Articles C2 Fall 2022

Recap HPE Discover 2022

The future of automotive manufacturing is digital. This future is already reality for at least one German premium manufacturer. A fully digital production control system improves processes and quality, reduces cost, and creates flexibility – all at the same time. The Manufacturing Execution System PLUS from abat ensures that the IT landscape does not become even more complex and thus unmanageable. PLUS also offers maximum availability and failure safety – in part thanks to the HPE NonStop. “HPE NonStop is the ideal basis for PLUS,” says Peter Grendel, Managing Director of abat AG and CEO of abat+ GmbH in St. Ingbert. He notes that the NonStop is adaptable, even offering a hardware-independent virtualized version, extensive tools for DevOps, as well as modern and open support for easy programming and integration. According to Grendel, companies “keep their manufacturing at the top of innovation with PLUS on HPE NonStop.”

abat – SAP service provider, innovative software developer, and provider of complete solutions for software-supported process optimization – is a partner in the HPE Ready Program with Silver status. At HPE Discover, abat showcased PLUS with a demo created specifically for the event, running on a virtual NonStop system. The demo system provides a visualization of digital worker assistance in the automotive environment, directly connected to the NonStop system. The screen widgets display vehicle-specific information provided by the MES PLUS. Workers are provided with vehicle properties, associated components, workflow integrated fault checks, and more. In addition to the demo system, visitors were also able to use virtual reality to work on an assembly line and experience part of the assembly process for themselves. Immersed in a realistic environment, users were able to interact with the factory machinery and the corresponding widgets of the PLUS solution. The exchange with Discover participants revealed further industrial application fields of great importance. For example, the use of the system in combination with virtual reality in factory guidance can significantly increase familiarity with work processes without the respective employee having to be on-site in the factory. For factory planning, virtual plant commissioning offers significant time and cost advantages. By combining the solution with VR & AR technologies, it is possible to design and optimize a factory’s processes, planned physical layout, and the constraints of all required movements of the production steps, provided the exact physical dimensions of the shop floor and equipment are known. The integration of VR & AR as an add-on combines the advantages of a conventional MES with an increase in flexibility and quality management.

The keynote presentation “Smart Manufacturing with abat: High Availability, Data-Driven, and AI-Enabled Manufacturing Execution” by abat CEO Peter Grendel and Business Unit Manager Thomas Oberst, took place on June 29 at the Connect Tech Forum as part of the supporting program. The paperless factory makes it easier for employees to gather valuable insights along the process chain for a continuous improvement process. In addition, the high process coverage allows predictive analytics, more stable manufacturing processes, higher quality, and shorter lead times. With the highly available HPE NonStop, there have been no unplanned downtime for over 20 years. This allows the potential of the system and the infrastructure to be optimally fulfilled.

PLUS on the HPE NonStop is compatible with elements of both AI and cloud, allowing a hybrid option. Through machine learning, previously existing rule-based process flow solutions can be replaced, thereby achieving greater convergence. This leads to improved maintainability and more efficient decision-making at the individual nodes in the manufacturing network. The high process coverage and central data platform guarantee access to machine and process data. This combination allows far-reaching predictive maintenance and therefore a holistic optimization of the manufacturing process.

About abat

The abat Group, is an SAP service provider, innovative software developer, and provider of complete solutions for software-supported process optimization – primarily for the core industries of automotive and discrete manufacturing as well as in logistics processes and production control. More than 800 employees at several German and international locations generated sales of approximately 80 million euros in 2021. The abat Group’s customers include Audi, BMW, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bosch, Brose, DHL, Ineos, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, nobilia, Porsche, Tchibo, thyssenkrupp, and Volkswagen.

At the St. Ingbert site, abat employs experts for digital high-availability solutions for production control in the complex manufacturing industry. The portfolio includes xReality, artificial intelligence, app and software development, as well as cloud services, among others. In addition to software development and implementation, abat provides rollout and full support for all their products.