edited, Image Source: UlrichAAB
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.
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.
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.