Automation Levels
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How ERP and machines/plants find each other

A continuous data flow across all automation levels up to the ERP system is the vision of many companies. In times of digitalization and industry 4.0, no modern company can avoid the connection of machine and plant data.

The integration of production and machine data, which is so important, often fails due to high costs and time expenditure. This does not happen with our PLCDataSuite: It makes it possible to connect machines and systems with Siemens S7 controllers quickly, easily and cost-effectively. All common ERP systems, such as SAP, are compatible with our solution.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for “Enterprise-Resource-Planning” and thus serves the resource planning of a company. The ERP system integrates various operational data into one database. The best known and most frequently used system is SAP.

Why does a connection make sense?

ERP is used to capture all business processes. Data is connected via a common database. The ERP uses the synergy effects between the company divisions, such as production, finance, sales and personnel. For example, it can be useful to link warehousing with capital and personnel planning in order to control just-in-time production. However, the connection does not usually extend to the control level (machines and plants). However, this makes sense.

Advantages:

  • Data is available to all business areas

  • Always up to date

  • Better job control

  • Optimized production process

  • Versatile analysis options

Consistent data flow in the sense of industry 4.0

Consistent data flow in the sense of industry 4.0

The hurdle of connection

 

Connecting the PLC control of a machine to the ERP landscape used to be a challenge. An interface had to be programmed individually for each machine or system. Additional software or hardware components often had to be purchased. This caused high costs and was quite time-consuming. This prevented many companies from implementing the advantageous connection.

Instead, manual data entry via terminal was often implemented. This possibility, which is also not inexpensive, has further disadvantages. Inconsistent data records can result from incorrect entries. It should also be noted that manual work always slows down the production process.

Excursus:

ERP vs. Inventory management

Even though ERP and inventory management are often used as synonyms, they are not the same. Rather, inventory management is an element of ERP. A inventory management system documents the flow of goods. Consisting of procurement, logistics, storage and transport. The ERP system, on the other hand, has the task of documenting all the resources of a company for control purposes. Here not only goods, but all aspects of a company are considered – often also beyond the company borders. The aim is to use resources more efficiently and thus improve business processes.

With our SPSDataSuite the connection is simply automatic

With our PLCDataSuite, a connection to ERP is very easy

Our PLCDataSuite replaces the time-consuming, analogous comparison of machine data with ERP data. And that’s a good thing, because errors can happen quickly. This can lead to inaccuracies or even the loss of data.

Automatic synchronization with our software is also much faster and more efficient. As a result, the machine information is then available to all business units and company levels. Analyses for the operative business are thus possible faster and more precisely.

All processes, including the production processes, can always be recorded and evaluated up-to-date. On the one hand, this can serve quality assurance. On the other hand, it closes the gap between purchasing and sales.

From the PLCDataReader Lite to the PLCDataSuite company license, our standard software offers an interface to all ERP systems. The DataReader reads data from your machine or system and writes it into a CSV file. The CSV file format can be read by any ERP system. Thus you can automatically transfer production data, machine parameters and other important data to your ERP system.

With PLCDataSuite you can also write data from the ERP system into the machine or plant and thus initiate production orders and transfer component data. The best thing about it is that it takes place automatically. No more incorrect and time-consuming terminal entries.

Features of our PLCDataSuite

  • Easy to configure

  • CSV interface to all ERP systems in principle

  • Proven and reliable

  • Cost-effective to purchase and operate

The PLCDataSuite enables job control. The suite combines the PLCDataReader and the PLCDataWriter. Thus it is not only possible to read the data from the PLC and write them into the ERP database, but also to change them. The function of the PLCDataWriter offers the possibility to read data from the CSV file and to write it to the PLC. Production orders can be loaded into the machine. These can be, for example, recipes for the product to be produced. A target-oriented control of the production process is thus possible in an efficient and time-saving manner.

PLCDataReader

Read data from the S7

PLCDataWriter

Writing data to the S7

PLCDataSuite

Reader + Writer = Suite