I would like to come back to an aspect of the Open Integrated Factory shown by SAP at the Hannover Fair 2016.
One common pain point in manufacturing is that for relatively small changes in production system engineering of equipment is required.
This could be for example the set up that is needed for the introduction of a new version of a component manufactured, changes in routings or the update of an individual station in a production process. And this means in most cases that engineering and software (PLC) coding is required.
Now SAP has shown a way how to reduce the engineering effort by pushing the integration between stations and machines in a production line to the OPC layer. By using OPC SAP ME and SAP PCo can be used to orchestrate the collaboration between individual machines and cells. With this technology no more PLC coding is required but manufacturing services are orchestrated using graphical IT tools.
This is a big step towards “Plug and Produce” capabilities as the set up of the production line is configured in the routing of the products produced rather than coded into the PLC.
Press release of Partner Beckhoff: https://www.beckhoff.com/english.asp?beckhoff/trade_show_hmi_sap_showcase.htm
Additional information (German) http://www.automationspraxis.de/home/-/article/33568397/42107621/SAP-spielt-SPS