Digitization of production: Comarch puts the Internet of Production for SMEs into practice


Take a peek into the future of production and logistics. You will find that the ability to leverage information effectively will be a key condition for competitive production. Operating ERP systems contact-free as well as tracking employees, processes, and components – all these things have already become reality at RWTH Aachen Campus. Comarch’s role at this campus is to help further the Internet of Production by taking part in two different projects. For one thing, we are trying to realize a contact-free and automatic way to transmit feedback from the production line directly to the ERP system. The second project concerns asset tracking within the production line but also outside of the plant, e.g. tracking car parts during transport. The demonstration factory in Aachen is the perfect environment for field-testing Comarch’s research. It is the location of both pilot and series production of the e.GO Life model – the famous e-car that has lately caused a great stir in the media. Not surprising then that the FIR is receiving a substantial amount of orders, all of them from the private sector. Since the beginning of 2018, Comarch’s business units Comarch ERP and Comarch IoT have been research partners to the FIR, contributing to projects in the institute’s Connected Industry and Enterprise Resource Planning centers. Using a “digital shadow” of all relevant data, the entire production process is digitally mapped. In this way, prognostic methods such as artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, and big data can be realized and broadly applied. Small and medium-sized businesses are the pillars of the German economy, and as such they need to accelerate and strengthen their efforts in staying on top of things with regard to digitization. We are an industrial member association and, as a partner of this research cluster, we want to cooperate with the industry on realizing solutions that can be deployed as fast as possible. This is why industrial partners such as Comarch are extremely important to us. We visualize and test this process in the ERP Lab based on the production line of a miniature car. Automatic data capture is pivotal for optimizing production in industry 4.0. This technology will grant employees in different areas access to real-time information on the status of individual production orders whenever they need it. As a result, the sales department is able to check the statuses of sales department is able to check the statuses of sales orders and the final customer can look up the status of their order via the Comarch Webshop or a collaboration cockpit. This will clear the way for direct-to-customer sales. Drawing inspiration from similar methods applied in the retail industry, the research cluster uses Comarch IoT Beacons to implement a track and trace system for an automobile supply chain. This involves end-to-end tracking of components, loading aids, and resources with the help of small Bluetooth transmitters called beacons. This method is of particular interest for small and medium-sized businesses. The results of this project are not only relevant for car makers, but also for a large number of other producers and potential users who want to shorten search times in production as well as calculate and use their production resources more efficiently. With our research in the Center Connected Industries, we are exhausting the full scope of possibilities that conventional interconnected IT systems can offer. This is why we are pleased to have an innovative ERP and IoT solution provider such as Comarch at our side here in Aachen to help us put the Internet of Production into practice. The goal of these projects is to develop solutions for the Internet of Production that are viable, sustainable, and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. With the Aachen demonstration factory admitting visitors, several of Comarch’s customers from the ERP and IoT units were already able to experience the research first-hand and to appreciate its focus on practically relevant questions, the answers to which Comarch plans to incorporate in its ERP standard. The partner for digitization

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