The road to smart factory

By integrating data from various sources Reply lays the foundation for the communication from machine-to-machine (M2M) as the cornerstone of Industrie 4.0.


Metalworking is an extremely energy-intensive process. In order to sustain their competitiveness on a global scale even when confronted with high energy costs, metalworking companies always need to be one step ahead in terms of innovation, energy-efficiency and quality of their products. On the other hand, slight efficiency increases can show significant impact on the bottom line.

Reply cooperates with industrial enterprises to connect sensors with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, to build the appropriate infrastructure, in setting up the required IT architecture as well as in analysing Big Data. In many instances the use of connected sensors in the production facilities and the fast analysis of sensor data for process control and optimization is the first step towards Industrie 4.0.

Deviations of certain production parameters result in material flaws of the final product. By closely monitoring the conditions during the production process, such flaws can be predicted with high reliability. Based on historic data, algorithms are able to predict imperfections of the final product from real-time data of the running production process. Necessary repairs can then be initiated immediately, preventing later delays. The information of the delay informs the later production steps, so energy saving measures can be taken. As a convenient side-effect, a complete documentation of the whole production process is available for each product and can be used as proof of quality towards the client.

Industrie 4.0 as application of the Internet of Things in a manufacturing context offers industrial enterprises - among others - unprecedented opportunities for production controlling and optimization. Connected sensors in industrial facilities provide vast volumes of data reflecting running production processes. Reply supports industrial enterprises in systematically evaluating and leveraging these data by using Big Data Analytics for steering of the production, quality assurance and the development of innovative concept for a digital transformation of the value chain.

Reply’s solutions for Industrie 4.0 provide fast availability and usability of data from the production process as the key to generating actionable insights from the product and the manufacturing process that can be employed for ad-hoc and continuous optimization of the production.



Sensors measure parameters such as temperature or vibration during the production process. Measurement data are transmitted to a central database via suitable transfer protocols.

Therefore the IT architecture has to meet the demands of Big Data. A two-layered architecture has proven to be well suited. In a first step data is written into a caching database. This data is then transferred to a central Product- and Process Database, where they can be integrated with other data sources.

By employing machine learning algorithms, Reply can steadily improve the accuracy of predictions. With growing experience, machines are becoming capable of making their own decisions – the Smart Factory evolves.

By integrating data from various sources Reply lays the foundation for the communication from machine-to-machine (M2M) as the cornerstone of Industrie 4.0. This opens a wide range of new possibilities, such as IT based management of the entire production process. With increasing levels of automation, this also allows for more direct integration of the customer into the production process in form of Self Service options, lifting the client-provider relation in the manufacturing industry to a new level.



Reply’s holistic Industrie 4.0 solutions enable the integration of production with the systems of the client. Like this, component suppliers, e.g. in the automotive industry, can increase their customer centricity to define new standards in terms of customer relationship management in B2B scenarios. Parts and components can be ordered from the systems of the car manufacturer to be delivered just-in-time, and an integrated Supply Chain Management ensures, that the parts are available exactly in the right time at the right place.

Getting started

Getting started

The development of a Smart Factory is nothing that can be achieved by an isolated department. It entails a transformation process spanning across the whole organization. Integrating all stakeholders from the very beginning is pivotal for success. Reply applies the Design Thinking methodology to leverage the creative power of cross functional teams in order to develop sustainable solutions, new processes and innovative business models that focus on the needs of the end user, without neglecting the interests of business or technical feasibility.