Entire production process coverage: from production planning to final product shipping


The customer's goal is to create a Manufacturing Execution System solution to be installed in engine and transmission production plants. The system covers the entire production process, from production planning to shipping of the final product.
It was developed by Hermes Reply over the years by increasing the coverage of the system and performing several rollouts in the EMEA, LATAM and APAC plants, for a total of 14 world-wide plants that currently use the solution.


The solution created is composed by different modules with different objectives:
PMS: Web application with multiple services for the management of the production process (integration of legacy systems, production plan, production control, quality data, shipping, analysis and reporting)
ISR: module for shopfloor operations (setup and release, read / write operations with data exchange with PLC, integration of physical devices)
CALL: module for internal logistics dedicated to the supply of the assembly lines with the necessary materials and components based on the BOM of the product applying just-in-time strategies
OPERATOR TERMINAL: module for guiding the operator on the line with work instructions for manual assembly operations and communication with the on-line devices in order to control the execution of specific work cycles for the product



The challenges were faced within the WCM client, therefore with a view to creating solutions applicable to the Group's Operational Excellence strategies.

The components of process standardization and harmonization of different brown field solutions have been fundamental elements that have consolidated Hermes' experience in dealing with situations in which the convergence between OT and IT is pivotal for the development of change.

The solution controls the production line by communicating in real-time with the devices (PLC, Screwdrivers, Bar-Code readers, Camera Systems, etc.) and collects product data (results and quality data) in order to provide monitoring tools to production managers and inputs to high-level management decision-making processes.

The ISR services component takes care of the edge side of performing all the activities necessary to achieve the objectives described by dedicating services to the bidirectional interview with the field, data transformation and processing services and publishing services of the processed information.

The processed and published data are received by the web component of PMS and made available for analytics and real-time monitoring through synoptic panels or sent to physical Andon on the production line.

The solution is installed in 14 world-wide plants and the situations faced in terms of convergence with the OT are various and different from plant to plant.

The ISR component provides the necessary qualification for data standardization and the creation of a collaboration platform between the various entities within the factory: production, quality, logistics, manufacturing & engineering, ict.

The idea behind the solution is that the different data sources coming from the field and received from different phases of the production process are harmonized and crossed in order to generate insights. The aim is to return improvement choices from field by increasing the production capacity and product quality.

The WCM customer applies its Operational Excellence strategy also through the adoption of the PMS solution as an enabler for the execution of all the actions necessary to achieve the objectives it sets.

As part of this strategy, some of the services provided by the suite assume significant importance:
• Implementation of algorithms and processes for managing requests for materials and creation of line interlocking missions on the basis of just-in-time policies
• Tools for the improvement and optimization of change management in line with Industrial IoT interview solutions with on-line sensors in order to provide visual support to operators by switching on positioning lights
• Creation of production planning algorithms considering customer orders, line production capacity and production staff skills with preventive feasibility verification tools
• Statistical monitoring and analysis in order to provide input for process improvement interventions

The outcomes and quality data collected by the production line enable the study on paths that apply machine learning techniques. Currently, the analysis is shared with the customer. The aim of the study is to provide deep, predictive and root cause analysis in order to improve the production process through a continuous solution improvement.

In relation to the data collected, integration with the cloud platform adopted by the customer is also being studied and implemented. The goal of the integration is to populate the platform for real-time processing enhanced by the possibility of aggregating information obtained from several processes and by the group's data lake in order to provide business intelligence possibilities.

The realization of these paths to improve the production process are carried out as part of the incremental adoption roadmap in which each release step generates a benefit for the line and opens new improvement scenarios for the steps previously released.

Hermes Reply actively participates in these phases of analysis and development with the customer in the belief of creating increasingly efficient and effective solutions from the perspective of Industry 4.0 paradigms.

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    Hermes Reply is the Reply group company specialized in architectural and technological solutions, Application Maintenance services for Automotive & Manufacturing industry and Management Consulting services. Hermes Reply accompany the customers throughout the digital transformation process in order to support the adoption of digital enablers and achieve short-term and long term results, combining in-depth knowledge of production processes, industry 4.0 technologies, delivery skills and strategic vision.