Vertical integration of production systems for resource efficiency determination
The current trend of digitalising processes as well as the manufacturing environment in general within the context of Industry 4.0 offers a wide range of opportunities such as increase of productivity and performance, individualisation or quality but entails challenges as well. These include especially for small and medium enterprises (SME) the proper selection and introduction of production systems, selection of entities to be digitalized as well as setting up the suitable Industry 4.0 environment. Besides the mentioned aspects, digitalisation by means of vertical integration of production systems offers the opportunity of increasing the transparency of processes, e.g. regarding resource consumptions which founds the basis for improvements in resource efficiency. This aspect is worth being considered due to the constantly increasing prices of production factors caused by resource scarcity and cost-intensive labor. To use Industry 4.0 as a driver for productivity in manufacturing and increase transparency, literature suggests the vertical integration of production systems. The integration of data within production systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES) and sensors enable to develop meaningful key performance indicator (KPI) about the manufacturing processes performance. This concept includes the use of gathered process data and their aggregation to knowledge about the most relevant resources. Together with the intelligent selection of necessary datasets within e.g. ERP or MES, an intelligent interconnection leads to the meaningful calculation of resource consumptions. For a useful preparation of companies for the presented Industry 4.0 transformation process, this paper strives to (1) select the most relevant activities in the main corresponding research areas, (2) identify the major industrial requirements, (3) evaluate existing approaches regarding those and (4) finally derive further research demand about this vertical integration approachs development as well as its implementation into an existing manufacturing environment.