updates that have ever been developed in the latest version. If new developments are added, they are included in the annual update and are thus also available to the entire user community – individual programming is therefore out of the question!

So why “customisable” standard software? Because all users use the same software (standard), but they already use it today and will continue to use it in different ways (individual) in the future!

«Our strategy is to make the impossible possible: standard software supports companies on the way to their very own Smart Factory.»

Bernd Steinbrenner :: Chief Commercial Officer

Modular system and online shop for the Smart Factory

Industrie Informatik relies on its own portal technology and thus provides the answer to the individualisation requirements of the modern smart factory! From simple dashboards to complex workflows, new solutions are designed as portals.

This is done using a construction kit of standard elements (portlets) that are optimised for their intended use, take over frequently required tasks and can be easily parameterised (not programmed!!!) and thus adapted. With little effort and high speed, completely new, customised portals can be built. The special thing about it: all portals remain 100% release and update-capable and can also be seamlessly integrated into future versions of the software! In addition, Industrie Informatik promises the continuous new and further development of the solutions offered.

A lot can also be expected from the new Solution Store, an online shop where individual portlets, pre-configured portals, but also cross-system processes, etc. can be downloaded quickly and with just a few clicks and implemented directly in your own system!

 

Opening of own systems

Another important aspect of the customised factory of the future is the close integration of different systems, technologies and applications into ONE system landscape. Standard technologies such as web services can be an essential key to such third-party system integration and enable unique “best-of-breed” solutions – users choose the best of all worlds and combine it into an integrative, high-performance manufacturing execution platform that is based on standard technologies despite all individuality!

In this context, innovative low-code and no-code technologies should also be mentioned, which enable users to quickly and independently design individual solutions and applications even without deep programming knowledge.

 

Conclusion

The “customisable standard software” certainly also provides one or two entry hurdles! Initial costs and expenses can be somewhat higher compared to off-the-shelf solutions, and specific know-how development is required before the software can be used for the first time!

But as mentioned at the beginning, the path to the smart factory is not a sprint, but an evolutionary process. With the right technologies and approaches, you can design your own smart factory individually from the very beginning and adapt it to real production processes – with extensive flexibility, the possibility of constant further development and perhaps most importantly: guaranteed investment and update security!

Ein Computer zeigt ein cronetwork Portal

Flexibly adjustable user interfaces provide the right information, at the right time, in the right place.

In the Industrie Informatik Solution Store, individual portlets, pre-configured portals, but also cross-system processes can be downloaded quickly and with just a few clicks and implemented in your own system.

Do you want to rely on standards and still make targeted use of individualisations?
We will be happy to advise you free of charge and without obligation!
Contact us now!