Smart Manufacturing needs Architecture Redefined

youtubeSmart manufacturing needs new IT Architecture definition such as RAMI 4.0 model to seamlessly connect various aspects of manufacturing like Product Lifecycle Management, Efficient & Resilient Operations, Supply Chain Management, Product Tracking, Customer satisfaction, Sustainability, etc.

Figure 0 1: Koschnick, Gunther – The Reference Architectural Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0), 1-04-2015,


An enterprise or factory follows the IEC 62890, 62264/ IEC 61512 standards to meet its integration needs. But it possesses several challenges and opportunities that may be different for green field and brown field projects with legacy systems. Also, the hierarchies may not be defined as single axis anymore but can be split into multiple axis.

For example, hierarchy for Materials management may differ from Operations management. Also, there could be different hierarchies for Physical, Logical or Organizational entities. Unless we redefine the standards and interconnectivities among various hierarchies, we can’t ensure the fruitful outcome from a successful integration.

For example, a downtime of machine or cell must be differentiated as logical or maintenance, process, or quality related issue to identify the true status of production operations. A real-time remedial action can be taken using this status / information or comparing with its digital twin model for any deviation and simulation.

The guidelines for new system integration techniques with Industry 4.0 tools, technology and practices must be established in a framework to maximise the benefits. This will help to make contextualized data available in real time at Enterprise level for analytic engines to run for different KPIs and Business goals that was not possible so far such as – lower inventory levels, predictive and prescriptive maintenance, lower downtime, maximum asset performance and life, increased efficiency, and availability of equipment and many more.

In a modern automation pyramid, data can be exchanged between all layers without going through proper hierarchy as shown below.

Figure 0 2: Source OPC Foundation. Reshape the Automation Pyramid, March 2016

(Source :

However, just connecting the machines / equipment to collect the data from sensors in real-time is not enough. Data needs proper harmonisation and contextualisation while implementing at scale during edge deployment. As shown below, it doesn’t matter which layer or control system is the source of real time data if it follows corrected naming standard for proper harmonisation, stored as UTC time stamped and contextualized.

Figure 0 3: Real Time Data flow.

Once the proper real time data has the synchronised UTC time stamps, it can be correlated to Shift number, Production or Calendar Day, Operator/ Team member, Product Models, Batch, Op-Station, or Machine, Line, Area, Site, etc. Only then the effective decision-making can be automated by management platforms at various levels.
#IOT, #IIOT, #Industry4.0, #Cloud #HierarchialArchitectures, #ITOTConvergence, #EDGE, #ISA95 #RAMI #PERA #MES

About the Author:

Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa
Principal Consultant – Eviden

Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa is a Chartered Engineer with over 30 years of Global experience in IT-OT Convergence with Integration for manufacturing industry. Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa goal is to empathize and understand the real-world business needs of our industry and provide IT- OT integration solutions and services with utmost diligence and quality at scale.

Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa was fortunate to travel to many countries in last 30+ years during my professional career and learn while working with professionals in Manufacturing, Industrial Automation, and IT & OT systems. Engaged in consulting services for several years with industry in finding business use cases of Shop Floor/ Process Data over Layers 1-4 using innovative Technologies such as Industry 4.0/MoM/MES/DCS/PLC/ SCADA/ Mobility / Edge / Cloud Computing/ Smart Sensors that suits and aligns with their business model and strategy.

Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa Recent Achievements :

Lead Technical member of a Successful Consulting Team of Design & Implementation of a complex MES/SCADA System at Global Automobile OEM in Europe.

Conducted repeats of Sessions on IIoT/IoT for Manufacturing Industry, and Management Institutes

Proud member of a Successful Delivery Team of Design & Implementation of a complex SAP ME/MII Solution at Global Paint Manufacturing units in India.

Consultant to North American Automotive OEMs for productivity improvement at various automation layers

Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa is Bestowed with the following Licenses & Certifications :

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Also read Mr. Sunil K. Wadhwa’s earlier article :