Connected machines and plants are only the first step to building a digital factory in the era of Industry 4.0. When it comes to accessing true value added, companies need to gather and analyse data in real time – which is where SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud (SAP DMC) comes in.
Tasks and functions of SAP DMC
As a fully cloud-based Manufacturing Execution System (MES), SAP Manufacturing Cloud focuses on execution, data analysis, control and integration of manufacturing processes, and therefore creates the foundations for a digital factory implementation. Its key tasks and functions include:
Collection of critical process data
Countless data points are generated every second in a connected production environment. These form the basis for pervasive automation and intelligent control using informed decision-making.
Analysis of production data
Of course, data is only half the story. Cloud applications and services such as analytics, AI and machine learning are required to generate the added value from connected machines.
Process modelling and execution
Machines often speak different languages and dialects. SAP DMC harmonises all of the production processes on the shop floor to ensure everything runs smoothly.
SAP DMC puts ERP data into context with process data. It creates a comprehensive and complete picture of the company’s value chains as the basis for efficient deployment of resources.
Building the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
The Digital Manufacturing Cloud consists of several components. The two most important are:
SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution
SAP DMCe gives companies a cloud-based approach to running manufacturing control, production process monitoring, resource and job management and to scenarios for technical integration of machinery and equipment. Since the solution is provided via the cloud in Software as a Service (SaaS) format, the companies do not need access to the usual local physical infrastructure in the form of their own data centre, for example, which is normally a prerequisite for traditional MES solutions.
SAP Digital Manufacturing Insights
SAP DMCi is the central, site-independent cloud-based performance management solution for the requirements of manufacturing. It ensures data integration in SAP and non-SAP environments in a range of production and automation systems to enable capture, provisioning and visualisation of KPIs in real time. This creates a global and transparent basis for tactical and strategic decision making to improve production performance by implementing continuous improvement (CI) measures in processes.
Benefits of SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
As part of SAP’s Industry 4.Now programme, and its key component for digital manufacturing, SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud offers users numerous benefits:
Out-of-the-box integration with S/4HANA and SAP ERP
By combining production data with process data, companies can obtain a better overview of their entire value chain. Previously unexploited synergies can then be identified and OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) can be increased.
Harmonised KPIs and data analysis
When companies use a harmonised SAP system with standardised data, they can use a system such as SAP MII to objectively assess factors such as the performance of individual machines or the entire plant and keep an eye on targets at all times.
Whether using mobile devices, human interfaces or transparent dashboards, with horizontal and vertical integration, and analysis of all data and processes, managers can keep an eye on all of their processes at all times, and reach informed decisions.
SAP DMC: Example
The capacity for innovation offered by the Digital Manufacturing Cloud is demonstrated by a pioneering project run by Syntax and Smart Press Shop GmbH & Co., a joint venture between Porsche and moulding specialist Schuler. Using SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud for Execution and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials, Syntax created a largely autonomous plant, which was integrated from the top floor to the shop floor. The entire SAP system is operated completely in the cloud, with no local on-premises installation required. Thanks to the integrated production and ERP data, workers can obtain an overview of all of the key information they need at any time, using tailored, intuitive UIs. This extremely transparent plant control system allows core questions about issues such as machine performance, material quality and optimum job sequencing to be answered quickly using the data, thereby maximising the efficiency and flexibility benefits of the digital production system.
Syntax – your partner for SAP DMC
The advantages and opportunities of the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud are as numerous as the challenges that face manufacturers. That is why these companies need a partner that understands them and the specific requirements of their industry. With many years of experience and countless successful project completions, Syntax not only understands the industrial settings but, as an SAP partner from the earliest days, also knows exactly how to implement customers’ wishes and requirements in appropriate SAP systems. A further advantage is our proven multi-cloud expertise. Whether the challenge suggests a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid model, or a regional or global roll-out, we find the ideal cloud solution together with our customers. And since flexibility is not just about the cloud, Syntax offers options for individual service reservations on a subscription model when it comes to product licensing. So companies have transparency over what they are using.
FAQ: SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
What is SAP DMC?
SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud is a full Manufacturing Execution System (MES) based on real-time data and analysis. Together with the on-premises systems SAP ME and SAP MII, it forms the SAP Digital Manufacturing Suite. SAP DMC gathers and analyses process-related data in real time, controls all of the critical production processes and integrates them with the SAP ERP systems to provide users with a transparent view of all workflows. The complete provisioning through the cloud results in massive cost savings in terms of infrastructure, operations and maintenance compared with on-premises models.
Can I adapt the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud to my own requirements and/or combine it with existing systems?
While SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud is highly standardised, it can also be customised and adapted. This is enabled by the SAP Business Technology Platform (previously SAP Cloud Platform). These modifications are often very complex, so it is recommended that a proven SAP Partner is engaged. The same applies to integration with existing on-premises installations. Depending on the starting point, it is not always sensible to move all of the production systems to the cloud, but integration via Cloud Platform Integration Setup and Cloud Connector is best undertaken by experienced professionals.