A manufacturing technology expert has solved many of the integration problems currently affecting the sector in its adoption of Industry 4.0. K3 Syspro has released to the market a purpose built systems integration and data manipulation tool, which enables businesses to become more efficient through automating processes. The solution, called DataSwitch, has been made available at a time when the Institute of Mechanical Engineers has revealed that only eight per cent of manufacturers have a significant understanding of Industry 4.0 processes, and 64 per cent of these are looking towards automation software to improve production processes.
Cathie Hall, managing director of K3 Syspro, said that the problem hampering Industry 4.0 acceleration is not the adoption of technology in manufacturing, but the integration and communication between different business systems, a problem which DataSwitch aims to solve.
She said: “There is a lot of technology already implemented into manufacturing and businesses are generally good at recognising there is a need for new systems, and implementing them. The problem is that many businesses are doing this at the point of need, rather than stepping back and looking at their overall technology strategy. The result is a number of disparate systems that automate certain areas of the supply chain, but which do not communicate or integrate with each other for complete automation.
“DataSwitch solves this problem by enabling businesses to communicate and integrate various business systems, setting up unique work streams from one single source. It fills the integration gap that many manufacturing businesses are missing, and can empower people to automate without the need for any technical skills.”
DataSwitch harnesses the Internet of Things to integrate front-office and back-office management and production systems, to help manufacturing businesses better manage, utilise, and analyse the data available to them. It can automate Advanced Shipping Notices and the subsequent confirmation of dispatched orders with a logistics company, facilitate the creation of Bills of Materials by integrating an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to a CAD solution or even automate the issuing of works orders to machinery on the shop floor, streamlining processes and ensuring that machinery is working at full potential.
It’s a technology that K3 Syspro has often used to help manufacturers create third party integration with SYSPRO ERP applications, but DataSwitch can be used throughout the supply chain for automation and integration and is ERP and device agnostic.
“A lot of manufacturing businesses are focused around automating their factories and production, and few think about the bigger picture, which is automating the wider supply chain,” said Hall. “Technology projects need to create value and improve processes across the supply chain in order to be successful, and DataSwitch facilitates this. It’s not just the manufacturing sector that needs to embrace Industry 4.0, but all those value partners associated with manufacturing, and that is where improved automation is required.”