Over the past five years, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology and Industry 4.0 practices have evolved, providing manufacturing organizations with access to more information than ever before. At the same time, manufacturers are under increasing pressure to manage the global supply chain more efficiently. While traditional on-premise manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions have eased some of the complexities associated with coordinating factory production processes, implementation costs and integration challenges have limited their widespread use. Now, California-based 42Q has changed the business model for MES with a cloud-based platform, eliminating traditional barriers to digital factory transformation.
As a cloud-native solution, users can configure 42Q according to their production environment, without significant investment in budget or IT resources, and gain access to factory floor data, end-user analytics and reporting in as little as six to eight weeks. Implementations can start with a few lines, or an entire plant and then scale across multiple factories as needed. The 42Q cloud platform was designed by its parent company, Sanmina, to manage complexity across its factories. Today, Sanmina has 26,000 pieces of global manufacturing equipment connected to the cloud and has deployed 42Q in 60 of its factories worldwide.
Key benefits manufacturing organizations are realizing with 42Q include:
Global factory and supply chain visibility. Busy procurement executives can stay updated on the status of work in progress (WIP) levels and other key metrics by remotely connecting to a digital twin, or a virtual rendering of a factory floor at any facility. Data generated throughout production is converted into visual signals so executives know exactly what’s happening at the product, workstation, production floor, plant, regional and global levels.
The system can also be pre-programmed to send real-time alerts to staff when production activity operates outside of preset limits, encouraging a more proactive factory culture.
Error-free production for highly regulated industries. Because factory equipment, materials and workers’ actions are scanned via bar code into the cloud, a ‘forced quality framework’ can be implemented to avoid common errors in the manufacturing process. For audits, a comprehensive historical record of all operator actions, test data, in-process data and component data is stored and conveniently accessible via the cloud. If a device recall does occur, manufacturing personnel know in a matter of hours the status and location of all impacted assemblies.
Comprehensive data security. As global cybersecurity incidents escalate, companies are recognizing that 42Q’s multitenant cloud-based MES enhances security, leveraging built-in security protocols associated with leading cloud service providers. Since moving 42Q to the cloud four years ago, customers have seen greater than 99.9 percent availability, while providing greater security than on-premise servers and software.
Manufacturing agility. One customer has designed a portable factory that can be packed, transported and quickly brought into service, allowing it to quickly design and test new products at key locations.42Q delivers automated process control and real-time visibility into critical manufacturing analytics, regardless of where a factory is temporarily deployed, for greater agility, flexibility and cost savings.
As global supply chains and production processes continue to become more complex, cloud technology from 42Q is helping manufacturers more efficiently streamline operations, enforce compliance and develop innovative approaches to manufacturing, while keeping their data safe.