July 19, 2012 // By: Claudia Linke // A Revolution in Production
In the first project, SAP is aiming to deploy SAP HANA to interpret large volumes of production data and to use this information to optimize ongoing production processes. This project is all about steering production in such a way that resources, particularly time, are used efficiently. Also involved in the project is RWTH Aachen, which recently earned the title of “elite university” once again.
Another forward-looking project connected with Industry 4.0 focuses on managing the deployment of manufacturing workers. This project is taking place in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO). Currently, when employees are needed for extra shifts, they are required to enter their availability on a notepad on the factory floor. In the future, however, employees will receive a message on their smartphone asking them whether they are available to work and when. The idea is that the employee receives a simple request on his or her smartphone and can then decide whether to work an extra number of hours on a given day. At the same time, the company can see at a glance whether the employee is actually entitled to do overtime. This social network-style approach is intended to simplify the tedious process of coordinating shifts and to make data available quickly in systems such as SAP ERP. As a result, employees can easily add or take credits from their time accounts and the company can keep its production process flexible. Bearing in mind the highly volatile nature of production demand, the ability to deploy employees flexibly is a major advantage.
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