manufacturingtechnologyinsights

42Q: Instant IoT for Digital Factory Transformation

CIO VendorSrivats Ramaswami, CTO
The manufacturing industry is going digital. With technologies like IIoT and analytics being the torchbearers of the industry 4.0 movement, factory floors are in a state of borderline panic; how can one differentiate investments that bring value from those that are just hype? ‘MES offerings promise an efficient and transformative factory floor, but at what cost? And where do I start?’—is the concern among many manufacturing executives. With most MES solutions available today, factory floors are bridging OT with a rather ‘traditional’ IT, where everything—from connection, equipment, servers, and trained staff to name a few—is on premise. California based 42Q is redefining IIoT as ‘Instant’ IoT, by providing a true cloud-based MES that eliminates the need for factories to invest in IT infrastructure.

“Our solution accelerates the implementation of factory automation, Machine to Machine (M2M) communication, real-time process data collection and data analytics - all key elements of IIoT and Industry 4.0,” says Srivats Ramaswami, CTO of 42Q. As a cloud-native solution, 42Q can be set up by users without the need for IT personnel or investments in server hardware. Implementations can start with a single cell, a single line, or an entire plant, then scale across multiple plants as rapidly as the company requires. Development of the 42Q solution was spurred by the needs of 42Q’s parent company, Sanmina [NASDAQ:SANM] for an agile SaaS solution to manage its enormous global production operations. Creators of 42Q were quick to realize the value it could deliver to factories: achieving digital transformation in as few as six to eight weeks.

42Q caters to factories spread across 15 countries, and has recently added OEE capabilities into its robust feature-set. For a senior VP of operations who travels frequently, 42Q supports a virtual factory floor, with all control parameters, available anytime and anywhere; procurement officers can now get a bird’s eye view of their supply chains, all the way down to an order’s delivery status.

Our solution accelerates the implementation of factory automation, M2M communication, real-time process data collection and data analytics


42Q also offers a robust set of functionality for quality management operations. For example, assemblers can be scanned at each workstation, and even the production operator’s training records can be verified before an operation can be launched at the workstation.

Another unique factor of 42Q is its proven use in highly regulated industries. With customers in the medical, automotive and aerospace verticals, 42Q stays ahead of new developments in these sectors. Along with best practices common to these industry verticals, including documentation, measuring output, and error proofing, 42Q also meets the underlying requirements specific to each industry. “Compliance requirements like ISO/TS 16949 in the auto industry or 21 CFR Part 11 in the medical device industry are in the DNA of the software,” points out Ramaswami. As evidence of these capabilities, Ramaswami points to a customer implementation that is successfully running full no-touch automation lines for medical device manufacturing, and shipping millions of products per year. Using 42Q, the client manufactures these products with automatic electronic test data uploaded to the cloud, and with full component traceability for every device, including parts and subassemblies. The product then undergoes fully automated calibration with zero human intervention, resulting in an error-free manufacturing process.

In summary, 42Q’s ready-to-deploy functionality empowers manufacturers with features including traceability, serialization, routing, and work instructions - which can be configured and used on day 1, without the high upfront costs of IT hardware or software license. Manufacturers also get the flexibility to pay for only what they need—when they need it—resulting in significant cost and implementation advantages.