IT in manufacturing

The use of IT in manufacturing is as unavoidable as it is challenging. On the one hand, the complexity and speed of processes in manufacturing can no longer be effectively controlled without powerful systems. The right IT solutions provide rationalisation, automation and transparency; they also increase responsiveness and efficiency. And last but not least, they provide the basis for the transformation of classical factories into smart factories.

On the other hand, IT systems also inevitably increase the overall complexity of the system – because their main focus is management and not the reduction of complexity. In this way, poorly managed IT systems may drive up not only the costs and vulnerability of manufacturing and achieve the opposite of their actual goals. But they also thwart the objectives of lean initiatives aimed at reducing Waste, complexity and inefficiency: The flow principle, which is a key component of Lean Management, is often difficult to reconcile with order-based push systems. Therefore, the question as to how the principles of lean manufacturing can be reconciled with the use of classic ERP and MESsystems, PDM/PLM solutions and IoT or Industry 4.0 elements is a focal point for IT projects in the manufacturing industry.

Mann an einer Maschine
Nahaufnahme eines mechanischen Roboterarms
The use of IT in manufacturing is essential today. ©Gorodenkoff/©oYOo/shutterstock.com

The ROI approach links the strengths of classic IT, Industry 4.0 technologies and lean initiatives: Slimline, robust and largely self-controlling manufacturing processes with simultaneous use of modern information technology. In our projects, we ensure that the feasibility and economic efficiency of the concepts is also ensured with regard to IT, the possibilities of existing IT systems are optimally exploited and that the targeted use of MESsystems and IoT platforms enables continuous networking of products, machines and employees. ROI draws on extensive expertise to support complex process, organisational and SAP transformation projects with a special focus on SAP S/4HANA transformation:

  • Accompaniment of the entire process from the conception of the IT architecture via implementation planning and vendor selection to operational implementation, manufacturing start and accompanying change management
  • Definition of the optimal migration and implementation approach with regard to costs, benefits, risk and speed and the necessary adjustments in organization, management and employee qualification 
  • Blue Print for the beneficial use of S/4HANA, for example in the real-time planning of cross-plant production processes
  • Control and monitoring of IT service providers
  • Digitization of manufacturing management (e.g. shop floor management) and problem-solving processes (e.g. CIP / PDCA) 
  • Conception and implementation support of mobile solutions such as the use of tablets, Smart Glasses, etc.
  • Implementation of predictive quality and predictive maintenance
  • Use of Big Data for forecasts, simulations and scenario comparisons 
  • Development of innovative IoT services by connecting sensors, products and machines