Cloud manufacturing

One secure location for all your production data

What is Cloud Manufacturing?

Cloud manufacturing is the application of cloud computing in manufacturing. It enables manufacturers to connect, share, and manage data and resources using the Internet. The concept of cloud manufacturing was proposed as a way to apply cloud computing to the global manufacturing industry. It can improve manufacturing efficiency and flexibility, and reduce costs. 

Cloud MES is driving new opportunities:

  • Horizontal integration of suppliers across the value chain 
    • Cloud-based MES solutions can help to improve horizontal integration across the supply chain. This is because cloud-based solutions can provide visibility into the manufacturing process from end to end. This visibility can help to identify bottlenecks and optimize the manufacturing process. 
  • Tracking carbon emissions
    • Cloud-based MES solutions can help factories track their carbon emissions. By tracking production data, such as energy use, in the cloud, factories can identify opportunities to reduce their emissions. Additionally, cloud-based MES solutions can help factories track their progress towards emissions reduction goals. 
  • Seamless mergers and acquisitions 
    • Cloud-based MES solutions can help factories seamlessly merge with or acquire other factories. By tracking production data in the cloud, factories can easily share data between factories. Additionally, cloud-based MES solutions can help factories keep track of production schedules and recipes, making it easy to transition to a new factory. 
  • Dynamic production scheduling 
    • Cloud-based MES solutions can help factories dynamically schedule production. By tracking production data in the cloud, factories can quickly identify changes in demand and adjust production accordingly. Additionally, cloud-based MES solutions can help factories automatically generate production schedules based on customer orders. 
  • Development of new services
    • Cloud-based MES solutions can help factories develop new services. By tracking production data in the cloud, factories can quickly identify opportunities to develop new requirements for services which can improve their production. Additionally, cloud-based MES solutions can help factories track customer demand for new services. 

Cloud solution architecture - what does it look like?

A cloud-based MES solution typically includes a web-based user interface, a database, and application servers. The web-based user interface provides users with access to the MES solution from any location with an internet connection. The database stores data about the manufacturing process, such as recipes, production schedules, and product data. The application servers host the MES software and provide the processing power for the solution.

mes system in the cloud architecture scheme

Cloud-based MES or on-premise, what are the differences?

Cloud-based MES or on-premise, what are the differences? 

There are many differences between on-premise and cloud-based MES solutions. One of the biggest differences is that on-premise solutions are typically more expensive to implement and maintain than cloud-based solutions. On-premise solutions also require more IT infrastructure and support than cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based solutions are typically easier to implement and require less IT support. Another difference is that on-premise solutions are usually more customizable than cloud-based solutions. On-premise solutions can also be more difficult to upgrade than cloud-based solutions.

Which is better for your business?

The best answer for this question depends on the specific needs of your business. If you have a large budget and the need for a lot of customization, an on-premise MES solution may be a better option. If you have limited resources and the need for a less complex solution, a cloud-based MES solution may be a better option.

MES functionality is increasingly moving to the cloud. ~46% of manufacturers have or are considering cloud MES 
 

According to a 2018 AWS / IDC survey of German and American MES users

46%

Cloud in a production environment

What are the benefits and drawbacks?

Cloud-based MES solutions have many benefits, including lower upfront costs, lower IT support costs, and easier implementation. However, cloud-based solutions can be less customizable than on-premise solutions and may be more difficult to upgrade. Find out what solution suits your business best by contacting us today.

 Benefits

 Drawbacks

Cloud means a new approach to development – DevOps

Cloud-based MES solutions require a new approach to development, called DevOps. DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development and IT operations to deliver applications and services faster. DevOps is essential for cloud-based MES solutions because of the need to rapidly develop and deploy new features and updates.

 

Cloud means new methodology – DevOps approach:

  1. Adopt cloud-native tools and practices
  2. Managed services over self-maintenance
  3. Re-architect toward adoption of new concepts
  4. Achieve self-healing capabilities
  5. SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) for managing different environments and automating migration between environment

The goal for using the new methodology is:

  1. Automation of deployment and quality assurance (Automated upgrades and installation process)
  2. CI/CD – continuous integration and delivery
  3. Automated provisioning of infrastructure and its scalability (IaaS)
  4. Usage of cloud-native tools for performance monitoring, logging, security, code scanning, audits, etc.
  5. Automated testing (unit and end-2-end) as part of SDLC

Security of production data in the cloud - what to pay attention to?

One of the biggest concerns with cloud-based MES solutions is the security of production data. Production data is often sensitive and confidential, so it is important to choose a MES solution that has strong security features. Look for a solution that offers user authentication, data encryption, and access control.

Modern approach to SLA – split of responsibility:

Responsibilities:

  • The cloud service provider takes responsibility for everything that is happening in the Cloud.
  • The customer is responsible for providing internet service and performing maintenance tasks on connectivity infrastructure and Edge devices.

 

Disaster Recovery:

  • All data is periodically backup up in the Cloud using Recovery Services.
  • Data redundancy should be set on Zone level which prevents loss of any data at twelve nines, but backups are still performed to have a way to recover from ANT data corruption or deletion caused by a bug or other destructive behaviors of the systems and its users.
  • The server itself should be automatically recreated on another Node when the cluster self-heals. In an extreme case of cluster failure, a new cluster from CI/CD should be created and the service will be deployed.
 
 

Cloud solutions in the factory - how much does it cost?

The cost of a cloud-based MES solution depends on many factors, such as the number of users, the number of production lines, and the level of customization. Contact us today to get a customized quote for your business.

cloud-server-2

Get Cloud MES For Your Factory with ANT

ANT is a leading provider of cloud-based MES solutions. Our solutions are designed to help manufacturers optimize their production processes and improve their bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and get a free demo.

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